Grace Under Pressure: Robbie Britton Impresses at ArmDjs 4.0

R.I.P Mr. Squirrel

Conference Producer- Robbie Britton

If you’re in the middle of producing a jammed packed two-day business conference and a curious squirrel somehow finds its way inside the hotel’s transformer- which subsequently blows up the transformer, causes the entire hotel to lose power- and obviously sends the little varmint to an early grave…. what would you do?      Some people would panic, some would start to make excuses and then some people, like Robbie Britton, would keep their cool, inform the attendees of the back-up plans, and then proceed to get a generator from their personal work vehicle to restore power to the essential audio/visual components within the hour.

As luck would have it, seasoned professional speaker, Rick Brewer, was on stage when the outage occurred.  Without skipping a beat, Rick continued his insightful presentation sans microphone and power point slides.  Robbie and his crew got the power restored in time for Rick to wrap up his excellent marketing advice regarding the psychology behind designing  appealing package options for your clients and to show a highly impactful video clip that gets me every time I see it.

Wedding Toasts Made Easy

That afternoon, I had the chance to sit down for lunch with Rick and Tom Haibeck, author the book, Wedding Toasts Made EasyIf you’ve ever been to an elegant reception, gala or intimate dinner where the best man or person giving the toast was…  let’s just say… less than stellar- to put it nicely, that’s the reason Tom’s book has sold over 100,000 copies and people like Regis Philbin used it to prepare for his daughter’s wedding. After Tom’s presentation,  I bought a case of his books (that Tom was gracious enough to autograph) and couldn’t wait to give a signed copy to the next bride and groom that I met with.   This past week, I had a consultation with Jackie and Rody, who just hired me to Emcee their wedding reception for July of 2012.  They mentioned that the Best Man and Maid of Honor might want to propose a toast so I gave them a copy for each.  Look for Wedding Toasts Made Easy to be featured in an upcoming “Marcello Recommends” article.

As always, I gave Jackie and Rody a copy of The Best Wedding Reception…Ever! as well.  Peter Merry, TBWRE’s author, was also a featured presenter at the Armdjs conference.  Like his book,  Merry revealed some unique ideas that we can pass along to our engaged couples with regards to personalizing the  entertainment and tastefully highlighting traditional moments.

Customer Service A to Z

David Louis, who flew all the way from Hawaii to join the Tennessee roster, introduced a genius concept that I’ll be incorporating very soon to assist the 1/2 of MMP’s newly-engaged couples that usually need more help than the other…  David created a Groom’s Workshop.   There’s tons of information and resources out there for the brides, but not so much for the grooms.  If you’re a groom-to-be and would like to know… “What do I do now??!!” after you make an awesome proposal that’s worthy of a bazillion hits on youtube…  contact us at 973-366-9776 to schedule a private workshop.   And if you’re a bride who wants to sign up your future hubby so he doesn’t screw anything up, you can call us too and we’ll help you sign him up. These workshops are complimentary for our clients and simply considered part of the customer service level that MMP clients can expect when working with us.

Fellow Wedding Entertainment Director’s Guild board member and author of Customer Service A to Z, Larry Williams, went pretty deep into the finer points of customer care and hospitality during his session.   It was quite evident that he practices what he preaches…  His good friend and mentor, the legendary Dick Clark, has unfortunately been under the weather lately.  Larry arranged for several of us to record video get well cards for Mr. Clark to help raise his spirits. Larry knew that a situation like this required more than a generic Hallmark card.  It was a very classy and thoughtful gesture.

Running Your Multi-Op

The ArmDjs conference gave attendees numerous ways to go above and beyond the public perception of the norm and the status quo.  Industry veteran, and one of the most talented performers I’ve seen in action, Todd Mitchem, drove this point home when he warned the audience not to become a Ferrari on the Freeway.  It’s a ‘reality bites’ type of expression that I learned as a kid through a basic sports example.   If you are an exceptional athlete in high school, chances are you’re going to be in good company when you get to college.  Meaning:  You ain’t that special kiddo.  And if you happen to be fairly awesome compared to your university counterparts, don’t celebrate until you get to the pro leagues because again, there are already some incredible athletes out there.   Now, if you manage to stand out in the Major Leagues, the NFL or the NBA… then you can pop the champagne and celebrate a little.  THEN,.. If you can combine your uber-athleticism with intellect, social graces and business savvy… you’ve earned the title of a Ferrari on the F1 (Formula One) circuit.

