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First and foremost do not just pick up the phone and ring the first DJ in the book or from a search engine. Sit down with a coffee and decide what you want.
Make a list of exactly what you want your DJ to do and not do, for example
The list goes on and on and only you know what it is you’re looking for. Write down some questions you may like to ask, we often put the phone down and wish we had asked that important question, write it down and refer to your notes during the call.
Once you have your list of requirements then ask friends and relatives for recommendations of DJs they have used. Look through your local directory or online and see if you can find a DJ who is advertising the services you’re looking for. Then make the calls.
Most people when they call a DJ start by saying something along the lines of
“I want a disco what do you charge”.
A professional DJ cannot answer this question as it depends on many variables, and s/he might not even be available.
Start by saying something along the lines of “I found your details from…..” Or “you were recommended to me by…..”
Then tell them the date and ask if their available.. If not then ask if they know anyone who they would recommend.
If they are available then tell them the event your booking, an Engagement, a Wedding or Birthday Party, etc. Where you’re holding the function, the number of guests expected to be attending, the times that you require the DJ to arrive, be set up by and what time your event is expected to end.
Also add in any special requirements such as a radio mic for speeches, if you have a very eclectic taste in music and very definite ideas about what you want played and not played then tell the DJ about this also. Do you want a variety of music or perhaps just Club, Top-40, Oldies, Hip Hop, R & B, Dance, Drum and Bass, Motown, etc. The list is endless and your DJ will only know what you want if you tell them.
Some DJs specialise in one genre of music or another and a professional DJ will not take a booking if he feels he cannot provide the genre of music you might require.
The more information you can provide your DJ with from the outset improve your chances of getting the right DJ for your function.
Once you have chatted about all the variables for your event then start to move around to costing’s and charges. But be realistic if your hiring a professional expect to pay professional rates. Maybe discuss your budget with the DJ they might be able to tailor a package to suit your requirements, some DJs offer this.
They may not offer a quote there and then but ask for your telephone number so they can work out a price for you and call you back. This is so they can work out logistics traveling distance to the venue times required etc.
10. Entertainment is not that important at a party.
72% of all brides say they should have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment. During wedding planning, brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer. Reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities. Within one week after the reception, 78% of brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority! When asked, 81% of the guests say the thing they remember the most about a wedding is the entertainment. Good entertainment is not only the most important part of a reception or party it’s also the most critical part of it, just ask any former bride.
9. To be a DJ all you really need is a few CD’s or an iPod and a home stereo system.
A professional DJ must have knowledge of over 70 years of all styles of music. Many times guests will make requests at a event without knowing either the correct song title or artists, a DJ must have the knowledge to figure it out. There is a big difference in home stereo equipment and professional grade sound equipment.
8. All the equipment fits in the back of his car.
It takes a van or truck to move around Professional DJ sound systems and music libraries. Professional quality audio gear is big and heavy. It does not fit in the trunk of a typical passenger car.
7. Set up is easy and it only takes 15 minutes.
A professional DJ will take up to 2 hours to set up a sound and dance floor lighting system. There is more to it than just plugging everything up, it takes time to sound check and adjust dance floor light. At Some venues it can take longer because access is hindered by lack of an elevator, ramp and parking proximity.
6. Good parties just happen.
Good parties don’t just happen on their own. It takes planning and guidance. A professional DJ will know through planning and consultations what your music and entertainment needs are before your event. A professional DJ will meet your music and entertainment needs and through timing and years of experience know how to entertain your guests.
5. It takes no training, anyone can do it!
If a DJ makes his job look easy, it is because he has learned his trade only one way, through years of experience. There are no formal training institutions, training facilities or schools for mobile DJ’s. Anyone can learn the control functions of most CD players and Computer software programs. However, a professional smooth presentation, Emceeing, DJ entertaining, an ability to read any crowd and music mixing takes years of being behind a mixing console to master. If it were so easy, everyone would be doing it!
4. DJ’s have a lot of fun at parties and get paid for it.
DJ’s are NOT guests at parties or event. They are working under pressure and have a huge responsibility for the outcome of the event. People often rank their weddings as the most important day of their lives next to the day their children are born. Yet they will give this responsibility to the LOWEST BIDDER. The stress levels and expectations run very high during these events. After all the planning and expenses are invested the ultimate outcome of a wedding is placed almost solely in the hands of the DJ.
3. DJ’s only work for 4 to 5 hours.
The length of a party, wedding reception or any other event is only a small fraction of the time a DJ invests in that event. It is the only part that YOU see. Consultations, equipment upkeep, music library maintenance and the daily routine of business operations are all critical in making that show a success.
2. Why pay allot of money for a DJ a cheap DJ is just as good.
Not to say that a high priced DJ automatically equals great entertainment. But!
Remember the sayings “if it sounds too good to be true” or “you get what you pay for”. If a DJ quotes you a super low price for a wedding reception or party, most likely it’s just a part time hobby for him to pick up a few extra pounds on the weekend, and not too worried about his reputation or repeat bookings. A full time professional DJ service will have spent many hours preparing for your event. There is so much that goes into putting together professional entertainment for a wedding reception and it’s not just something that you can show up and wing on the weekends.
And The Number One Misconception about Mobile DJs Is
1. They are all pretty much the same anyway.
To say that DJ’s are all alike is to say that people are all alike. Never assume that recorded music levels the playing field. Personalities on the microphone can vary as much as a singers’ voice. Experience and music knowledge all mean a big difference. DJ’s have their own unique style, music and presentation. A good DJ can adjust his style to fit the event. A presentation at a Junior High School party should be much different than that of a Retirement Dinner Dance or a Wedding Reception for a couple in their 30’s. Experienced DJ’s know the difference and you should be aware of the many subtle and substantial differences that distinguish Mobile DJ Entertainers.
We hope you have found this informative and it has given you food for thought when you choose your entertainment.