Flashback to last year at this time: I was setting up my DJ equipment in my kitchen, and instructing my kids to throw broccoli and laffy taffy at each other while I transitioned between Migos and D4L.

This year is incredibly different (thank goodness). Instead of attempting to transform my kitchen into a DJ studio for humorous video post purposes, I’m cleaning my kitchen and meal prepping for next week, when I will be out of town for MidWest DJs Live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

            It is my firm belief that conferences wake you up from the monotonous day to day of being a DJ and owning a business. It’s like a slap in the face that you wanted,  or a swift pat on the butt from your high school coach as they yell “GO GET ‘EM, McKelvey!” At first you might be startled, but you realize quickly it’s what needed to happen. For the record, neither has ever happened to me, but it sounds good, right?

            Maybe I’m biased, because I’ve had the honor of performing at a few conferences. No wait, there was that one conference I attended and didn’t perform, actually I ended up in the ER for numerous reasons I won’t reveal, (think antibiotics mixed with lack of sleep, travel fatigue, altitude change, and a girl who does NOT drink enough water) but I still walked away feeling full of passion and pursuit.

Basically what I’m saying is get your ass to a DJ conference, like, now

Humans need connection. As DJs, we often crave that. Even if you’re an introvert, I promise it’s good for your soul.

Here’s why you should plan to attend a DJ conference, in a top ten list style.

10. There’s a DJ Toy Store at your fingertips

All of the latest gear, planning apps, and more, are right there on the expo floor. Get your hands on what you typically google and talk to the reps. Plus, MEGA deals!

9. Fill Your Cup .

No, I’m not talking about your party glass, although that’s there for you if it is your thing. In order to provide at your highest good for others, you need to make sure you are full. The energy of a conference fuels you up and promotes mental health.

8. Professional Development

Learn ,learn, and then learn some more. You pick and choose what seminars to attend, where your brain is saturated with content relevant to the times and industry.

7. No New Friends

If you’re like me, you have industry friends across the nation. Social media is great, but there’s nothing like catching up in person. Nurture your existing relationships!

6. Yes New Friends

This is by far one of my favorite points. I’ve met some of my best friends and closest colleagues at conferences. The networking in between seminars and at the evening activities is invaluable.

5. Because traveling is fun

Enough said.

4. An excuse not to cook

Another perk of traveling, am I right?

3. Get back to the classroom

I know I already mentioned Professional Development, but this is different. Growing up, learning was our job. But as adults, that’s changed. We must remain in the mindset that education is power and continue with industry related education. 

2. Raise your rates

Every time I attend a conference, I become better at what I do, so I give myself a raise.

  1. Because you need human interaction

Let’s face it. 2020 was HARD. And finally, life is coming back around to what we (sort of) knew before. WE NEED CONNECTION! Awake your soul with a DJ conference and I promise you, it will be worth the investment and planning.

There it is, my lovely readers- my reasons you should attend a conference, like, now.

Now what are your options?

Check it out!

DJ Conferences happening this year, and every year:

1. Midwest DJs Live

April 25th-April 28th  Milwaukee, WI

In person tickets sold out, but virtual is available.

2. The Marquee Show

June 22nd-24th Chicago, IL

3. The DJ Expo

August 9th-11th Atlantic City, NJ

4. MWE-OKC Wedding Pro Conference  (NEW to the industry!)

August 17th-18th Oklahoma City, OK

5. The DJ Collective

November 16th-18th Scottsdale, Arizona

Sold out, waitlist open

6. ArmDJs

November 2nd-5th Greeneville, TN

Mobile Entertaiment Expo (formally Mobile Beat)

February 21st-24th, 2022

(Also happening along with The Photo Booth Expo)


  • mm

    Jessica McKelvey, “DJ Jess”, is an intuitive and energetic DJ from Pittsburgh, PA. She specializes in weddings, unique corporate, and women’s themed events. DJ Jess has performed all across the nation, from Las Vegas to Atlantic City. She was recently named Pittsburgh's Best Wedding DJ, speaks on a monthly panel with QSC called “Play Out Loud At Home”, and co-hosts a Clubhouse club “Wedding and Event DJ’s”. She lives outside of the city with her husband, two little boys, and their assortment of pets. When she’s not curating the vibe, DJ Jess loves to spend time in nature, traveling, and decorating any space that she can. To learn more about DJ Jess, follow her on Instagram-

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