Author of his first book release, Running Your Multi-Op, Mike Walter, who we featured here on the MMP Blog last month, should have rented a Ferrari to get to Tennessee to give his seminar.  Instead of flying out from New Jersey, he chose to break-in his new car and drive 10 hours to avoid one of his pet-peeves…  a connecting flight.   Fortunately,  in addition to being one of the most successful businessmen in the mobile dj world, he’s also a marathon runner- so he still had plenty of energy when it was showtime. The attendees expected Mike to dish out a lot of training and management-related nuggets from his book like he normally does when he’s on the speaking circuit, but they (and I) were also treated to video examples regarding common performance-related pitfalls that Emcees can avoid.  Essentially, knowing when to say something is just as important as knowing what to say.

Keynote Speaker best-selling author, Michael Port with Featured Presenters- Patrick Henry and Marcello Pedalino

While we’re on the subject of  good timing, I want to thank my friend, Alan Trisler, for sharing his photo coverage of the event. Like all great photographers,  he knows how to be in the right place at the right time.

 As we often do when we are brought in to speak at the same conference, Mike and I met up before the seminars began on day one to start the morning off with a nice run.  (We always invite everyone to join us, but it’s usually just us who end up meeting in the lobby at sunrise.)  I’d have to say that this run was one of the most memorable in the 10 years we’ve known each otherCheck out Mike’s running journal for the detailed recap.

As a father, something that was said that I’ll  never forget was delivered by Gitomer Cerified Speaker standout, Patrick Henry.   This was the second time I’ve had the pleasure of watching Patrick light-up the stage with his musical anecdotes that strike a sharp and humorous chord with his audience, but this was the first time I’d heard him say this…  “Some nights, I’ll be holding my beautiful baby daughter, Meredith, in my arms.  And all I can think about when I look into her gorgeous blue eyes is… Please don’t grow up to be a skank!” It was hysterical.   I don’t really tweet that often, but this one had to be shared with other fathers and anyone else in the world who needs a good laugh.  And if you appreciate this type of real-world humor with an edge like Patrick’s tweetable moment, check out Tina Fey’s prayer for her daughter from her new book, Bossypants.


Alan Trisler captures Marcello Pedalino presenting, "Energy" at the ArmDjs 4.0 Business and Performance Conference

When I think of professional goals, Book Yourself Solid, which was written by the Keynote speaker, Michael Port, can easily be considered one of the entrepreneurial bibles that I looked to in my formative years for insight and inspiration. His “Red Velvet Rope” philosophy is right in line with my business model and hard-earned company reputation.  Port gave an enthusiastic presentation that featured one gem after another on the subjects of marketing and branding.   No notes or slides necessary.   I guess that’s one of the perks of being considered an expert in your field and being the author of a NY Times Best Seller… the ability to effortlessly speak on your specialty subject matter becomes second nature.   Just fly to the next destination, engage, teach and wrap it up with a standing ovation.    Highlights from his seminar included Michael telling the famous, “If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye” story and his strong recommendation that you focus your efforts on “commitment and fulfillment” and “sharing information and compassion” when you are looking to build a deeper relationship with prospects and colleagues you already know.

The chance to see Port in person was very exciting.  The opportunity to speak with him for 15 minutes after his presentation was exhilarating.  And now that I’m kinda out of big adjectives, the fact that by chance Mr. Port and I sat next to each other on a connecting return flight home from Tennessee to Charlotte and talked about everything from the economy and the UFC, to the politics of politics and Donald Trump, to cross training, yoga and how to travel fashionably...well.. let’s just say… WOW!-  Life is pretty cool sometimes. And as if I needed another cherry on top,  Mr.  Port extended a  very gracious  lunch invitation for sometime in the near future. How surreal would it be to break bread at the home of one of your literary idols?

Marcello Pedalino presenting at ArmDjs 4.0

I’m delighted to report that my performance workshop on Energy, “The World Belongs to the Energetic,” was well received by the  attendees and that a lot of positive feedback has been buzzing around the industry’s social media outlets.

These are two comments that came in via MMP’s Facebook Page:

“I traveled to attend this event from New Zealand. I loved Marcello’s presentation.” -David Seel, The Perfect Wedding, NZ


Marcello Pedalino shows attendees how "the world belongs to the energetic"

I have been a DJ for 24 years and although I perform at over 250 Mobile Disc Jockey events every year I have chose not to attend DJ Conferences during my career…..until ARMDJs 2011. The presentation put on by Marcello and Mike Walter was the best 2 hour investment of my career. Marcello not only gave us great ideas but he demonstrated how to implement them first hand. He is truly a highly talented performer. Mike Walter has an incredible perspective on business and talked about the details of our job that really matter. I look forward to learning from these two pros again in the future!” -Rob Vollmar, Grant Hemond and Associates, FL

Special thanks to Mark Maillet, from Eternal Lighting Company, for spotlighting my stage performance with the sleek  Premier 120- LED fixture.  It really enhanced the over-all presentation and helped me demonstrate how professionals can use lightscaping and special effects to adjust the ambiance accordingly and raise the level of energy in any room.

