When you plan a party of any sort, your objective
is to ensure that your guests have a good time, period.
Your choice of entertainment, particularly if you
are considering a DJ, is crucial to that end. Who
you choose for your wedding reception or special
event will have a greater degree of effect than any
other factor, such as food or location. The DJ you
choose is a direct reflection on you. Here are some
important points to remember when you interview a
of your phone calls or Emails: You
should expect to get a call back or an Email back
within 24 hours. Many DJ’s are out working
and may not be able to return your call within
an hour or two.
Willingness to meet with you and present
his/her service: Will the DJ try to meet with you soon, or
is he/she just trying to book the date sight unseen?
Is their material neat and professional looking,
and is their presentation organized and informative?
Is the price too good to be true? It seems that
the DJ is often the last service chosen, after much
of the budget is expended on a venue, food and clothing.
This often leads brides and party planners to shop
for the cheapest price possible because of a lack
of resources. This often backfires when holding out
for the lowest price. However, if you have adhered
to the guiding principals noted here, you will know
to avoid services that have a rock bottom price because
they will not be able to display the level of quality
and attention to detail that EVERY client deserves!
Do you LIKE the person that shows up? There is NOTHING
worse in the world than having to do business with
someone you do not like. Choosing the person who “feels” right
is the most important factor in picking the right
entertainer for your party or reception. The DJ you
choose should be very open about what he/she can
do for you and should volunteer information and “show” you
that knowledge base.
Is the person knowledgeable about your type
of event? There are all kinds of DJ’s. Club DJ’s,
wedding DJ’s, Rave DJ’s…the list
is endless!! Can the DJ you interview handle your
type of event? Ask the DJ how many events of your
type that he/she has done.
What sort of documents does the DJ use to
procure your business? In a good interview, the DJ should
show you several documents. First and foremost is
a planner. This planner should impress you enough
to the point where you begin to understand that the
DJ you are hiring is a professional, and is capable
of handling your event. A sample copy of the CONTRACT
to be used should be available as well as a schedule
of pricing information. A DJ may also give you a
list of references. CALL THEM!! Ask if there were
any issues or problem areas when the person dealt
with the DJ.
Does the DJ have a viewable music database? It shows
you what sort of music he or she has available. Many
DJ’s do not use music lists, others do. In
some fashion, you the client, need to be assured
that the DJ you hire not only has a sizeable collection,
but has a variety of music, especially for wedding
receptions, where many different styles of music
and guests will be in the same room together.
Does the DJ use professional grade equipment? If
the DJ does not have pictures of his or her gear,
you should ask to set up a time to see the equipment
or see pictures of the DJ’s set up. Although
there are many fine home stereo equipment components
made, they are not suitable for commercial or repeated
use and varying room conditions. The DJ should be
able to tell you what he/she uses and characterize
the equipment as professional grade.
Will the DJ offer to meet with you AFTER
signing the contract to plan your event? A professional DJ
is ALWAYS willing to discuss your event at any time
before the event starts, and should display the flexibility
to accommodate changes and help you solve problems.
Meeting your DJ to plan your event is of paramount
importance to a successful event such as a wedding
Will the person that you interview be the
person that will perform at your event? This is THE most
common complaint about the DJ industry today. The
person you meet turns out NOT to be the person that
actually does your show. Often, you are not made
aware of this. Ask the DJ you interview if he/she
will be the actual person performing, or will someone
else perform the event. You need to know this UP
FRONT before you sign a contract.
Consider this when pricing your DJ service: You
should consider your DJ service an insurance policy
that ensures that all of the other money you spend
will not result in bad memories or a less than enjoyable
occasion. You do get what you pay for. Good entertainment
is NOT cheap, and cheap entertainment often is NOT
good!! And yet many people will pay far more for
a cake, flowers, or food than they will for the most
crucial ingredient at a party – the music.
When was the last time you saw a cake reading a crowd
and spinning a CD, motivating a dance floor crowd,
or making announcements in a dignified elegant way?
Further, when was the last time you heard a guest
tell you “Boy, that prime rib was great, I
can’t wait until I go to another party to have
that again”? No, that DOES NOT HAPPEN. Instead,
they talk about the music that was played, and whether
they had a good time or not. The music is always
what they will talk about and whether the DJ was
any good or not.
Your DJ, if you have chosen a good one, will display
many of the following skills and attributes before
and at your event:
- Master of Ceremonies
- Party organizer
- Sound technician
- Light technician
- Ability to read a crowd and pick the right music
- Flexibility to adapt to sudden changes
- Follow the plan that you and he/she have worked
out using the planner
- Seamless continuous music at all times unless otherwise
- Extensive library of music
- Professional grade of equipment
- Audience motivator
- Ability to co exist and coordinate with other professionals
at your event
By Bill Smith
Bill Smith and the Magic of Music
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