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For many, 2021 is about fresh, new starts… and such is certainly the case with DJ Times magazine and its long-running trade show/exhibition, DJ Expo 2021.

As DJ Times prepares to take the 2021 version of the show to an exciting, new venue, the show will be re-branded with a new logo – DJX.

Taking place Aug. 9-12 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., the 2021 Expo will forge a new, long-term alliance with the popular Boardwalk property and it promises to offer the DJ community unique opportunities that will increase business for all attendees.

Now in its 32nd year, DJ Expo remains America’s largest gathering of aspiring and professional DJs.

Monday, Aug. 9
(No Exhibits Today)

10:30 – 11:00, Hollywood Ballroom West

Intro, Kick-Off & Networking Session

Connect with fellow DJ/professionals and prepare for a big week of networking. Hosted by Jake Jacobsen.

11:00 – 12:30, Hollywood Ballroom West

Get With the Programming 

Songs are the ingredients DJs use to throw a great party. Which songs we play and in which order we play them can make or break a party. In this seminar, Mike Walter will offer tons of tips and suggestions to help your music programming and, in the end, raise your event to a new level.

12:30 – 2:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

Core Web Vitals: The Latest on SEO & How DJs Can Win the Google Game

Google has been busy during the pandemic. In case you missed it, Google has implemented Core Web Vitals, which will now be the most important aspect of where you rank within Google Search Engine Results Pages. How do you tackle this recent development and keep your DJ company visible and competitive? In this new session presented by Jordan St. Jacques of Canada’s Digitera, you’ll learn to understand Core Web Vitals, learn how to measure it and learn how to optimize for it. Make no mistake, this will be the most important seminar on SEO that DJ Expo has ever presented!

1:00 – 2:00, Hollywood Ballroom West

Did You Find Yourself in 2020?

Are you smiling as loud as you can after a year of COVID? Sean “Big Daddy” McKee and co-host Jordan Marshall will host a panel that explores how DJs improved themselves while they had down time. Inspirational, educational, and with plenty of Big Daddy love.

2:00 – 3:00, Seminole Ballroom 3

Keynote Q&A: Accountant Gary Orkin, Star CPA

The pandemic may be winding down, but its effects still linger for DJ companies of all sizes. For the survivors and for those on the brink, what’s the next step to keep those businesses sailing through the rough waters? Gary Orkin, Long Island’s star CPA, has the answers. At this session, he’ll unveil crucial remedies that can keep your company afloat and offer common-sense answers for your biggest business-related questions. Is your DJ company missing out on state or federal re-funding opportunities? Will you be ready for the next round of loans or grants when they become available? Or are you simply looking for solid business tips for your DJ service? With more than 40 years in the accounting business, Gary Orkin is more than qualified to help you find public funds, offer vital tips on taxes, or deliver money-saving advice on your corporate status. Bring your business-related questions and step up your game.

2:30 – 3:30 Hollywood Ballroom West

Dave Lander’s “DJ Hacks” 

Have you heard of things like Wisestamp email signature, Duratex paint to touch up speakers, 99 Designs for logos, Fiverr for voiceover work, Mixed In Key, etc.? DJ Dave Lander is known for his music programming and mixes, but he’s got a lot more going on. Join him as he drops more science.

3:00 – 4:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

The Mobile DJ’s Blogging Bible: How I Get 400 Visitors a Day to My Website 

In this tip-filled session that will help you create genuine engagement with your audience, DJ Staci will tackle tag and category structure, anchor links, image titles and alt tags, SEO, and posting/sharing blogposts. She’ll show DJX attendees how to turn all this blogging info into an easily replicated, auto-pilot system using templates and a virtual assistant. Wanna get ahead of the competition? Learn to build and keep your audience.

3:30 – 4:30, Seminole Ballroom 3

Gear: New DJ Tech & What It Means to You  

Despite the lockdown and its setbacks, the DJ industry remains awash with new technologies. While things certainly went sideways for a variety of industry-related outfits, the new innovations remain and they’re ready to be implemented. This seminar will give you the straight dope and the latest tips – and it’ll explain how you benefit from these new technologies. Moderated by DJ Times Editor Jim Tremayne, this session will include top retailers and industry insiders. Don’t miss out on this vital tech-talk.

4:00 – 5:00, Hollywood Ballroom West

Becoming the Mitzvah Master 

Adam Weitz, longtime DJ and owner of Adam Weitz Events in greater Philadelphia, will help mitzvah newbies and veterans alike navigate the nuances of all things mitzvah. Among other topics, learn how to talk to kids by being on top of trends, and learn how to get parents to advocate for your services.

