While February is known as the month of love for most couples, to most DJs it’s known as the month of Mobile Beat Las Vegas (MBLV), an annual conference for wedding and mobile DJs attended by hundreds from all over the country and as far away as Australia and the UK. Just as the polar vortex was spinning over Colorado, I hopped a flight to sunny Sin City for a few days of education, networking, and watching folks sit for hours at slot machines. It ain’t called “Lost Wages” for nothing. I guess I shouldn’t talk…while I was there, I bet $10 my Colorado Rockies would win the World Series this year.
I’ve attended all 18 of these Mobile Beat conventions dating back to the mid-1990s. They started at the south end of the Strip at the Crowne Plaza, moved to Tropicana and every few years shifted to another old-school casino / hotel like the Stardust in 2005. For the last few years it’s been at the Riviera. Yes…that Riviera. If you notice, there is a theme here. This convention is usually at one of the low-to-mid range, smoke-encrusted, Sinatra / Rat Pack-era joints. It may be because most DJs are too cheap to spend more than $19 on a room, but I think it’s because most DJs revel in the fact that their room will be blown up within a few years when the hotel is imploded. If you doubt this, remember most DJs love to spend tons of money of lighting, special effects, and smoke machines. True to form, the Riviera was sold a few months ago, will close for good on May 4th, and will be a pile of rubble by year’s end.
Nonetheless, each year, for me it’s a no-brainer to attend. From new innovations in DJ technology, software, equipment, computers, and lighting, to marketing and hands-on performance workshops that focus on microphone technique, grand entrances, and personalization. Sharing new ideas with other DJs and simply catching up with friends that I haven’t seen in a while is a highlight for me and well worth the price of admission. OK, I’ll admit the nightlife in this town isn’t too bad either!
What I’ve found out over the years attending these conventions is that most DJs are…how should I say it…not the most health minded individuals on the planet. Remember, we rarely get a good night’s sleep on weekends, are given free unlimited Pepsi at the bar at our weddings, and usually make a gut busting fast-food stop on the way home. I’m as guilty of this as anybody. I wish I had a dollar for every time I stopped at a 7-11 on the way home from a wedding to get a 8-hour old hot dog with chili and cheese, box of Oreos, or an ice cream sandwich. I really should have stock in that company. To alleviate this, two DJs from New Jersey organize a morning run / workout each day of the conference. They start at the insane (for DJs at a conference in Las Vegas) time of 7AM. We may look like zombies when we start, but an hour later, we’re ready to take on a full day of networking and learning. Thank you Mike and Marcello.
As an added bonus this year, some of the workout crew made a trip out to Red Rock Canyon for some hiking and running on Day 2 of the conference after the morning presentations. This park, just a 30-minute drive west of Las Vegas at the base of the Spring Mountains, is incredible. Set aside as BLM land back in 1967, it has become one of the area’s top day-trip destinations with over a million visitors per year. There are miles of hiking trails, a 13-mile paved loop for driving and cycling, and world-famous rock climbing. This is a must-see for anyone looking to take a break from the smoke and slots of the Strip.
Stay tuned…next month we’ll be cruising the Caribbean!