First and foremost, it was such a relief to be able to rub elbows with fellow event professionals without a computer screen between us. The past almost 2 years have changed our lives in so many ways. We have been forced to adapt, pivot and “figure it out” probably more than we ever have before. I was so excited to see that DJs are eager to keep growing, to keep learning and to be around a community that they can lean on during the process. It was also great to see such a great combination of friends I have known for years along with the new faces both on stage and in the audience.
One of the interesting things to me about the show was that the education seminars were very heavy on the DJ side (which I was happy about) yet the showroom floor was very photo booth heavy. There were some great DJ equipment manufacturers like EV, NLFX and Maxx Booths. It also featured some amazing new game show buzzers from Rob Johnson with Enjoy Tech, be sure to check them out!
Some of the highlight seminars for me were:
- Alan Berg – Always a crowd favorite and even if you have heard a presentation by Alan before, you can still get something new out of listening to him again. Awesome as always!
- Nate Nelson – This was my first time hearing Nate speak and I must say his presentation named “Between the Details” was very well put together. I was able to draw some nuggets from it and look at a few things about events in a different light. Well done, Nate!
- Mark Chapman – Mark presented on Facebook and Google ads. This was an easy to follow presentation and filled with some great nuggets in what is typically a difficult topic for many.
Not only was the conference a blast but I was able to spend some time with one of my longest friends, Luke Renchan. This was the first time we had seen each other since the sad passing of RayMar. In years past, when we were all together at a conference we would make every effort to go to a baseball game or any other sporting event we could find while we were in town. Luke and I had a chance to catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and while Ray was not with us in person this time, he was for sure with us in heart and spirit. It was an experience I will always cherish.
Finally, as we get back into going to in-person conferences, I wanted to drop a few tips and refreshers to help you maximize the conference experience.
1. Find a “sponsor”. Not in the terms of how you might think though. A “sponsor” in the sense of someone who has already attended the conference in the past. This “sponsor” can help introduce you to other attendees or manufactures that you may be looking to connect with at the conference. They may be able to help you also gain access to the experiences you may not have access to otherwise or even know existed. This is VITAL for first time attendees for sure. Do your homework ahead of time and find your “sponsor”. You will get so much more out of the experience.
2. Make equal time for business and fun! What are your goals for the conference? Are you going to attend as many seminars as possible? Are you going to all the evening events? Do you want to visit every manufacturer on the show floor? No matter what your goals are, and you NEED to have them ahead of time, make sure that you save some time for those organic “hallway conversations”. You will be blown away by how much valuable information and growth that circulates throughout those conversations.
3. Don’t be overwhelmed or have unrealistic expectations going into the conference. The reality is the expense can be massive and put you on stimulation overload real quick. Don’t let it overwhelm you or frustrate you. Stay relaxed and trust that an open-mind, open-heart approach will attract the right people and the right nugget (or two) that you can you can build upon after the conference. Radiate an awesome vibe and have fun!
I am looking forward to Marquee 2022! KC is doing an awesome job with this conference and it is for sure one you should plan to attend. If you attend in 2022 and need a “sponsor”, get in touch with me. I will be happy to help you out and make sure you are on the right path to maximize the experience. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect.
Next year’s Marquee Show is set for June 14-16, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg Hotel, 15 minutes northwest of Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Stay tuned for NAME Entertainers membership discounts!