4:30 – 5:30, Seminole Ballroom 1 

Selling Your Services Virtually: Key Strategies to Increase Sales in a Socially Distant Marketplace

Philly’s Ross Akselrad of Pulse Entertainment will teach you the key strategies, ideas, and templates he uses to sell his DJ services to potential clients using virtual platforms like Zoom. In this revealing session, he will share with you the presentation he uses to close over 80-percent of his virtual meetings.

5:00 – 6:00, Seminole Ballroom 3 

Pioneer DJ Sponsored Seminar: Battle Tested, Gig Approved – DJM-S11 & DJM-S7 Demo feat. DJ Jay & Pri yon Joni

Get ready for Pioneer DJ to show how its two latest battle mixers are strong enough for battle champions, but also feature-packed for your gigs. DJ Jay joins Pri yon Joni to showcase the DJM-S11 and DJM-S7. Learn the ins and outs of the mixers, as well how to integrate it into your mobile or club rig. One DJM-S11 and one DJM-S7 will be given away. Must be present to win!

Tuesday, Aug. 10
(Exhibits Run Noon to 6 pm)

10:00 – 11:45, Hollywood Ballroom West

Chauvet DJ Sponsored Seminar: Lighting the End of the Tunnel – Lighting Inspiration for Your Event Business Revival

DJX seminar favorite Jeremy Brech, President of DJ Jer Events, returns to Atlantic City and he’s prepared to liven and lighten things up. In this uplifting session, the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based entertainer/entrepreneur will offer real-world insights, inspiration and ideas to help rejuvenate recovering entertainment businesses through lighting. Don’t miss this informative and entertaining discussion, which will include product information, income potential and rate consideration, multi-media examples and more. Sponsored by DJX exhibitor Chauvet DJ, this special session is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

12:30 – 1:30, Seminole Ballroom 3

Country Music & Dance Seminar

Alan Kohn has been a leading country-music DJ for years now and a big part of his success isn’t just the music – it’s the participatory line-dances that he and his talented crew perform that get his parties started. See how it’s done and prepare to cut the rug yourself.

12:30 – 2:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

Facebook Chat Bots: How to Funnel & Keep New Clients 

Facebook Chat Bots through Messenger are not necessarily new, but the way that DJ companies are using them could be vastly improved. Jordan St. Jacques of Canada’s Digitera will show you how, as he’ll demonstrate an effective Facebook Chat Bot in use, and he’ll teach you how to achieve two main goals: 1) funnel your clients where you want them to go and 2) deliver to them necessary files/links (such as song lists, event-preparation lists… even contracts) as they need them. Save time and retain website visitors… with Facebook Chat Bots.

1:00 – 2:30, Hollywood Ballroom West

Party Games with Jake

In this all-new, high-energy session, veteran mobile Jake Jacobsen will help showcase the best new party-starting games that’ll be sure to help you win business in your market. An annual Expo favorite.

2:00 – 3:00, Seminole Ballroom 3

Meal Plan Your Instagram: The Healthy Way of Using Social Media to Nourish Your Business 

Are you missing out on business because you’re sleeping on Instagram? In her info-filled session, Pittsburgh’s Jessica “DJ Jess” McKelvey will show you the tricks of the IG trade, including: what to focus on when posting; developing your schedule; getting content; working the algorithm; showing up where your clients are; and creating a beautiful feed that makes followers want to dive deeper.

2:30 – 3:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

How to Zoom Past the Pandemic with DJ Neeek Nyce 

DJs of all stripes took the blows dealt out by the pandemic – but some pivoted successfully and managed to turn lemons into lemonade. Philly favorite Vernique Fields (aka DJ Neeek Nyce) was one of those jocks, as she carved out a niche in the virtual world that she expects to serve her well going forward, post-pandemic.

As the world re-opens, DJs – especially those in the Northeast – must remain versatile to events of all shapes, sizes and restrictions. In her hour-long session, Neeek Nyce and fellow Philly jock Shannell B will deliver the goods on how to best book a virtual event and deeper establish your brand in your market – but they’ll also offer vital performance tips that will make your event a smashing success.

3:00 – 4:00, Hollywood Ballroom West

Mitzvah Marketing, Branding & Success

New Jersey DJ/MC/event host Adam Hirschhorn of AJH Entertainment will explain the best methods to work the mitzvah scene – most importantly, how to get the jobs and keep your place in this upscale market.

