Back in 1991 I was in Fort Lauderdale Florida on vacation with my parents and stumbled upon a store specifically for DJs. Appropriately named “The DJ Store” I was blown away by all of the toys and accessories for the craft I loved and had begun back in 1984. You have to understand that back then this was a big deal as there were no DJ stores. We really didn’t have the internet yet and certainly no social media. One thing that really got my attention was a DJ magazine called “DJ Times.” A magazine for the working mobile and club DJ. How freakin’ cool! So, a copy came home on the plane with me.
As I got my subscription going to DJ Times I noticed they were planning a DJ Expo in Atlantic City. Now this was more than I could handle. Could it be that there was actually a convention for others like me who loved to DJ and wanted to know everything and anything about the craft? Well there certainly was and in 1993 I headed down to Atlantic City to attend the DJ Expo. When I walked onto the trade show floor I was blinded by the sheer size of this event and overwhelmed by all of the things I had access to now that my world was opened by this trade show. And……. I’ve been going to DJ shows and industry events ever since.
I have attended just about every industry event you can imagine over the years and the impact on my business and my professional career has been immense. Without question I would enthusiastically recommend DJs get out and participate in anything that will raise your level of talent, knowledge and professionalism. It also won’t hurt to see what is available to you from equipment to technology and support. But the most profoundly important and beneficial opportunity you will gain are the relationships from meeting colleagues you can network with and learn from. It is true that what happens in the hallways can sometimes eclipse even what happens in a classroom.
With that said, let’s show you a list of many of the industry expos, seminars, workshops, conventions and symposiums that will be going forth for the 2023 calendar year. I have included the latter part of 2022 for relevant events that have not happened yet in case you want to squeeze any in? Let’s dive right into this:
Wedding MBA * November 7-9, 2022 at Las Vegas Convention Center * This is a huge convention. Thousands attend, just keep in mind it is NOT a DJ only event. It is for wedding professionals and vendors who specialize in that field. There is a DJ segment of education but in my opinion it is not adequate. I also feel the seminars are too short as there is a strict 55 minute time limit and often the presenters turn their talk into a glorified infomercial. With that said, there are some very valuable wedding tips that can be gained. I recommend attending this convention one time if you have never gone and understand this will be wedding focused. http://WedingMBA.com
The Entertainment Experience * November 14-16, 2022 at EV Headquarters Burnsville MN * Hosted by Bill Hermann this is a specialized workshop from a theatrical prospective. A very intimate classroom setting awaits with highly specialized training by the master himself. All elements of Master of Ceremonies and microphone skill is highlighted along with stage presence, improvisation and crowd interaction. You won’t learn how to be a DJ, you will learn how to be a better entertainer. Contact Bill Hermann for all of the information.
LDI (Live Design International) * November 14-20, 2022 at Las Vegas Convention Center * This is a lighting and decoration/design convention like no other. The first week is dedicated to very intensive classes and industry certification courses. The show concludes on the weekend with the largest show floor you will ever see. Every lighting and special effect imaginable from basic to multi-million dollar concert rigs will be on display. Truly worth a trip to Sin City to see this! http://LDIshow.com
Harvest Of Sound * December 5-6, 2022 at the Revere Hotel Boston * This is a new conference so I can’t report much other than I have heard good things. I will do a interview with the show organizers for our podcast. Look for that soon! http://Harvest Of Sound.com
Mobile Entertainment Expo (MEX) * February 20-23, 2023 at The South Point Hotel & Casino Las Vegas * Formerly known as Mobile Beat Las Vegas this show is becoming one of the essential conventions for a DJ to attend. Full discloser, I am the Master of Ceremonies along with my buddy Sean BIG Daddy McKee. But that won’t stop my unbiased reporting. Not much, at least. Located at The Southpoint Hotel & Casino and running along with the Photo Booth Expo this expo is jam packed with seminars, paid workshops and trade show floor. If you are a DJ who also runs a Photo Booth you can get a combo pass and attend both shows! http://MobileEntertainmentExpo.com
Photo Booth Expo (PBX) * February 20-23, 2023 at the South Point Hotel & Casino * This event celebrates 8 years and continues to the biggest and best show of its kind. Returning in 2023 post-pandemic will be the huge international audience with over 5000 attendees expected. The trade show floor is immense and seminars are extremely informative and beneficial. If you are a Photo Booth provider who is also a DJ you can get a combo pass and also attend the Mobile Entertainment Expo along with the awesome after-hour parties! http://PhotoBoothExpo.com
Lighting & Audio Symposium * Proposed for April 2023 at EV Headquarters Burnsville MN * This event is close to my heart because it is my event. Created together with my co-producer Ben Stowe the Lighting and Audio Symposium is a highly specialized 4 day workshop that gives our attendees a detailed dive into improving knowledge of sound and lighting to enhance your events. It is held each year around April-May and hosted at EV World headquarters just outside of Minneapolis MN. Class is limited to 50 attendees. http://m.facebook.com/lightingsymposium
NAMM * April 13-15, 2023 in Anaheim CA * The ultimate toy store. This is the BIG show that year after year plays host to many major equipment debuts. If it is part of the audio and music industry you can bet it will be on exhibit at NAMM. Bring good walking shoes and plan on spending a lot of time touring the show floor! http://NAMM.org
Marbecca Workshops * February 16-March 6, 2023 Henderson NV * One of the best things a public speaker can do is learn how to speak in public. Hosted by Mark & Rebecca Ferrell this small classroom setting of 8 max is designed to take you out of your comfort zone and raise you up to greater heights. You will learn microphone skills along with vocal inflection, eye and body contact, and smooth transitions. This 2 day workshop will truly help you become a master of ceremonies. http://MarkFerrell.com
Marbecca Workshops * April 12-May 4, 2023 Maui HI. * The workshop comes to Hawaii. http://MarkFerrell.com
MidWest DJs Live * April 23-25, 2023 Milwaukee WI * Having really grown over the past 8 years MidWest DJs live has become a very successful event and a mid-size DJ show. Seminars hosted on a variety of DJ related topics along with product display and nightlife. http://midwestdjslive.com
The Marquee DJ & Photo Booth Show * June 27-29, 2023 Chicago IL * In just a few short years this show has really come into its own. Hosted by Keith KoKoruz of Chicago (former DJ of the Year from DJ Times) this show is taking over a missing spot from Mobile Beat closing its doors. Featuring a impressive show floor, great classroom seminars and plenty of Chicago nightlife! It covers a wide variety including Photo Booths. http://MarqueeShow.com
DJX (formerly DJ Expo) * August 7-10, 2023 at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City NJ * The grand daddy of them all. The original DJ show formed in Atlantic City back in 1990. The show has continued on ever since. The DJ Times magazine and expo has gone through a bit of a change as the founder, Vinny Testa passed away tragically in 2020. The staff decided to keep moving forward in honor of Vinny and now have moved the print magazine into an online digital monthly offering. Additionally, the Expo lives on and is now known as DJX. Held at the very appropriate Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City this event as been re-born and boasts the largest trade show floor of DJ products and services along with great seminars and the BEST nightlife you will find at any DJ event! And spending a summer day walking the world famous Atlantic City boardwalk isn’t so bad either. http://Exhpo.com
In conclusion, if you haven’t ever attended a show, expo, convention or workshop I would highly recommend considering one of these events, aforementioned. If you haven’t been to a show in a while it’s time to get out there and re-sharpen your skills. And if you regularly attend shows there’s plenty to keep you going! “Never stop learning and growing!”