Yes, you read that right. Despite Marked Events announcing last year that BPM was officially over and being replaced with a slew of new shows (including one called Gig for our tribe), the BPM Show 2018 is ploughing ahead with new owners, and definitely taking it back to its mobile DJ roots. 

There is an unfortunate human story to tell that led to this happening. Mark Walsh, owner of Marked Events, had put plans in place to create four new shows — Gig, Worship, Club & Bar, and Live — each drilling down into particular markets that BPM and the associated PRO shows covered.

But sadly, despite Mark and his staff’s very best efforts, Marked Events was put into liquidation in June this year, leaving a large hole in the DJ trade show calendar.

This meant that the BPM ball was available for someone to pick up and run with it. And that person is Pete Williams from the Mobile DJ Network. Under Pete’s watch, the show is refining the last 12 years of hard work from Marked Events and creating a more focussed event. Think of it as a scaled down BPM with a mobile DJ focus. 

The venue has changed as well. Instead of the glitz, glamour and money-grabbing prices of the NEC, the new venue is Cranmore Park near Solihull. So it’s still the same area, but without the 15 minute hike from the car park to the event itself.

Obviously, Pete and his people haven’t exactly had long to get the new BPM organised, but a steady stream of industry names has been posted as they’ve signed up to the new show. The list is here, and as of right now, you can see that there’s a good range of familiar names, but is definitely missing some of the majors like inMusic’s roster of brands, Serato, NI, and others. This could be down to the timing — ADE is the week before, and likely to be of more interest to those names. 

The changing face of shows

Rather than adhering to trade show schedules, new gear tends to be announced whenever it’s ready. Thus we’ve seen everything before launch, which makes attending the shows less about gear, and more about people. I also suspect that some of those big names not currently down for exhibiting will still be pacing the hall carpet tiles anyway. 

My hope is that BPM adopts a more low-key approach. Here’s what I posted on their Facebook page when the new show was announced: 

And I have a feeling that this might, at least in part, be the new feel of the show. Once the big players can get past the need to get their metaphorical massive stand dicks out on the table and focus on why they’re there, they may well begin to get a more useful return on their investment.

They must all remember that it’s all about what the people want, and I’m quite sure that it’s not having higher retail prices to cover the cost of several lavish trade show builds that for the most part they can’t go to anyway. 

As I mentioned on Facebook, I see this as a great opportunity for smaller businesses to be seen and heard too. The DJ industry lacks the diversity of companies that there once were, leaving it in the hands of just a small number of large businesses.

We should be actively encouraging and supporting startups and small businesses, and having a cost-effective way to appear at a DJ show is an excellent way to do that.

SUMMING UP

BPM is back, with new owners, and a new outlook. This extends to ticket price too — a paltry £5 which gets you entry for both days of the show. It’ll be happening 20-21 October (that’s Saturday and Sunday) at Cranmore Park near Solihull. We’ll have more announcements as we get them.