3:30 – 4:30, Seminole Ballroom 3

Keynote Q&A: Mixmaster Howard “HK” Kessler

If you’re a DJ seeking inspiration, look no further than Howard “HK” Kessler. In the DJ world, there are few accomplishments that “HK” hasn’t already achieved –  clubs, studio, radio, record labels… he’s done it all. ‘

Before his currently syndicated, Top-40 mixshow, “In the Mix With HK,” caught fire and went to #1 in a variety of radio markets, Kessler enjoyed a career that most DJs would envy. In addition to years of club gigs rocking the dancefloor and studio work producing/remixing music, “HK” spent significant time at the legendary Tommy Boy label. As Director of A&R and Staff Producer, he created MTV Party to Go, the biggest-selling dance-compilation series in music history. In fact, 2021 marks 30 years since he and Tommy Boy launched the first of its six best-selling volumes.

Additionally, at Tommy Boy, “HK” oversaw the recording careers of such hit-making acts as Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature, De La Soul, House of Pain, Coolio, Digital Underground, RuPaul, and Information Society. “HK” has worked on five Grammy-award nominated projects, over 50 Gold and Platinum Records and is a Grammy nominee himself. And on the radio front, “HK” was part of the original music programming team that launched WKTU, the renowned and ground-breaking dance radio station in New York City.

Lucky for DJ Expo attendees, he loves nothing more than to share his inspiration and tutelage with DJs of all stripes. So join us for his “Keynote Q&A” with DJ Times Editor Jim Tremayne.

4:00 – 5:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

Professionalism: How Mobiles Stay Ahead by Minding their P’s & Q’s 

From your attire to your conduct, from your social media to your office space – how you present yourself matters. Philly’s Ross Akselrad will offer crucial tips on putting your best foot forward, so that you maintain a great reputation and earn more business.

4:30 – 6:00, Hollywood Ballroom West

The Ripple Effect to Empower & Inspire

Through Chris D’Amico’s experience from life tragedy and its aftermath, he’ll show how even the simplest actions or words either on the job or through social media can have a greater impact on your business or others than you’d realize. And it helps to DJ and move forward when life isn’t so kind.

5:00 – 6:00, Seminole Ballroom 3

Live-Streaming: Partnering & Twitching to the Top 

Moderated by longtime Boston DJ/VJ Joshua Carl, this panel of Twitch Partner DJs will explain how the platform has been key to their success. Panelists include Arabian Prince, Miss Ninja, Chubby Chub, Flipside & Neil Jackson. Topics include: integrating live-streaming to your current business model; how to generate revenue off and on the platform; how to make Partner status on Twitch and build viewership; live-streaming remotely – hardware & software; must-have apps and software; and tips, tricks and secrets of Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).

Wednesday, Aug. 11
(Exhibits Run Noon to 6 pm)

10:30 – 11:30, Seminole Ballroom 3

The Photo Booth Wave: Still Cresting?

Dave Stephenson, at the forefront of photo booth tech for more than a decade, will talk about QR codes, virtual booths, and 360-degree slow-motion video booths, among other things. Don’t miss this opportunity for upsell revenue.

11:00 – 12:00, Hollywood Ballroom East

Forever Young: Aging Gracefully & Staying Relevant in a Youthful Industry 

Let’s face it – you’re not as young as you once were when you got into this DJ game. But that doesn’t mean you can’t survive and still thrive in this competitive industry. If age brings wisdom, tap into it and keep your game sharp! Join Mike Walter of New Jersey’s Elite Entertainment and Todd Powers of Connecticut’s Jock in the Box Entertainment for an hour of tips and inspiration.

12:00 – 1:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

Workflow Management: How DJs Achieve Social-Media Efficiency

For most DJ companies, there’s never enough time in your day to properly execute all your digital marketing. Usually, it takes a trained professional to condense the work into a reasonable amount of time – say, three to five hours per week. Presented by Jordan St. Jacques of Canada’s Digitera, this session will do exactly that: He will peek behind the curtains and reveal unique ways to boil down your weekly time-spend. In the social-media game, simple efficiency can be the key to success.

12:30 – 1:30 Seminole Ballroom 3

Rob Peters: Networking for Success

In this info-filled session, Peters shares his secrets on how he networks to gain prospective clients and build a strong referral network through face to face interactions. Peters will talk about how to attend Networking Events, breaking the ice…the 80/20 rule, and how to follow up to get your “foot in the door” to better clients, better referrals and better profits.

1:00 – 2:00, Hollywood Ballroom East

E-Mail Lead-Reply Strategy: What to Say & When to Say It 

When inquiries come, what are the best ways to keep the potential clients engaged – and then close the sale? DJ Staci “The Track Star” Nichols will explain: how to set up an auto responder for Knot/Wedding Wire leads – responding in under five minutes is key, according to research; how to start a conversation, including an opening question that begins a back-and-forth, but doesn’t get stuck on price; how to use subtle, but effective ways to move toward closing; how to use research-based strategies to keep your emails fun (instead of desperate); and how to spruce up your online testimonials. Are you looking for better business in our currently challenging environment? Don’t miss this session. 

