Choosing the right DJ is important for a wedding, corporate event, casino night, etc. People like to have DJ’s for events because sometimes it’s easier than dealing with a live band and less expensive. DJ’s will range in experience from the average Joe who play on the side to professional wedding and corporate DJ companies and DJ’s that can come equipped with their light shows.
-Most important determining factor.
-DJ’s with professional experience understand the familiarity of receptions, procedures, and traditions.
-Knows how to keep the guests in a happy dancing mood all night.
When something goes wrong, nobody saves a reception faster than an experienced DJ. Most of the time the crowd will not be aware of any problems as the DJ keeps them entertained while the problem is solved.
If a DJ company is hired for your event, it is recommended that the owner is hired because they will have the most experience of anybody in their company. Most companies are prepared for a backup plan. It’s best to confirm within a month and then within a week of an event, that way everybody will be on track a week before the event.
Referrals and References
-Another key determining factor.
-Never hire a DJ who doesn’t have any professional experience.
-Always ask for a list of referrals and references.
Aside from experience, look for a DJ with a good personality. Everybody wants to have a DJ that is friendly and makes them feel comfortable.
-Fits in well with their clients and guests of an event.
-Mingles with the guest and talks nicely to them.
-Guests want somebody who is friendly with song requests.
Interviewing the DJ
Once you’ve found the right DJ, schedule a meeting with them in person to discuss the details and the contract.
-Have a pre-interview over the phone.
-If it’s not possible to meet in person, communicate with e-mail or video chat.
-Never hire a DJ sight or video unseen.
-Ask for photos/videos of recent events to see them in action.
Should they not have any photos or videos to share, schedule a time and place to see a preview of their performance.
Now that you’ve gotten to know your potential DJ, it’s time to go over their equipment. Ask about the quality and the condition of their equipment to make sure it is in good working shape.
-Professional’s will most likely have state of the art equipment.
-Check to see if the DJ is able to handle any equipment or technical issues that may occur.
-A professional DJ should have backup equipment on hand in case the worst should happen.
Most DJ’s use a laptop and play digital music files using DJ software. With this software, they can play a song from their library using digital vinyl/CD’s or a midi controller. This allows them to keep everything organized so they can play quickly and easily. Ask how they will find their songs and about their software. The last thing you want is a DJ fumbling through a book of CD’s to look for a song.
Most weddings will require a fabricated list of songs to be played throughout the reception and songs for certain procedures such as introducing the wedding party, the first dance, bride and father dance, bouquet and garter toss, etc.
-Sit down with the DJ to discuss the songs beforehand.
-Compose a list of songs the bride and groom want played.
-Compose another list of songs the bride and groom do not want played.
This is a popular option. It’s a big plus if a DJ can setup karaoke because your guests will absolutely love it. However, make sure the DJ has a good karaoke system and that they’re appropriately setup for it. Otherwise it will be a hassling frustration if something doesn’t work right. If done correctly, it can make the night memorable. There is nothing more fun than watching a video from a wedding in a couple years and seeing your family and friends singing fun karaoke routines after a couple glasses of champagne.
The contract protects both parties in case something goes wrong. Professional DJ’s will have contracts made up ready to be signed, but make sure the following are included:
-Date of signature, client’s name and the name of the DJ or the DJ from a company the client wants to hire, specifying no switching DJ’s allowed.
-Date, time, and location of the event and the time they begin.
-Include all of the charges and fees, including extra equipment used or services requested. An itemized list is recommended.
-Deposits, balance due, and the terms (refundable and non-refundable).
-Special requests, song lists, and services requested to be done.
-Client and DJ signature.
-Specific attire. Most wedding DJ’s will typically wear a tuxedo unless otherwise specified.
-Specific backup arrangements in the event that the DJ gets sick or can’t make it for any reason. Specify any replacements or that one will be provided.
-Sometimes it’s best to specify the backup equipment that may be needed.
Before signing any contract, make sure you’re 100% positive with the DJ of your choice and the terms under which you can receive your deposit back. Such terms include the DJ not showing up, equipment failure with no backup, or they don’t fulfill a part in the contract in any way.
Spend at least 10 hours total talking to the DJ before the day of your event and consult with them the specifics. Keep in mind if you choose the right DJ who is experienced, they will be able to guide you through the process and you will have satisfied guests with wonderful memories of the DJ’s performance and professionalism.