Dan Quinn recently returned from his first “DJC” Experience in Scottsdale, AZ. This is part 2 of his experiences at the DJ show.
For their educational sessions, the DJC brought in top-notch presenters who had most of us scribbling pages of notes as fast as we could, and often leaving us awe-inspired and wanting to hear more and more.
A few highlights:
Andy King: While he drew his fame from the outrageous measures he almost took to save the doomed Fyre Festival, Andy is actually one of the most accomplished event planners on the planet. One thing he said that really resonated with me as a private event DJ was “We are in a crazy industry where $&!# goes wrong every 5 minutes, and we all need to do things we never thought we’d do.”
And a bonus? Andy stuck around at the conference for a few days and was right in all of the conversations with us, sharing stories and ideas.
Brian Leahy: A luxury event photographer who travels the world shooting amazing events, Brian drove home the importance of relationships and patience when building a luxury brand, and why we need to be putting our best efforts into every single event that we do- “You will only be remembered if you are amazing, or really (bad),” he said.
Beth Chapman: A bridal stylist from Connecticut talking to a bunch of DJs? Well it turns out she knows a thing or two about sales! Beth delivered a knockout presentation that broke down the personality types of different clients, and what it takes to sell to each of those types.
Some bridal client types she mentioned were the Shopper, the Expert/Know it All, the Indecisive Clients, The Detached Clients, and The Cautious Clients — all of whom need to be sold to in different ways. “It isn’t about selling to them,” she said, “it’s about helping them buy.”
I’m excited to walk through this and look at our past sales prospects with my own sales team, always looking to improve.
Bob Conti: A luxury event planner in New York for Ed Libby Events, Bob wowed us with how he fosters client relationships in the luxury market. The big message here? No matter what level you’re at, there’s always something you can do to show people that you care.
How does Bob do it? Since Bob works in the luxury market, he invites prospective clients to a high rise NYC apartment where he greets them with champagne, helps them to feel comfortable, and even serves sushi and caviar.
While this is not the norm for most mobile DJs (if any of you are doing this, I’d love to meet you), the message is still the same: make people feel comfortable, show them you care, and if you want to be in any market, you need to look and act like you belong there.
DJ Show Breakout Tracks- What Do You Need Help With?
On Tuesday and Part of Wednesday, we all had the chance to breakout into one of three tracks — Technical Skills, Business Development, or Health & Wellness. The biggest challenge here was deciding which session to attend.
I personally had the chance to work on everything from scratching techniques (DJ Angelo), Remixing (DJ Scooter), Speaking with Purpose (Graeme Cowgill), Microphone Skills (Rob Ferre & Sean Patrick), and even to have lunch with Celebrity Event Planner Troy Williams (who also gave a wonderful talk on Wednesday morning).
A theme from Graeme Cowgill about speaking with purpose was that we need to “fall in love with our topic.” For example, at a wedding — why are we hearing from the best man? Why is the bride dancing with her father? I can personally attest to the power of preparation, understanding, and storytelling when acting as an MC for a wedding or other significant event. As Graeme put it, “If you don’t believe in your topic, nobody else will either.”
He also talked about believing YOURSELF and trusting your own personality. We’ve all heard the “be yourself, everyone else is taken” line, but we are living in a time where authenticity is king, and straying from that is where we start to bleed into “cheesy” territory. We can practice a variety of authentic voice tones, whether conversational, caring, comedic, or motivational, all while remaining true to ourselves — and that’s when we can really connect with people, make them feel comfortable, and even move them.
Memorable quote from Graeme (there were so many, but this one shines through): “Hopefully you’re in this because you love people, and you were created to add value and beauty to people in your own unique way.”
Wednesday sessions included panels on working destination events, managing multiple income sources, and even different approaches to lighting.
In the lighting discussion, two guys with massively different approaches described the merits and pitfalls of their models.
Jordan Chance from Luxe productions shared his more traditional approach that can involve heavy production installations with lots of truss, cables, and rigging, very often installed for large scale corporate events. He stressed the importance of safety and how dangerous this can be, and how it takes a very dedicated team to work on this size production — complete with the rigging certifications and insurance that are involved.
Jacob Towe (DJ Jacob Co) is based in Florida but about 90% of his lighting jobs are destination work. This is pretty fascinating stuff in that Towe and his wife actually travel with cases and cases of battery powered lights that all have integrated wireless control (from a smartphone or tablet), require no heavy rigging truss or ladders (Towe has built custom tooling for his installations) and predominantly serves the luxury market where he can completely change the feel of a room without obtrusive equipment or large teams of workers.
Since leaving Scottsdale, the impact of the DJC is still ringing out. Multiple event industry podcasts have mentioned what a powerful experience it was, and one that really stuck with me was from rockstar Vegas-based event planner Andrea Eppolito. A speaker and panelist at the conference, she discussed on her podcast about how DJs have always been underdogs, and how she had admittedly disregarded what a top tier DJ was truly capable of.
“When you are part of a community that has been undervalued, that has been considered to be an underdog, and you have had to fight…you become incredibly resourceful and resilient,” she said. “And your ability to produce things and to do things that other people don’t have to…these guys are so light years ahead on so many different things because they’ve had to be. “
If this didn’t speak to what a monumental event the DJC was — and indeed, what any good DJ show can be — I don’t know what could.
Indeed, a good DJ show has the ability to transform your business — first by validating your choice to become a DJ in the first place, and then by helping you overcome stumbling bocks to progress.
The owner of DQB Entertainment in Dallas, Dan Quinn once pranked the kids in his DJ School by informing them that Marshmello and Imagine Dragons had been removed from the library.
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