15 Years Of Pro Mobile (2003 - 2018)
In September 2018 Pro Mobile celebrates its 15th birthday! The magazine was launched in September 2003 to fill a gap in the market for a regular publication serving the hard-working DJs providing equipment, music and entertainment for parties across the UK and beyond. A lot has changed over the past 15 years, but the ethos behind Pro Mobile remains the same.
Pro Mobile was founded by Eddie Short, a working mobile DJ who – like most DJs at the time – ran a ‘one-man-band’ business and was essentially self-taught. He was interested to find out what other DJs did, what equipment they were using, how they put together their shows, how they ran their businesses and how they performed at their events, and he realised that other DJs would also be equally interested to learn from their peers. However, there was no magazine around at the time dedicated to mobile DJs (and Facebook didn’t exist yet), so Eddie decided to set one up himself.
The first edition of the magazine had a fraction of the number of pages found in current Pro Mobiles, however it provided a starting point from which the publication could develop. It very quickly grew in size and quality, and attracted an avid readership of DJs from all across the UK, Ireland, Europe and other countries around the world. With advertising support from equipment manufacturers and retailers, as well as editorial contributions from many leading DJs, Pro Mobile quickly became established as essential reading for all mobile DJs, regardless of age or level of experience.
Throughout the last 15 years a lot has changed in the mobile DJ world. We’ve seen the almost unanimous transition from CD to digital music playback and from halogen lamps to LED light sources, as well as the rise in popularity of column array speaker systems. Back in 2003 moving heads were well out of the budget of even the most successful mobile DJs, while now they are integral to many mobile lightshows. Back then truss plinths were also unheard of, where now they are extremely popular, and there was very little choice when it came to portable DJ booths, while today’s DJs are almost spoilt for choice.
It’s not just gear that has developed dramatically over the past 15 years, there has been a huge shift in the very nature of what it means to be a mobile DJ. Back in 2003 very few people were able to make a living as DJs, with most seeing it as a hobby that generated ‘beer money’ rather than a viable career option. Today – while many DJs still prefer to keep their DJing as an enjoyable side-line – a significant number have developed viable full-time businesses that allow them to provide for their families while enjoying working a job that they truly love.
Particularly in the wedding sector, there has also been a significant shift in the role that DJs can play at an event. Many DJs have started to offer ‘all day’ packages where they act as an informal master of ceremonies (or wedding host) and provide a soundtrack for the full day as well as DJing for the evening party. Other DJs have capitalised on their technical ability and equipment inventory to offer ceremony music and microphone systems as an add on to their DJ services.
In fact the whole concept of DJs providing ‘add-on’ services has exploded since the early days of Pro Mobile. Back then DJs predominantly offered nothing more than music, lights and entertainment. Today, DJs offer a wide range of additional products and services to enhance their clients' events and expand their businesses. Over the past decade and a half we’ve seen the rise in popularity of up-lighting, starlit dancefloors, projected monograms, ‘LOVE’ letters, photobooths and many others.
Huge changes have also taken place over the past 15 years that have effected the business side of running a mobile DJ enterprise. PLI and PAT are now not only essential but required by many venues and the recent introduction of new GDPR rules has meant that all businesses – including mobile DJs – have had to re-examine the way they store and transmit personal data.
The rise in the popularity of the internet and then social media has also seriously impacted the way DJs market their businesses. Back in 2003, websites were only just starting to become popular and telephone directories were still a good source of booking enquiries. Today websites are essential, printed directories are completely irrelevant and social media is being used increasingly not only by DJs promoting their businesses but by clients looking for DJs.
Throughout all of these changes, Pro Mobile has remained committed to keeping our readers up to date with the latest developments as well as providing a platform for DJs to share ideas and concepts to push the industry forward. Over the years countless people have been involved in putting together Pro Mobile – from office staff to the mobile DJs across the UK and further afield who have contributed articles. Some have written regularly over multiple years, while others have submitted a single piece. However, we would like to sincerely thank every one of them for contributing towards the magazine’s ongoing success.
While it wouldn’t be possible to mention individually every single person who has contributed in some way over the past 15 years, we would like to acknowledge those DJs who have contributed to the magazine on a regular basis. Our sincere thanks go to Euan Bass, Paul Bouzan, Greg Cartwright, Jim Cerone, Ian Forest, Dave Hoffman, James Humphrey, Harry Kilb, Richard Lee, Richard Linton, Stu McLaren, Peter Merry, Brian Mole, Mike Moore, Toby Oakley, David Reed, Derek Pengelly, Ashley Riggs, Roger Squire, Andy Tain, Mark Walsh, Mark Weller and Tony Winyard.
Finally, we would also like to thank each and every one of our readers for your support. Whether you’ve been with us since 2003 or this is your first edition, thanks for taking the time to read the magazine – it wouldn’t exist without you!
Here’s to another 15 years!!
Pro Mobile equipment reviews are sponsored by insure4music.
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 91, Pages 32-35.