There were several different reasons why I decided to go:
Networking:?Over the years, I?ve gotten to know many fellow DJs & VJs & industry people in the online world, so I was looking forward to doing some networking and finally meeting many of them in person.
Bring your business cards, and carry them with you at all times, whether you?re at the conference where you might expect to meet people to network with or just walking down the street. While out and about we ran into legends like Crystal Waters and Ultra Nate. So, you never know who you might run into. One of my big takeaways from the week was how friendly everyone I met throughout the week was.
Music:?Of course I was expecting to hear lots of great music from all the best DJs in the world who would all be in town for the week.
Aside from the bigger events going on around town, most DJs have numerous gigs scheduled throughout the week. Make sure you look through the conference guide to see who?s performing when and where so you don?t miss your favorite DJs during the week. Without having to fight the big crowds at Ultra, I was able to catch Martin Garrix, Sander Van Dorn, DJ Riddler, Tommie Sunshine, Reid Stefan, Steve Aoki, Afrojack, the original DJs of Studio 54, Matthew Koma, Cedric Gervais, Audien, and so many others, live, throughout the week.
Also do some research and ask your fellow DJs and industry contacts prior to going to find out what kind of private events are going on that you could potentially be invited to attend.
Conference & expert panels:?With all the renowned music industry people in town, I was also anticipating some great panel discussions and learning from the best in the business.
I ended up attending about a handful or so of the panel discussions, and some were better than others. But there are a lot of expert panels during the week, so take a few minutes to check out which ones are on the schedule to find out if any of them are of interest to you.
The WMC pass I received at the conference I ended up using only once (outside of the conference center) to get into an event. Some of the bigger events that were supposed to give a discount to WMC badge holders did not, in fact, honor that discount.
Travel suggestions:?I would recommend booking your trip as early as you can. The closer you get, the more expensive everything will get. I used?airbnb.com?to reserve my accommodations for the week, and ended up renting a nice room for just a little under $80/night, compared to hotel rates that were in the $200-$300/night or more range. I?d also strongly recommend staying close to where you are planning to spend most of your time.
Overall, my first WMC was a great experience. I got to meet just about everyone I was hoping to, and then some. I heard lots of great music during the week, from classic disco at the Studio 54 night to the latest and greatest in EDM. My best advice if you?re thinking of going: make sure you know what you?d like to accomplish while there, and plan ahead. If you play your cards right you will have a great time without breaking the bank.