Photos by Ron Mungo
Atlantic City, N.J. — Now in its 30th year, DJ Expo showed its time-tested experience by delivering another winning trade show/exhibition at the East Coast gaming capitol. Held this past Aug. 12-15 at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, DJ Expo presented the DJ industry’s top combination of technology exhibits, educational seminars and sponsored parties.
Produced by DJ Times magazine and its publisher Testa Communications, DJ Expo filled the Harrah’s exhibit hall with nearly 100 brands working more than 150 exhibition booths. The show drew nearly 6,200 badgeholders (mobile/club DJs, remixer/producers and upstart/bedroom jocks), representing a 5-percent increase from the 2018 show. With its 34rd show since 1990, DJ Expo remains the industry’s longest-running and most-successful trade show/exhibition.
The Show: DJ Expo delivered a deep slate of exhibits, seminars and parties that enjoyed participation from exhibitor/sponsors like ADJ, American Music & Sound brands (including Allen & Heath), BASSBOSS, BPM Supreme, Bose, Chauvet DJ, D.A.S. Audio, Global Truss, inMusic Brands (Denon DJ, Rane, Numark), Mixware brands, Odyssey, Peavey, Photobooth Supply, Pioneer DJ, and RCF USA, among many others.
In addition to a schedule of topical seminars benefitting mobile, club and studio jocks, DJ Expo presented special keynotes from industry notables. To a packed house, turntable legend Z-Trip detailed his illustrious career, offered an informed tech talk and gave seasoned advice to upstarts. The following day, disco pioneer Nicky Siano recalled the genre’s early days in NYC with stories of his influential club The Gallery and the legendary Studio 54, plus his mentorships to future legends Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan.
DJ Expo’s always-entertaining evening events livened up a pair of venues inside Harrah’s (The Pool and Eden Lounge), plus another (Haven) at the nearby Golden Nugget. At parties sponsored by Chauvet DJ, RCF, Peavey, Bose, and Photobooth Supply, Expo attendees enjoyed performances by diverse talents like Mel Starr, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Skribble, Keith Shocklee, Velvet Code, DJ Throdown, Sussie 4, and Oscar Troya. On the Expo showfloor, attendees caught sets by Biz Markie, QBert, Pho, Pri yon Joni, GrandMixer DXT, Shani Barnett, DJ Sophia and more.
The Winners: On Aug. 14, Artem Lomaz of Ninety-Three Entertainment in Roxbury, N.J., won the “Entertainer of the Year” competition for the second consecutive year. Hosted at Haven nightclub in the Golden Nugget by Jake Jacobsen of Affair 2 Remember Entertainment, the annual event bestowed awards in a variety of categories to the best of America’s mobile entertainers. With the victory, Lomaz earned an impressive trophy, plus gear prizes from Chauvet DJ (FX Par 9 light) and RCF (a pair of HD-12-A MK4 active speakers). Cliff Masina of Everything Entertainment in Washington, D.C., was the competition’s runner-up.
Also, Christi Weitzel of Reading, Pa., won the Ultimate DJ Giveaway. The winning system included gear from the following sponsors: ADJ (Focus Spot One Moving heads and a myDMX Amigo software controller); Bose (S1 Pro loudspeaker); Global Truss America (GLO TOTEM truss kit); Mackie (a pair of DRM212 loudspeakers and DRM18S subwoofers); Photobooth Supply (Salsa photo-booth system); and Pioneer DJ (DJM-S9 mixer, PLX-1000 turntable, HDJ-X10-K headphones, and XPRS10 loudspeaker system).
The Reaction: “We were very pleased with Year 2 at Harrah’s,” said Jim Tremayne, Editor of DJ Times magazine and a show organizer. “As a host hotel, Harrah’s has it all, and we believe we gave exhibitors, attendees and the DJ industry another quality show. As always, the staff of DJ Expo and DJ Times thanks the exhibitors, sponsors, performers, panelists and attendees for their continued support. Additionally, it’s their dedication to the industry that makes DJ Expo possible and has helped the show continue to grow since its 1990 inception. Stay tuned for announcements early next year about DJ Expo 2020.”
