The Best Music Conferences & Trade Shows for DJs
The Best Music Conferences & Trade Shows for DJs
If you’re a DJ or are in any way connected to music, networking is essential to progression in the industry. Many of our most successful DJ and music production course graduates frequent these conferences and trade shows and get their big break, the connection that kick-starts their DJ career.
Many lucrative business partnerships, collaborations and friendships have begun via networking - and a lot of them start at industry-wide trade shows and conferences. Here is our pick of the most essential ones to attend if you’d like to expand your network and further your DJ career.
p.s. don't forget the afterparties!
MUSIC CONFERENCES FOR DJs
ADE is known globally as one of electronic music’s most prolific events and is a firm favourite amongst the underground community. It’s known for drawing huge international crowds and hosting parties in some of Amsterdam’s most atmospheric and jaw-dropping venues. Not to mention the after-hours parties! Record labels regularly attend the event so It’s a great place to network by meeting other DJs and label affiliates. You could also attend one of the regular talks they host, which often discuss important issues in the industry.
Being one of the most impactful cities for modern music and culture, it’s important that London has a regular conference to reflect that. LMC is a yearly event that hosts talks, workshops, meet-ups and parties at the likes of Fabric and other famous London venues. You can expect the attendees to be a who’s-who of industry pros and artists spanning varying genres. If you’re London-based like London Sound Academy, then it’s the perfect event to attend to make connections in your city.
Miami is Internationally recognised as a notorious party city, and you can expect no different on Miami Music Week. If you can make the trip across the pond, you’ll find yourself amongst artists, labels, radio stations, entrepreneurs, tech companies, booking agents and more. Also under the umbrella of Miami Music Week is the Winter Music Conference, which has been in action since 1985 and showcases the best of music, education, technology and culture. If you’re a DJ or Producer based in Europe, it would be a great event to attend if you’re looking to expand your sound to reach the huge market that is North America.
Brighton Music Conference is the UK’s foremost electronic music event for networking and has just had its 9th year in May. There is a whole host of talks, seminars and workshops from successful industry leaders. The conference focuses on building a brighter future for the industry and encourages collaboration, critical thinking and all-around positivity! So If you’re an entrepreneur in the music industry or even a DJ who just has some bright ideas about the future of dance music, you’d be welcomed with open arms. Even if not, you can attend and do some lovely beach-side networking!
Renowned as one of the most iconic party islands in the world, it’s no surprise that Ibiza also has the music conference to match. The International Music Summit is a leading global voice in the business, culture and education in all things electronic music. It boasts 3 days of networking opportunities amongst the foremost creative thinkers in the sector. The summit focuses on problem-solving in a challenging industry climate but also focuses on health and wellbeing through yoga and meditation classes. There are also some incredible after-hours parties so if you’re an Ibiza fan, get yourself down and you may discover some lucrative opportunities.
The Electronic Sound Summit is hosted in Liverpool, one of the UK’s top cultural hubs. The event has emerged out of a thriving music scene and focuses on access, education and opportunity for all up-and-coming creatives in the scene. The Summit is still very new so its next edition in September 2022 would be a good time to hop on and start networking with other creatives who are new to the scene. It tends to attract very ambitious people so go in with the expectation that anything could happen!
One of the newest trends that birthed from Covid is the emergence of virtual events. Virtual Music Conference is the first online conference dedicated to electronic music. The event is powered by label powerhouse Toolroom, in partnership with Labelworx. The conference is dedicated to providing solutions to problems facing the music industry and offers webinars that can help viewers in developing practical skills for their own careers. Every session at the conference is recorded too so if you can’t attend live they have you covered. This event is perfect for networking internationally, and you can sign up for next year's event here
TRADE SHOWS FOR DJs
BPM is the UK’s largest DJ-related exhibition. The exhibition provides a platform for all things hardware and technology. So if you’re a tech nerd wanting to see the latest lighting rigs available for your club night, you can see them shine in a dedicated darkroom. Alternatively, if you’re looking for the latest sound design, you’ll have the chance to hear a multitude of sound systems in action, as if you were in a club. As an aspiring DJ or producer, it’s very helpful to attend these events so you can understand more about how much actually goes into creating a quality club experience. You might even meet your future sound engineer!
The DJ show is a fresh take on the DJ conference, designed to accommodate all levels of skill. There will be showcases spanning lighting & FX, Music Production, Sound design and many more. There is also a dedicated area for socialising and networking and with partnerships such as Pioneer DJ, Denon DJ, Yamaha and Laserworld to name a few, there will be plenty of people to meet no matter what your role is in the music industry. This would be a great entry-level conference for any DJ looking to make it big.
The National Association of Music Merchants, or NAMM for short, is a trade show based in California that was founded in 1901. Its mission is to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. Expect to witness the best in professional sound and live production, tied in with exhibits from many of the industry's leading partners. The industry wide trade show is open to the public on its last day, so if you get the opportunity, head on over and explore what NAMM has to offer.
Starting in Frankfurt as a simple meet-up for synth enthusiasts, Superbooth has evolved to a trade show dedicated to everything electronic music production. Manufacturers, producers, sponsors and hardware enthusiasts are all invited to attend amongst the public, giving everyone a chance to explore the vast world of synthesisers. If you’re a producer, Superbooth would be a great trade show to attend so you can understand more about the sonics behind hardware, and how you could potentially integrate them into your sound.
Chicago’s Marquee Show is a huge networking conference which primarily focuses on DJing & Photo Boothing. The show welcomes the public as well as industry professionals, lighting companies and other industry vendors. Hosting masterclasses spanning business, education, technology and more, the Marquee show is ideal for mobile DJs looking to explore how to better facilitate their touring careers.
If you’re an aspiring producer or DJ, It’s important to put yourself out there so you become visible to people who could potentially influence your career. If you’re making waves across radio, It’s also beneficial for industry heads to be able to put a face to the name! So travel when you can and attend trade shows, talks and workshops. Learn more about the technology behind the industry and never be afraid to get involved in the conversation. Personality and morals go a long way in the music industry, especially in electronic music which is inclusive to all. So be a courteous networker as you never know who may be listening!
If you would like to learn how to DJ or produce and join our supportive alumni community contact us for more information about our courses in London and online.