WMC 2013: Advice from the Beachmonkey

It’s time again for the Winter Music Conference 2013, Friday March 15 until Sunday March 24, in Miami, Florida. Sounds great to those who have never been, but it is also a bit overwhelming: 10 days off work in Miami with hundreds of parties is a rent-breaker.

But for those who love electronic dance music (EDM), especially DJs, singers, and anyone aspiring for a job in the business of getting down, WMC is more than just an insanely good time with corresponding loss of revenue. It is the chance to make connections that could pay off down the road.

Our own Mike “Beachmonkey” Luczaj is a photographer and social media wizard who began his career by attending WMC in 2005 with a cheap camera, shoestring budget and a lot of chutzpah. Since then, he has updated his equipment, gained renown for his skills as a photographer, created this website and built a strong base of support among WMC staff and attendees.

Mike’s recommendations in this article are mainly for DJs, singers and budding promoters who are big on ambition but short on cash. Access to WMC events depends on two things: money and connections. First timers of a low budget can attend all kinds of free events at boutique hotels, and staying for only a portion of the 10-day conference. Those with more connections and income can invest in a WMC badge and attend the forums during the day. These forums feature some of the top movers and shakers in the business.

The goal for aspiring talent should be to one day perform or promote at WMC, even if it is in a tiny venue and only a few people attend. Just having a name on the official roster is a good career move. There is magic in the words, “I was a part of WMC.”

Low budget:

Get there by at least Thursday and leave Sunday

Skip all the giant parties (you are on a budget)

Go to all the small free hotel parties

Network like crazy with all the DJs and promoters

Set up yourself for next year

Medium Budget:

Get WMC Badge

Go to all the forums

Enter scratch/spin-off (DJs)

Try to spin/sing at an event (doesn’t matter how big, just spin)

Go to all the small/medium size parties

Skip the mega-parties (you are there to work, not party)

Network like crazy

High Budget:

Get WMC Badge

Attend all forum

Attend IDMA (International Dance Music Awards)

Throw your own party

Network like crazy

Limit the amount of large parties you attend (you don’t want to wear yourself out)

Hit all the medium/small parties to meet as many people as you can

Go the whole 10 days

Reasons to attend:

1. Support the industry you love

2. Hear different genres of EDM music

3. Network and get exposure

4. Learn to better market yourself

Stats:

18% of attendees are DJs/Artists

15% are record labels

13% are Press and Media

7% are Event/Concert promoters

5% are Venue/Club owners

*From the WMC media kit.

More Stories
Imagine Music Festival 2014 hosted by The Iris