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Mobile Beat Show Review



Mobile Beat Show
Las Vegas January 13-15

Sid Vanderpool





Ed & Tony


Ryan Burger

Taking a back seat at the latest Mobile Beat Show in Las Vegas gave me a different perspective on exactly what is driving our growing industry; it is the same thing that has been keeping it alive and well for the past few decades... money. Mobile Beat has been putting thousands of dollars into improving their show for quite some time, and over the years it has turned into a force to be reckoned with in the DJ show circuit. I was told that Mike Bonocursso, Mobile Beat show producer, has even sent himself back to school to learn how to make things even better. This dedication to the DJ shows is one to be commended and can only mean Mobile Beat will continue to have successful shows like the Vegas show in the future.

I saw quite a few new faces at this show and can only think that most of the veteran DJs have graduated from doing shows and moved to the next level; face it, you can only learn so much at these things. I was informed by many regulars that this years seminars were very "DJ 101", but considering over 50% of the crowd came across as newbe DJs, the seminars served them well. The creativity of the seminar speakers came out when the hotel PA system went on the fritz numerous times. Most of the seminars were conducted by DJs from around the United States, however, some were even from other countries. Being a veteran of DJ shows (going back to the very first DJ Times show), I found it a real kick in the butt watching the face of a newbe DJ lightup when they were informed by one of the speakers that they too can get more than $150 for a wedding just by asking.

From dusk to dawn, DJs networked in the halls, hotel rooms, lounges, and casinos. Networking is always "envogue" at these shows, and the Las Vegas show wasn't much different. I myself always seem to learn more in the halls than I do at the seminars, but I am a fidget and can't sit still for long. I remember last year when I met some very distraught DJs in the halls from Kentucky. (They brought in their complete crew for the show and were disappointed in what they had learned so far.) I informed them that you really only get out of DJ Shows what you want, and continued to explain that they might try networking in the halls. Later they thanked me.

This years exhibit hall was huge! It was large enough for Crown to drive their semi-truck into and park it. The loud and quiet rooms were combined this year, only divided by a large picnic area about the size of half a football field. I saw just a few DJs use the picnic area at any one time and would like to see a stage set up in this area for DJs to possibly teach different dances and DJ schtick. This would give the Lisa Capitenellis and the Toni Medicas of our industry a place to teach that isn't hampered by crowds of people at their booths and in the aisles. Most of the regular vendors were on hand, including a few new ones, such as Tubeworks and Synth-a-beams.

Moving on to the parties, I thought the opening badge pickup party was a great idea, but it needs to be refined and scripted better. The party on the second night had one of the largest crowds and came complete with a huge spread of buffet style food. The only downfall of this party was the setup, as Lynton Harris from Madison Scare Gardens mentioned in his opening comments during his seminar the next day, "The room could have been setup better with the stage centered on a long wall instead of at the end of the room." Even though I was not there that night, I was informed that the Studio 54 party kicked. It was one of those parties where it seemed 8 out of 10 DJs got plastered; some even started removing their underwear.

Ken Knotts came through with a grand production for the Fourth Annual American Disc Jockey Awards. It was like being a part of the Emmys or the MTV music awards. Two 15' projection screens flanked the stage and the best sounding audio system at the show was set up. Gary Kassor was wonderful and witty as the emcee and Ray Marintez brought down the house with a tribute to Frank Sinatra. Next year, I would like to see more DJs support this worthy function, and yes, I was the one crying on stage. Thank you Ken. For more information, see our review on the awards show here.

Next shows in line are the CANAM Segue show March 31 - April 3, the Mid-America DJ Show on June 7-9, the Mobile Beat East Show June 28-30, and the DJTimes DJ Expo August



  1. Better Organization

    Things seemed to flow better this year. The layout was cleaner and you could find things easier.

  2. Larger Exhibit Hall

    The hall was huge. It gave an airy feeling to the exhibits and it has plenty of room to grow.

  3. Keynote Speakers

    Top quality and very hip. I especially liked Lynton Harris.

  4. Early Badge Pickup

    This was a plus. You could not only pickup your badges in the afternoon, but also at a party that night.

  5. Inexpensive Travel

    It was $260 round trip for the three of us. Only $59 a night for the room.

  6. The People

    No matter how bad a show seems to be, the people always make it great. The networking I did was priceless.

  7. Las Vegas Location

    This has always been one of my favorite places to go and play; so much to see and do. Vegas is a great place for a writeoff vacation.

  8. DJ Awards Show

    Ken Knotts puts on a class production and it gets better each year. I hope that those that attended the 1998 show and refused to even consider this years show would give him another chance next year.

  1. Staff Attitudes

    There seemed to be a "tense" feeling emanating from some of the staff this year and they seemed a lot less approachable.

  2. Picnic Area

    Chop it in half and put in a stage area for those that want to teach and learn.

  3. 101 Style Seminars

    I would like to see more advanced seminars for us old folks.

  4. Scheduling

    Having the show on a Wednesday through Friday was awkward. Most DJs had to work that weekend.

  5. PA System

    Really need help here. Wireless mics and a multi phased sound system would be nice.

  6. Party Set-up

    Having people on chairs trying to learn dances was a real liability. Next year maybe take the advice of Lyndon Harris and place the stage differently.

  7. No Video Policy

    For those multi-system operators out there that wanted to take back new ideas to their employees who have other jobs or could not attend, they were completely out of luck. I was told MB had a staff videographer and last year "bootlegs" of videos from the show were being sold. I for one never saw any "bootlegs" and believe by the time the official MB Show video hits the streets, it will be old news.


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