2012 Keynote- Gary Vaynerchuk

Apparently, Robbie Britton already knows how to create energy, end an event on a high-note and leave a crowd wanting more.  Like a little kid on Christmas Eve who couldn’t wait to open his presents, Robbie finally showed everyone a video clip of  next year’s keynote speaker giving a pre-recorded teaser of what’s in store for ArmDjs 5.0 in the summer of 2012…    Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of Crush It and The Thank You Economy will be  bringing “the hustle” and “the thunder” in a “serious way” because “that how he rolls.”  The attendees (including yours truly) were totally amped.

See you next year!  -mp

This Is How We Do It- Marcello Recommends: Running Your Multi-Op by Michael Walter

Michael Walter and the Elite Team

On page 107, Michael Walter, the owner of Elite Entertainment, writes “My mom used to tell me,  -Being smart doesn’t mean you have to know all the answers.  It just means you have to know how to find them-.”

In his new book and proverbial treasure mapRunning Your Muil-Op, Michael spoon-feeds 20 years of advice on  how to recruit and develop talent, how to effectively manage and delegate day to day operations, and how to deal with the inevitable growing pains that come along with running a thriving small business.   It’s like Vince Lombardi opening up his playbook and handing it off to Captain Jack Sparrow.

All of the nuggets are delivered with enough real world experience and wit to keep the reader engaged, even during the self-described “more boring legal stuff” section.

Michael Walter, CEO of Elite Entertainment

What I love about the book is that Michael’s information is universalHis tips about taking your employee’s spouses and significant others into consideration throughout the year is relevant to any CEO.   The sections about embracing technology for organizational purposes and marketing will be helpful to any entrepreneur.  And the parts about trust, resolve, humility, ego, reality and balance make the book a good read for anyone who likes to learn life lessons via entertaining anecdotes.   (I love how he and his former business partner decided that it was time to move into an office.)

2001 DJ of the Year Competition: Marcello Pedalino & Michael Walter

Walter is like a Gary Vee. He’s got  a lot of energy to burn and plenty of useful information to share that will motivate others to take action.  He also thrives on progress and readily admits that he likes the attention.  Walter is the kind of guy that you ask to take out to lunch someday after you see him speak at a national conference or read one of his re-tweeted articles. That’s actually how I met Michael 10 years ago.    He was asked to produce the DJ of the Year Competition by DJ Times Magazine back in 2001.  I put my hat in the ring and and was fortunate to win.  Not just because I won a couple of nice plaques and got some great press… but because I  met someone who would become one of my best friends.  (notice I didn’t say “lucky.”   Michael and Branch Rickey don’t really believe in luck)

If you follow this blog, you know I keep things positive, but I also keep things real.  So I was really happy that Mike’s book didn’t suck.  That would have been awkward.   To the contrary, I’m happy to report that all of the initial reviews, beyond our circle of friends since its debut last month-  have been stellar.

“Mike has given away the keys to the candy store. Shared all the trade secrets. Divulged the secret recipe… is he crazy to do so? Maybe. Is he a genius? Definitely. And generous?  OH YES.”Scott Faver

My favorite part of the book was the Epilogue: Words to Live By.   Mike shared several examples of what inspires his  business philosophy and life principles.  He quotes everybody from Sting to Aristotle and mentions everything from Fatal Attraction to The Serenity Prayer.  (it keeps you on your toes- like when Tony Hsieh quoted Winnie the Pooh in his book, Delivering Happiness)  This is a nice snapshot of what our entertainingly-eclectic conversations sound like when we are flying out to a speaking engagement together or while we are out for a training run.

Michael is a fellow “Life Is Good fan and he and the love of his life, Kelly, are big supporters of the Sunshine Club. I thought the excerpt below from the final chapter of the book really encapsulates the Celebrate Life vibe we promote here and just might  inspire someone out there in the world today….    -mp

…” one of the more awesome things about DJing as long as I have, is bringing joy to so many people.  When we do what we do well, that’s what we do.   We get people to dance, laugh, sing, and celebrate.  We get them to leave their routine lives for a few hours and to enter a world where their troubles and difficulties don’t exist. There is only the here and the now at a good party.  Nothing else matters-“… ~Michael Walter

Click here to order your copy of Running Your Multi-Op.

Follow Michael on Twitter:  @DjMikeWalter

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