Even if you don't use my service, I would like to help you find a good DJ. They're lots of DJ services out there, but very few really good ones. Most people have never hired a DJ before and they're not really sure what to look for or what to ask. I hope this information will help you with your search.
Disc Jockey: Also known as DJ. Is a person who picks, plays, mixes and announces prerecorded music for the entertainment of others.
Understanding the "for the entertainment of others" is the key to a good DJ. They should be able to entertain by reading and following the group they are working.
Pay close attention to a DJs professionalism. A professional DJ should have a web site, or at the very least be able to provide you with literature, referrals and videos. According to the Wall Street Journal "A quality web site is a sign of a quality business".
DJs work under enormous pressure and they have a huge responsibility for the outcome of an event. Most people don't realize how critical the DJs job is until they're well into their event. But ultimately the success or failure of an event all falls on the DJ. It takes years of hard work and practice to really master how to read and work a crowd. Always ask about experience.
One of the biggest misconceptions about mobile DJs is that all they do is show up on the weekends and play music. If you have ever been at an event, and seen a good DJ, most likely, the reason they seemed so good, was because of all the work they put into it before the event ever started. A professional disc jockey service will normally invest 20 to 40 hours into every event, even though it may appear that you are only paying for "3 or 4 hours" (the part you see). Consultations, music purchasing, editing, preparation, travel, set-up and tear-down, education, training, maintenance, and other business related endeavors all add up to the overall success of your special occasion.
A $200 DJ is either new to the business or is not very good and a $2000 DJ is charging you for their ego. The average price for a good DJ in this area is $500 to $1000. Depending on the date, travel, time and equipment needed.
Get it in writing. Once I got a phone call from a panicked bride on the Wednesday before her wedding on Saturday and she could not find her DJ. When I asked, do you have any kind of signed contract or agreement? After a long pause, the reply was no. Be sure to get every thing in writing and a signed contract/agreement.
Your event will most likely require music to satisfy all ages and musical tastes so ask about variety and the policy on requests.
Ask for a guarantee in writing. A professional DJ will be willing to give you a guarantee.
Your DJ should be familiar with most of the music you want and should know how to organize the event within your guidelines. Try to determine if your DJ has the ability and willingness to "read" and motivate the crowd. Please keep in mind, with whomever you hire, "We Are Not All The Same".
Most reputable DJ's will be willing to provide you materials, song lists and informational planning sheets.
Ask if the DJ has some videos of their work. Auditioning a DJ at a stranger's event is not usually practical. Remember, a good event is an individually customized event lasting 4 hours or more. The DJ may be providing activities and music as requested by the client and this may not be of the style or type that you require. Also, a good DJ is busy during a event and usually cannot take time out to explain what is going on and why. Some DJ's also consider it tacky to invite strangers to a event just to solicit new business. You wouldn't want that at your event.
The perfect DJ will be affordable, experienced and have good references. He or she will know music, communicate in a friendly and helpful manner, and should be interested in what you and your guests want. They will take the time to explain how they will handle the details of your event. They will be able to communicate well with you and should be willing to listen to your ideas and meet any special needs.
A professional DJ will mix music of all types well. Your DJ should do it all with style, microphone presence and proper volume.
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 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 their 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. 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 spend thousands of dollars for a DJ a Cheap one is just as good.
Even though a high price does not automatically equal great entertainment, remember "peace of mind is priceless". Research any service you may be considering hiring for your event. A professional DJ will base their rate on the date, event type, hours, travel and equipment needed.
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.