FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM OCTOBER 2007
As we near the Marquee Disc Jockey Conference, long-time DJ Industry writer Chuck Lehnard put together some tips for those attending a dj conference for the first time, or the 10th time.
1. Don’t bring your spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend unless they are directly involved with your business. Even though they may say just do whatever, you will want to spend time with them, it’s natural. There will be a number of times when you may just want to network or go hang with the DJs at some outside event. If you want to get the max out of the conference, come solo.
2. Don’t be scared to jump into conversations. I don’t mean be rude. But if there is a time where you are standing in line for something, or just hanging and you hear a couple of DJs talking about something that is of interest to you, politely introduce yourself, hand them a card and ask a question. Explain that it’s your 1st conference and most are willing to share, it’s what we go for.
3. Don’t get caught up in the buying frenzy of the exhibit hall. Take your time, look at all the toys and BEFORE you buy, walk out and get a Coke and think about it, do you really need it? Then go back in and buy it.
4. Bring cards and give them to everyone you talk to. I know this may just be me, but if someone doesn’t have a nice business card, or one at all, it makes me wonder how serious they are about being a DJ.
5. Don’t drink to excess. I hear DJs all the time going to get drunk and party. That’s fine, but you want to be able to see the workshops and seminars and get something out of them. Don’t spend the week hung over.
6. Take notes at seminars. Go to ones that you are really interested in, but go to a few that you don’t think apply to you because you may learn something you didn’t know you wanted to learn. That’s how I got into karaoke.
7. Don’t be a loner. This kind of goes back to the butting into conversations, but let’s say you go to eat in the buffet, if you are looking for a seat, look and see if there are some DJs there that look friendly, ask to join them.
8. If you come with a group of DJ buds, try not to hang with them all the time. I know that they are your safety net, but a big part of the conference is networking and you need to do that. It’s a great way to learn. You never know who you will meet and how long you will know them. I met Mad Joe and I still like him! LOL Meet new people.
9. Stay at the host hotel. Sure maybe you can find a cheaper room down the way, but everything centers around the host hotel. Show your support for the event and industry by staying there. If you need a nap during the day, or just want to drop off that piece of gear you just bought, it makes it much easier.
10. NETWORK NETWORK & NETWORK! Talk to DJs. Ask what and where and how. You may meet someone who is doing the same thing you are. In the workshops, listen to who asks a question, maybe it is something you know about. Afterward, find them, introduce yourself and have dinner or a drink, pick each others brain. Go to as many of the after events as you can. I don’t mean just the parties where there is loud music, some DJ doing his thing and drinks (which is fine BTW) but the ones where you have a chance to talk. It’s all about the networking. But most of all, have fun.