2:00 – 3:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

L-Acoustics Sponsored Seminar: Discover L-Acoustics Premium DJ Sound Solutions
In this engaging session, hosted by Application Project Engineer Sully Sullivan, you can learn about the L-Acoustics lines of short and medium-throw (up to 45 meters) loudspeakers – perfectly suited for various DJ sets and events. L-Acoustics will present its flagship medium-throw system, the S Series, a sleek and stylish loudspeaker with a silhouette that impresses and a design that’s at home in both over- and understated environments, and the A Series, which combines power and flexibility for a system that can grow as your business grows. L-Acoustics will also introduce the L-ISA Studio, created for building immersive audio experiences using multi-dimensional audio. This software has proprietary room simulation, along with binaural rendering capabilities that allow users to create immersive experiences using just a computer and ordinary headphones (or external speakers)… all without need for additional external DSP hardware. The interface is intuitive, and dramatically simplifies the creation of immersive audio. Join this session to get a complete picture of what L-Acoustics systems can do for you.

2:30 – 3:30, Seminole Ballroom 3

Selling Up: How to Land an Endorsement Deal & Level Up Your DJ Brand

Are you looking for broaden your DJ business’ horizons? Do you want to connect corporately, push the limits and test the possibilities? New Jersey DJ/entrepreneur Xavier Powell will explain how you can position your company for bigger and better things. Topics include: how to create and enact an effective business plan that’ll put your best foot forward; pricing your services and getting positive attention from corporates by positioning yourself as a high-end brand; what corporations expect after partnering on an endorsement deal; and creating marketing campaigns that will increase your visibility from DJ clients and corporates. DJs, don’t just sit there – be pro-active and sell up!

3:00 – 4:00, Hollywood Ballroom East

Intro to Mobile DJing: Skills, Gear, & Marketing for Beginners 

Are you yearning to entertain and break into the mobile-DJ game? Are you attracted to a potentially lucrative and fulfilling career on the mic or behind the decks? Sit in with Greg Curran of Curran Entertainment/The DJ Entertainment School and he’ll get you started with plenty of ideas on how to hit the ground running. With help from Anthony Sojo of the Senate DJs, the Philly-based Curran will detail the basics and more – he’ll tackle DJ skills, microphone technique, participation dances and games, networking and job placement.

4:00 – 5:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

Expanding Your Brand with Twitch: One DJ’s Success Story 

Like most DJs, Mike Márquez’s club gigs dried up during the pandemic. However, utilizing the global audience of Twitch, the NYC-based DJ landed sponsorships with some of the industry’s biggest companies, gained opportunities to play on radio stations across the country, and interviewed some of the world’s biggest DJs with his “DJs After Dark” show on Twitch. His utilization of Twitch also has brought his post-pandemic bookings back in a big way. In his session, Márquez will show you the keys to his success, and explain how you can utilize the streaming platform to further enhance your brand and optimize your exposure, not only to your current fanbase, but to a global audience.

4:30 – 5:30, Seminole Ballroom 3

How to Get Couples to Book Their Wedding Based on Your Availability

How does a DJ get to this point? It really takes the complete package to reach this level and to have clients realize how valuable you are. In this presentation, Chris Washburn of Washburn Entertainment of Dryden, N.Y., will share easy-to-implement tips for each stage of the wedding process that will help elevate your business.

5:30 – 6:30, Seminole Ballroom 1

Remixes, Productions & Mix Shows 

Looking to expand your DJ profile? Well, creating your own dancefloor music and spinning a hot-mix show are great methods in flexing your brand, especially during times when gigs are scarce. Hear a panel of studio and mix-show vets explain their methods and motivations – and offer valuable advice and tech tips for upstarts. Moderated by DJ Times’ Jim Tremayne, the session will include The Disco Fries, LODATO, Skribble, John Hohman, DJ Shakey & ILLexxandra, The Scene Kings, Buck Rodgers and DJ Scratch.

Thursday, Aug. 12
(Exhibits Run 11 am to 3 pm)

12:30 – 2:00, Seminole Ballroom 1

Tool Time: Learn 40+ Methods to Master Your Digital Marketing 

Tool Time: Learn 40+ Methods to Master Your Digital Marketing

Don’t leave the show too early – because we’ve saved some of the best for last. Presented by Jordan St. Jacques of Canada’s Digitera, this rapid-fire session will present over 40 of the best tools you can use to boost your DJ company’s digital-marketing efforts. The session will discuss all tool categories – from SEO metrics to Social Media Scheduler to email newsletter platforms and more! Get a jump on your competition with this ultimate set of tools.

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DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc.