Scott Faver opens the CDJ Show!

With his popular, likeable and well known high energy, Scott Faver opened up the May 2014 edition of the CDJ Show in Calgary, Alberta this morning!

Scott Faver at CDJ Show May 2014

Scott’s presentation “Promotion is not Devotion” spoke at length about methods through which he “promotes” his name and his company. “Promotion” though, as he sees it, isn’t exactly what you might think in this case. Through an unparalleled devotion to his clients, Scott demonstrated how he stays top of mind with not only clients, but past clients, wedding vendors, etc. In order to accomplish this, Scott insists that proper and real relationships must take place before, during and after any event. This translates, when done efficiently, to a service that requires little to no advertising which is what Scott has enjoyed for many years.

As it seems to have been a common thread in materials that I’ve been reading and listening to over the last few weeks, something else Scott also shared really stood out to me, “If you are everything to everyone, you are nothing to all. FOCUS.”

Wes Straub at CDJ Show May 2014

Later that morning, Wes Straub, DJ and Website designer, spoke under the seminar heading “Power up Your Brand and Business”. Wes’s DJ background has taken him all over the map from clubs in North America to across the Atlantic in Ibiza. He also currently works as a user experience, interaction and graphic designer, technical development and project manager for Inspire Studios Inc.

The information and presentation Wes shared on creating an online presence for you and your brand was very well polished and delivered in a manner that was engaging and easily understood for even the most novice marketing individual. When discussing your brand and the idea of taking it online, his approach to that conversation requires answers to 2 very specific things about you and your business. Before you go online… define who your customers are and define who you are. All you’ll do is waste your time and everyone else’s time if you go online before defining both of those things.

I’ll also share 4 rules here that Wes gave us for creating and maintaining meaningful online content:

#1 Less noise, more voice. Be human online and make it count.
#2 It’s for your audience, not the entire world. You know who your audience is right?
#3 Be original, be unique, be inspiring. Create conversation, whether it’s about what you actually do or not.
#4 Audience first, SEO second. Search Engine Optimization is important, but never forget that your content needs to be written for your audience first.

Near the end of his presentation, Wes brought up a topic that I’ve written briefly on before and am very passionate about: How you represent yourself in every public face is your brand. Your brand is everything you do. Your brand is you.

That sums up this write up for the May 2014 edition of the CDJ Show in Calgary. If all goes according to plan, I’ll put together one more write up tomorrow.

Now… to go and find some sleep…

~ Dave T.

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Learning? Pff! Who needs it?!

Much will be said about two things on this blog… My passion for continuing education and my love for some really great and inspirational people outside of the DJ world.

I hope that by introducing you to the people that have so inspired me (from outside our direct industry), you might also be inspired by them in some way. Today, I introduce the first of those people to you due to some of the words in her blog this week.

I had the pleasure of witnessing Liene (pronounced Lynn) speak at the 2013 Business of Weddings conference in Toronto. Prior to that, I had followed her blog, Think Splendid for a couple of years and was often invigorated and inspired by what she wrote.

Liene is also the source of some great wedding market statistics if you’d like to learn more about current wedding purchasing trends. That information is available through her Splendid Insights which are collected, assembled and released annually. Much can be learned in those reports such as, “When hiring wedding professionals, how important is their personality in your decision making process”. 65% of couples reported that being VERY IMPORTANT in the 2013 global report.

I highlight Liene and her work today because of what she wrote this week and how it ties into plans I have this coming weekend to attend the May 2014 edition of the CDJ Show in Calgary, Alberta (from which I plan to write one or two segments on). In addition to networking with fellow DJs, I go to learn and also to unlearn. From a post titled “A Not-So-Secret Secret” Liene writes:

“The people who commit to constantly learning, unlearning and who check their bias and ego at the door are the ones who will succeed.”

I couldn’t agree more.

See you in Calgary?

For more great words of wisdom from Liene, see her short and simple write up from this past Monday called “Successful Storytelling”.

~ DT

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All content is © Dave Ternier but sharing of blog content online (Facebook, chat groups, etc.) is strongly encouraged provided the following two conditions are met: 1) Direct URL to the blog post must be shared and any part of blog quoted must be attributed to Dave Ternier or aDJthought.com and 2) Copying and pasting an entire blog post in it’s entirety is not permissible, but if quoting, please quote no more then 1 – 2 paragraphs.

All content of aDJthought.com may be available for reproduction for commercial purposes (print, website, email newsletter, etc.) but a request must be filed to receive approval for such use. Thanks!

Mobile Beat 2014 re-cap

The Mobile Beat conference in Las Vegas has once again come and gone. This was my 4th consecutive year attending and the overall experience once again met, and at times exceeded, my expectations.

As you’ll come to learn by reading what I write, there are many layers of satisfaction that can be found by attending any training, networking or conferences. Mobile Beat is no exception to that. What the conference itself might lack, is more then made up for in the after hours dinners and conversations between DJs that take place. Some of the highlights of the conference itself were presentations on personality types, lighting design, personal growth and wedding performance critique.

Vickie Musni’s presentation “Speaking Her Language: The 4 Dialects of Speaking Bride“ was incredibly insightful. Vickie’s insight into the 4 basic different personality types and how to use that information to better communicate with prospective brides & grooms was spot on. I’m really looking forward to having better conversations with those that I speak with as a result of this seminar. Of course this won’t only help when dialoguing with just brides & grooms, but also DJ colleagues, friends, family and yes… even my wife!

Producer of the 1% Solution DVD series, Randy Bartlett, gave a very honest critique of much of what holds wedding DJs and truly entrepreneurs of all types back. His presentation “7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Wedding DJs” was delivered with Randy’s signature humour, honesty and straight up great advice. One very memorable line from the presentation was “When we believe our own hype, we cease to move forward.” A fantastic challenge Randy offered in order to encourage personal performance growth was “Try to do one NEW thing at EVERY event… at EVERY EVENT.” This should — in theory — be easy to do as I came home with countless new ideas that I can’t wait to implement at the next wedding I’m a part of. In practise of course, it will be much more difficult. It’s so easy for us to slip into “routine”.

The most powerful and dynamic speaker (that I’ve ever, ever seen!) was Bryan Dodge. His presentation “How to Build a Better You” was over-the-top incredible. The inspiration he filled the room with was so infectious it’s impossible to describe. I’ll simply say that in one moment he had us laughing hysterically and 30 seconds later we’d all been moved nearly to tears. His speaking ability was truly amazing. And to think he had everyone glued to him for over an hour and a half without using a PowerPoint or a single sheet of notes! His presentation alone was worth the price of conference admission.

The morning breakfasts were of course very insightful (for a variety of reasons!) and the night after night dinners with DJ colleagues from around the world payed off in spades. I was truly lucky to have my wife Kathryn attend the entire conference with me for the very first time as well.

Lastly… Chauvet DJ planned their own educational seminars to take place alongside Mobile Beat in one of the Riviera Skyboxes. Of the seminars they hosted, “Wedding Lighting Tips and Techniques” by Jeremy Brech & “1% Solution” by Randy Bartlett were two of my favourites. Compliments of Chauvet DJ and Disc Jockey News TV, you can actually watch everything Chauvet DJ hosted by clicking here!

To sum up… the trip was well worth it. As with any conference though, what you get out depends entirely on how much you put in. There is usually very little downtime for me while attending any conference. Every moment of every day is spent visiting, networking, learning and building with colleagues, both new and old. I have so much more to learn.

While I might be attending the ARMDJs conference in Tennessee this coming June, I am really looking forward to the Las Vegas DJ Show in September. Over the last few years, their content has been truly exceptional (many say the best) and I can’t wait to experience what the 2014 edition is going to bring.

Chat soon and as always, call or email with feedback or questions about anything anytime.

As originally written for the CPDJA via their weekly memo to their membership in February, 2014

Searching outside for inspiration

If you want to experience growth unique to your peers, search outside our immediate industry for inspiration.

Sean Low’s blog post from yesterday shared the following (among many other wise words):

“What you do from the moment a client contacts you until the project is finished matters. Everything from how you answer the phone, to what your contract says, to how you set your deliverable schedule. Details, details, details. Why? To identify each moment for what it is and to let your client know the value they are receiving for that moment. Too many creative business owners think process is about figuring out how to get to the end. It is not.”

It would seem like I’m a paid spokesman (I’m not) but the opportunity to listen to Sean speak is coming right to your front door (if you live out East, Toronto). The early bird deadline is coming up on September 15th for The Business of Weddings. This is your chance to save yourself a hundred bucks! Save that $100 so that we can all head out to dinner on the Sunday night!

If you want to experience growth unique to your peers, search outside our immediate industry for inspiration.

Written as originally posted to the CPDJA online Facebook group on September 10, 2013.

The biggest influences in 3 (short) years of my life.

This was originally written November 27, 2013 on my Facebook page.  I share it here as a resource to those that might want to know who’ve been the greatest influences to me. Those who’ve taught & inspired me so much. They are many… get ready…

Yesterday excitedly marked the turning of another new page for my adventures with Special Request Weddings.

When I first attended the Mobile Beat DJ Show in Las Vegas back in February 2011, I found myself sitting in an “open house” for the WED Guild®. Not having any idea what it was about, I arrived with an open mind and listened to this guy named Peter Merry talk about… I honestly can’t remember what. What I do remember though, was looking at this “application” that was required if you wanted to earn the title Wedding Entertainment Director®. I felt like a complete rookie. I didn’t manage my business or events with anywhere near the detail or talent level they required. This was going to be a challenge.

After spending an incredible amount of time asking people for reference letters, writing essays, preparing agendas, preparing video footage, fine tuning direction checklists, etc, etc, etc, etc… I am proud to announce, that I now join the amazing family of talented and unique individuals that make up the Wedding Entertainment Directors Guild®! There are now two of us in Canada (Alex in Victoria, myself here in Manitoba), one amazingly talented individual in Australia and the remainder are in the United States.

This is my “Academy Awards” speech because there are some really amazing people out there who’ve given much of their time, talents, patience and determination to me in accomplishing this goal. This is something that can not be attained without a proper support network. Many people played a part, but these are who I’d like to highlight today. And don’t bother cueing up the “walk off music”… you’re going to be here for a while (if for some reason you choose to read right to the end!).

#1… My wife. God only knows that Kathryn is one of the most patient people in this world. I spend far to much time working, in part, because it is also my hobby and something that gives me so much joy. She understands what my goals are and that I am getting closer and closer to reaching them every day. I can not thank her enough.

Kathryn, the beautiful little ladies that we’re raising under our roof together are evidence enough, even though some days it might appear otherwise, that we’re doing something right. Thank you for making the decisions that have brought us to where we are in life. I love you so much dear.

Peter Merry is the founder of the WED Guild® and I think it goes without saying that were it not for what this man has given up in life to make this happen, I might not have ever pushed my work to these new heights. This work that my wedding couples now get to experience the benefit of. Thank you Peter for your insights and knowledge throughout the time we’ve gotten to know each other. I sincerely appreciate our friendship.

Thanking people like Mark & Rebecca Ferrell in a Facebook post just doesn’t seem to be the right thing to do. No one on this earth has had a more positive impact on DJs (and subsequently the people who employ those DJs) then these two people. The passion that lives within the Dreamer (and now also a condo somewhere in the mountains of California) never lets up. It is infectious. It is contagious. It is life giving. Thank you both so very much. You mean so incredibly much to me.

The two people who’ve pushed, prodded, kicked (that one was probably actually Glenn’s wife Miranda), encouraged and never let me rest when it came to putting together my application are Wedding Entertainment Directors®, Jeremy Brech & Glenn Mackay. Jeremy was my official mentor through this application process and was invaluable when it came to my making the most of my final submission. Glenn as well, a colleague who became Australia’s first Wedding Entertainment Director® earlier this year, has become an outstanding friend over the last year and a half and shared insight into the application process was extremely beneficial. Thank you gentlemen. Your wedding couples are very fortunate to be working with you both.

Those who know me in the wedding MC & DJ world will know that I am unrelenting when it comes to encouraging others to attend training and the value of networking. Needless to say, I walk the walk in that regard. Many thanks to Bill HermannJason A. JonesElisabeth Scott Daley and of course, Mark, Rebecca & Peter who’ve helped to inspire me along the way (although I do have sooooooooo much further to go!). There are many others as well, that have impacted what I do in ways they might not quite fully understand. A few of those people would be JimMarie-Louise Ternier (my amazing parents), Erik & Margareth Gommers (an Aunt & Uncle from the Netherlands/Portugal who are 100% responsible for my getting started in this business), Jesh De RoxDavid LouisEd Spencer, and fellow Wedding Entertainment Directors®, Alex Tamas, Mitch TaylorJim Cerone & Randy Bartlett.

The support I also received from some of the amazing wedding vendors I’ve worked with was quite honestly overwhelming. As I called each of these people, telling them about the WED Guild®, what it was about and what was required of me, they were ALL in. Each and every one of them. Without question. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. Your letters of reference each played an important part in this application. These are the companies and/or the people who answered my call and wrote letters of support, based on the experience we’ve had working together: Party Professionals, Studio 78, Sterling Images, It’s A Love Thing Photography, A Moving Pictures Studio, Amanda Hayward-Draper, Thelma Quinn & Pam Moffat.

Then there are the wedding couples that gave up serious time and put in a lot of effort to write detailed letters of reference that at times, took my breathe away. Alyssa & Kyle, Ashley & Jon, Brittany & Kyle, Cathy & Scott, Jenna & Brad, Jillian & Mike, Kim & Laurie and Mike & Ashleigh… I’m so grateful that somehow our paths decided to cross each others and that you decided to each include me in your amazingly beautiful wedding celebrations. I can’t wait to thank each of you personally for the assistance your letters gave to my application. Special mention was made by my membership committee on the quality of letters that you submitted. Thank you!

If you’ve seriously come this far into this speech… you also deserve a special thanks. For taking the time out of your day, this November 27th or 28th or whenever you read this down the road. I know you could have spent your time far more productively, but it makes me smile to know you cared enough to read this much of what I wrote.

Then there is Bryan Podworny. The man who gives so much. Loves so much. Works so hard. I will never have the ability (but I’m certainly going to be doubling my efforts) to repay him for the impact he’s had on me, my business and my family. It’s entirely because of him, at a DJ meeting in Winnipeg where we first met, that my mind was opened up to the possibility of a DJ caring more then to simply show up, play music and go home. The many hours (quite often late at night, thanks to our patient wives) we’ve spent working together either in person or over the phone in our respective offices have flown by. Time disappears so rapidly when we’re working together. New projects, how we’re each doing things, brainstorming ideas for our couple’s weddings, fine tuning details for a Groom’s Workshop, etc. It’s because of him, that I was introduced to so many things that ended up being the seeds for some of the biggest changes in my life. Thank you my friend, for everything. You are a gift to the wedding couples who choose to work with you. They’re lucky, but not quite as lucky as I’ve been.  Upward and onward… looking forward to the many adventures that lie ahead of us. I know there will be many.

Cheers to everyone who got this far into my text! Put a (smiley face) or “I’m tired now, but congrats!” in the comments below if you actually read this!

You rock.

Seriously.

Thanks for being a friend!

– Dave Ternier :: Master of Ceremonies :: Disc Jockey
– Wedding Entertainment Director®
– Special Request Weddings

— feeling accomplished.