I recently returned from one of my favorite cities in the U.S., Chicago. I was there for the very first, dare I say inaugural, Marquee Show DJ and Photo Booth Conference. This show was put on by a Chicago resident who not only is a DJ and MC, but also produces 15+ wedding shows a year in the area: KC Kokoruz. KC did a great job of pulling in a new and unique set of speakers and seminars for this show. Rather than go through each of the seminars as I did on a recent PhDJ Podcast episode, I’m going to pull out couple of highlights for you and share
a few of my personal notes for those of you that didn’t make it this year.
To begin, let me mention that on each day a different DJ was on stage playing different types of music. They were rocking on the http://www.visiondjdesigns. com booth (see what I did there?). KC and Jazmine Gonzalez, another Chicago native, did a great job of
MCing and keeping it moving.
The show started out with Michael Cerbelli, a high-end event producer from NYC. I had never seen Mr. Cerbelli speak but had heard about his “Hot List” seminar before. If you haven’t seen it, try and catch him somewhere. This is a great look into the future of what’s coming and what’s hot. Several things were presented that were just too outrageous for me even to fathom, but I did write down a couple of things. If
you are looking for a quick and easy step and repeat for an event, visit http://www.stepandrepeatLA.com. If you don’t know what a step and repeat is, it’s the backdrop you see -usually repeating logos, at red carpet events behind the celebrities as they arrive and get their photo taken.
If anyone follows me on social media, you know I love to go down to South Carolina and get the good illegal fireworks. The company http://
www.vividfireworksbox.com has taken it next level though! They prepare the entire show in a box for you and even handle permitting and such.
Bernadette Smith spoke about DJing same-sex events. A lot of what she talked about we are already doing -making sure your planners don’t just say “bride and groom,” making sure you’re marketing has photos of same-sex couples, etc. However, if you are a Wedding Wire user, you might want to check your dashboard. Make sure that you have “LGBTQ Friendly” checked. In addition, you can have a different profile image there, so obviously, feature a same-sex couple!
Eric Wenning of Wenning Branding spoke about the importance of Facebook and Instagram advertising. He was hosting a private workshop that I wasn’t able to make, but you should definitely look him up if you are wanting someone that can handle a campaign for you.
Chris Meyer of The Brand Booth gave a great talk on how he expanded his photo booth company to literally all over the country. He is not a DJ which makes this even more interesting in that he isn’t pulling from an already existing fan base. He grew his company by shipping photo booths just about anywhere. Definitely check him out if you’re seeking help building your booth business.
Brian Buonassissi delivered yet again. He does a ton of high end and destination events and gave a few tips on how he keeps getting referrals from some of the biggest event planners in the world. He kept telling us that he hears, “You thought of everything!” all the time. I honestly think that should have been the title of his seminar. One example of going the extra mile is that his DJs give out cold branded towels to guests at the wedding ceremonies they do in Florida. If I was a guest there, I would hug them!
Alan Berg gave two great seminars-”Why Don’t They Call Me” and “How to Succeed at Wedding Shows.” Alan is the man. If you have never seen him speak, get yourself to a Wedding Wire conference or Wedding MBA ASAP! I think my favorite takeaways were from his wedding show talk. One of my favorite points he made was to prepare your follow up emails BEFORE you even get the mailing list from the show producer. That way, as soon as you get it, your email is the first one to the couples!
Other notable speakers were Adam Weitz who spoke about the importance of adding live music to your roster to book. Adam came out singing, and that dude can rip it! Steve Bowen made the trip to Chitown all the way from Australia! He did some interactive things, and everyone ended up with a mini boomerang at the end. John Murphy that started Star Entertainment where my PhDJ partner Mike Walter got his start, gave a great talk about the importance of taking care of yourself. He showed an old Star Entertainment group photo noting that 5 of the people had passed away in their fifties! That woke the crowd up for sure!
KC is already selling passes (at a great price I might add) for 2019, so do yourself a favor and grab one before they go up! I’m sure he is going to have another great lineup next year. http://www.marqueeshow.com