Response from exhibitors and attendees was upbeat and effusive:
“The clientele for the 2019 DJ Expo was one of the best groups ever – hungry for real knowledge and willing to listen. As always, the networking was in high gear.”
– Randy White, Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, Wheaton, Md.
“Bigger and better this year, DJ Expo continues to help Pioneer DJ get up close and personal with the DJ community and allows us to effectively showcase our latest offerings, such as the DDJ-1000SRT controller, which was a big hit for us at the show.”
– David Arevalo, Pioneer DJ Americas, Torrance, CA
“The DJ Expo continues to be a focal point in my career development as a professional DJ for weddings and corporate events. This year, again, was no disappointment with a variety of seminars offered and the ability to speak with manufactures on the newest in DJ gear. What is most memorable for me about the DJ Expo is the ability to connect with other professionals, networking and sharing ideas to help me both professionally and personally.”
– Jerry Bazata, DJ Jaz Music & Entertainment, Ogunquit, ME
“This year was one of my best DJ Expo shows ever. We came with two full trucks and we sold almost 85-percent of the items we brought. The venue was great – easy to load-in, easy to load-out. I loved the location – it was great.”
– Gabriel Menashe, ProX Live Performance Gear, Bayonne, NJ
“It’s a testament to DJ Times – and how thorough their education tract is – that my favorite moment happened in a seminar. I got to hear [keynoter] Nicky Siano re-live the glory days of disco and how club DJing began back in the early ’70s in New York City. It was an absolute thrill to hear the true history of our industry from a man who was at the forefront.”
– Mike Walter, Elite Entertainment, Tinton Falls, NJ
“I’m so glad that my keynote was a success and people had great feedback. I’m glad we got to experience DJ Expo and connect with a lot of East Coast friends and colleagues. We would definitely love to come back another year!”
– DJ Z-Trip, Los Angeles
“The show was a big success and look forward to attending again next year.”
– Nicholas Hernandez, Mixware, Sun Valley, CA
“Yorkville Sound has been exhibiting at DJ Expo for many, many years, and this year’s show was the best ever. [Having a demo room] was the best thing we could have done. We were in control of our own sound levels and could easily have conversations with our customers. I can’t wait for next year’s show!”
– Steve Hendee, Yorkville Sound, Niagara Falls, NY
“We had a great time, as always, at the 2019 DJ Expo. It’s a lot of fun to be part of an event that is strictly focused on DJing – you get to learn about all the different businesses that orbit around the DJ world. The panel we spoke on was very diverse, and it’s refreshing to bounce ideas around, and hear about the experiences and perspectives that industry veterans and newcomers alike can offer. Plus, it was fun to answer questions and interact with the attendees who participated and were looking for advice.”
– Sleepy & Boo, Basic NYC, Jersey City, NJ
“Nothing has been lost with age when it comes to DJ Expo 2019. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Celebrating 30 years of Expo with old and new friends and getting my hands on the latest equipment is always a highlight of my summer. Plus, the opportunities to win free gear are everywhere!”
– Howard Kessler, HK in the Mix, Minneapolis, MN
“I was honored to be asked to participate on the ‘Remixers, Productions & Mixshows’ panel with some very talented and bright people in the dance-music industry. As for exhibits, walking into the BassBoss room was something out of this world! The Pioneer DJ booth was jam-packed and full of energy! I’ve never felt anything like it!”
– Velvet Code, AMG/Sony Music artist, Toronto, ON
“The showfloor traffic this year was pretty darn good.”
– Frank Luppino, Blizzard Lighting, Waukesha, WI
“We’ve been attending the DJ Expo for the last several years and have always loved the educational and networking platform it gives to everyone in our DJ community. DJ Times consistently puts on a great show year after year and we’re grateful that we get to be a part of it. As seminar presenters, we not only got to share some knowledge with other professionals, but also had the chance to meet and learn a ton from some great people in our industry… and that’s what it’s all about!”
– Tom Gambuzza, Elegant Music Group, Montclair, NJ