Here are a few things to look for when booking a DJ.
Bands and DJ services can be hard to find. When you plan a party or event of any sort, your objective is to ensure that you and your guests have a good time. The DJ you choose is a direct reflection on you. Here are some important points to remember when you interview any DJ company.
Does anyone answer the phone when you call? If not, does someone return your phone call promptly? Many DJs are part time “weekend warriors” and are at their “day job” when you call. Most professional DJ companies can be easily reached during regular business hours, and if you happen to leave a message, they should get back in contact with you shortly. Make sure you have a professional DJ at your event whose livelihood depends on pleasing you and your guests, not a “part-timer” who is out to make a little extra spending money.
Willingness to meet with you and present his/her services.
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?
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, especially for a wedding. Choosing the person who “feels” right is one of the most important factors 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.
Does the DJ have a music list that shows you what sort of music he or she has available? In some fashion, you the client, need to be assured that the DJ you hire not only has a sizable collection, but has a variety of music, especially for wedding receptions, where probably a wide variety of guests will be in the same room together.
Does the DJ use professional grade equipment? The DJ should be able to tell you what he/she uses and characterize the equipment as professional grade. Please remember that their is a HUGE difference between your home stereo equipment and professional grade mobile DJ equipment, ONE “DJ” CD player can cost as much or even more than a ENTIRE HOME STEREO SYSTEM.
It seems that the DJ is often the last service chosen, after much of the budget is expended on the venue, food, clothing, flowers, etc.
This often leads brides and party planners to shop for the cheapest DJ possible because of a lack of resources. This often backfires when holding out for the lowest price, (hey you might get lucky). 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 provide the level of quality and attention to detail that you deserve. When you consider the price of equipment, transportation, music, advertising, payroll, clothing, insurance, extra electricity to practice, seminars, organizations, etc.
Do you really want to risk YOUR ENTERTAINMENT NEEDS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY BY HIRING someone who is just STARTING OUT? You have to make the decision on whether your special day belongs in the hands of a professional or a hobbyist.
Consider this when pricing your DJ service: You should consider your DJ service as 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.
Also take into consideration that even though you may be hiring a DJ for just “four or six hours”, a professional DJ will probably invest at least 15-20 hours in your event alone, this includes planning, rehearsing, consultations, transportation, getting the music you requested, setting up and breaking down equipment at your event, etc.
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. Talking with your DJ to plan your event is of paramount importance to a successful event.
Will the person that you interview be the person that will perform at your event? This is one of THE MOST COMMON COMPLAINTS 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 before you sign a contract.
By DJ Kazmere of Starr Productions