Leading up to this year’s WMC, you couldn’t escape from the comments about how the WMC has lost its relevancy, how it’s too expensive, airlines double their price, hotels triple their price, etc. Most of the complainers are people who only see the WMC as a 10 day long party where you can get a chance to see some of your favorite Dj/Producers and take in some of the sights that South Beach has to offer. Honestly, I agree with most of the complaints that I hear about the WMC. That’s why I don’t view the WMC as a 24hr party that goes on for 10 days. Before the WMC got the reputation of being 10 days of 24hr partying, it was a conference where people shared information, experts spoke on their area of expertise and people would leave with fresh new ideas to take back to their hometown. This is how I view the WMC.
I am not interested in spending my afternoons at hotel lobby parties with Dj’s from up north where there are about 15 people looking at their phone, or spending a ton of cash to attend a pool party with a bunch of bikini chasing dudes who don’t even know who the Dj’s are. I spend my afternoons at the WMC attending hours worth of seminars on everything from Branding and Marketing to Mixing and Mastering. I’ve sat in seminars with legends like Nile Rogers (Daft Punk, Chic, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Duran Duran) and Grammy winning Producers like Dwayne Chin-Quee (Bruno Mars, Snoop, John Legend, Eminem) and Jimmy Douglas (Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Donnie Hathaway, Jay-Z, Bjork) I’ve attended remix seminars led by Danny Tenaglia, Eric Kupper, Andy Caldwell, Cevin Fisher to name a few. Gotten Social Media tips from the Editor of DjMag and listened to Joe Claussell, Todd Terry, Oscar G and Roger Sanchez talk about how they build and release energy in their dj sets.
Its in these seminars that true gems of knowledge are just handed over to you. You don’t even need to ask! Just sitting in these seminars will expose you to ideas and facts that you might have never thought of on your own. It will ignite your imagination to dream a little bigger because you have seen what’s possible. I think every single Dj/Producer who isn’t making enough money to support themselves should be attending these seminars.
Each year I am constantly amazed at the amount of Dj/Producers who are really trying their best to make inroads to a better place with their career and all they do is spend their time at daytime hotel lobby parties with the same people that they know from their hometown and miss out on all of the incredible knowledge that is offered to them just a few blocks down the street. Do they aspire to play for the same 15 people when they get their “Big Break” to play at the WMC? Maybe they think the networking possibilities of meeting people at those parties will advance their career, and it just might be true. But, you can network like that at night. Remember, it’s a convention….Learn during the day, and network at night.
If you are one of those people who are passing out your CD-R cd’s with hand writing on them and hanging out at those 15 people parties and not realizing that within a 5 minute walk, you could be absorbing knowledge from The Pros, tweaking your strategies and opening up your realm of possibilities to allow your dreams to become even bigger than they are now, I can’t help but think that when it comes to the WMC, you just might be doing it all wrong.