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By: Steve Moody

I was in shock. Just as soon as I walked offstage, it had set me to a different standard than I had been accustomed. People recognized who I was. Even just competing in the DJ of the Year competition at the DJ Expo—never mind winning—it gives you an opportunity to be in front of your peers that you would normally not have.

That first year I went to the Expo, in 2007, I performed at DJ of the Year; usually, the first time at a convention, for me, I don’t meet tons of people. It takes a few times to really get comfortable. Looking back, I should have just gone and watched the competition, because I was not prepared to do what I did at the event. I taught a line dance and people were into it, but I should have watched it for the first year to understand the logistics and what people reacted to.

But just competing gave me the opportunity to meet people the first time, and I picked up so many networking opportunities, just from participating in the event, all these behind-the-scenes opportunities presented themselves from just getting out in front of people.

That year, when we got home, I had all these Facebook ads from people; before then, I might have had 30 Facebook friends, and now I probably have 500 because of the competition. And that’s been great for sharing techniques for getting people on the dancefloor, marketing, and sales strategies, and it’s opened a lot of doors. Of course, not everybody is going to share secrets, but if you’re friends with people in different markets, they’re not going to have any problems doing that.

The second year, the Expo was at the Taj, and the routine I had prepared for the competition required more space than I had. I was going to do a mixer, where you switch partners. It was something that had been working for kid and teen parties, but it was impossible to get the mobbed crowd to face each other—it fell apart. It was shoulder-to-shoulder on the dancefloor, so I just could not get people coordinated. I came off the stage feeling like I didn’t know what the logistics were going to be.

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