DJ Idea Sharing has become one of the largest and most beneficial Facebook groups for DJs in the world with members from 40 different countries, a full-time team of moderators and almost 13,000 members! But, did you know we are much more than just a Facebook group? Here is a brief history of the DJ Idea Sharing movement.
Started as a networking event by founder Mike Fernino, DJ Idea Sharing was established in April 2001. It was a gathering of local DJs from Connecticut and held at a local banquet hall. The event attracted 50 DJs and featured varying topics along with a photographer for headshots, food and even a event sponsor. Things went so well that a second gathering happened in October of the same year. This time 95 DJs showed up and we were certain this was destined to be something special. A third event was held April of 2002 and this was significant as Mike along with his brother Steve Fernino would meet Rob Peters from Massachusetts. Rob and Mike quickly formed a good friendship and became co-hosts of future events with Steve producing.
The event grew fast and in 2003 we entered DJ stores instead of a banquet hall. This allowed DJs the opportunity to be in their element and play with the toys, all while gaining FREE education. The event has been free from day one with the intention of raising the level of professionalism within the DJ industry. The events continued to grow in popularity and DJ Stores around New England hosted the live events. Many times these gatherings were standing room only.
In 2004 Facebook was created, but we had no idea yet that it would become the monster it is today. So, we will get back to Facebook. Rather, chat forums were the flavor of the day and Mobile Beat magazine invited DJ Idea Sharing to host our own forum. This was the earliest version of what our group is today. Steve Fernino was the main moderator but Mike and Rob would be topic starters.
By 2006 podcasting had become a very popular platform. Mike and Rob both inspired by Mark Farrell’s DJA Radio started to put together a program to be included in the radio group however the program ended before they could get things ready for a demo. At the same time DJ Idea Sharing was asked by Ryan Burger to kick off Mobile Beat at the Stardust in Las Vegas with a live event called “The Fish Bowl.” Participants would put a topic on a index card and the hosts (Mike & Rob) would open discuss the topics encouraging the group to contribute in a open mic platform. At the same time Mobile Beat started its own podcast which also shut down shortly thereafter its inception. However, Ryan Burger called Mike Fernino and asked him and Rob to just take over the podcast as DJ Idea Sharing. And now we were a podcast. We went from a networking event to a chat forum to a industry podcast.
In 2006, Ryan Burger invited DJ Idea Sharing to run Camp Mobile Beat in Sturbridge Massachusetts which was designed to be a summer retreat and educational event. We provided all of the sound, lighting and AV for the event along with the entire first day of content. DJ Idea Sharing also made appearances at Mid-America in Louisville and Wedding MBA Las Vegas!
In 2007 came the biggest break. DJ Idea Sharing was once again asked to kick off Mobile Beat at the SouthPoint in Las Vegas. This is where we would met Chubby Checker who was the headline entertainment act for the show. He graciously offered us a podcast interview and this is when the podcast program really took off. The podcast quickly started to get interviews with well-known artists like Coolio, DJ Kool, Warrant, Freedom Williams as well as the movers and shakers in our industry!
And then came Facebook. 2008 came the establishment of a DJ Idea Sharing Facebook page, however the group feature was not an option until 2009. On the very first day of the group option we invited about 100 DJs to join the DJ Idea Sharing group. And……. the rest is history.
The store networking stopped. The podcast and chat forum ended as well as our live events but the Facebook group flourished and grew. From 100 to 1000 to 10,000 members in just a few years.
Today we have a staff of moderators who monitor the group to keep it clean and free from conflict. The group presently sits around 13,000 members who are all vetted thoroughly before inclusion. Where we go next, no one knows but it truly has been a great journey and there’s no doubt we have assisted thousands of DJs build and grow their business along with enhancing their professionalism.
So, when you hear that DJ Idea Sharing was founded in 2001 and you think that Facebook wasn’t founded until 2004 think again. There’s a lot more history to DJIS than just Facebook.