What to ask for in a mobile DJ?

 

 

 

Everyone has competition!

….It’s a fact of life in any business, in any industry, on any part of the planet. When shopping for a product or service ultimately you always have to decide who or what you are going to pick. Sometimes you find out that you made the wrong choice, other times things go great. In the entertainment business you only get one shot to get it right! If you are getting married, throwing a holiday party or just having one of those summer get together’s; the experiences you remember and capture are unique and will only be experienced once in your lifetime. In our world of providing music services, karaoke or video presentations, we recognize this very important fact. When shopping around for a DJ or entertainment specialist for your next event, ask these questions below and have them explain and prove out the responses. It is my hope with some education it will make your job of finding that perfect DJ easy!

  • Are you a member of the ‘American Disc Jockey Association” and in good stand? The ADJA is the leading membership organization for DJ’s like us. Putting it bluntly, the ADJA is the BBB of DJ’s. In order to be a member, and stay a member, DJs have to follow a special “code of conduct” (http://adja.org/adja-code-of-professional-conduct). This standard sets many real professionals apart from the amateurs. Our company is a member of the ADJA, additionally we participate yearly in the various trade conferences that are hosted and organized by this organization. We do this to stay on top of the latest technology and trends as our digital world evolves.
  • Are you insured for both liability and property? You would be amazingly surprised how many businesses do not operate with any insurance! You would be further amazed at how many customers never ask! Mobile entertainment is a huge liability. No matter how safe someone is, accidents can happen. Keep this in perspective: A DJ comes to your venue where they have never been before, runs miles of cables in a short amount of time, tests very little and relies on the establishment for power. The same equipment that is setup is constantly moved from event to event, bounced down the road as it goes. Needless to say there is always a possibility of injury. Our company protects your guests and our equipment with both a million dollar liability policy and full equipment coverage for what is brought to your venue. Additionally, we have the ability to name you as the insured for your event and provide you with a customized certificate of insurance.
  • Is your music legal? This is a huge risk to the customer. If a DJ business is found to use illegal music they could be shutdown with no notice. What if this happens the day before your event? Ask the DJ company to show you proof they use legal music. Our company either buys CDs and converts them digitally, or more recently we subscribe to what is called “Promo Pools” from record labels directly. Don’t risk amateurs taking the short way out from ruining your event.
  • Can you take requests? As simple as this sounds, sometimes it’s not. I have seen on several occasions of DJs not be able to play anything except what they brought with them for the ‘x’ hours of the event. I have even seen DJs that could not take requests because they could not get a good cell or WiFi signal to download songs. As shocking as it is, this happens! I am not stating that the DJ needs to have an unlimited selection of music, if they are legal they won’t – but, they will have every genre with a large enough pool to satisfy any mainstream request. Rarely do we find a request we cannot handle if it’s reasonable, but if we do, our DJs are authorized to to purchase music via Amazon on the spot within reason. This almost never happens, but nice to have this comfort level nonetheless.
  • Can you meet ahead of time? So many DJs operate like buying insurance on the Internet. Book the job and never even meet you until the day of your event. We firmly believe in good planning means a good show! You will find on our website comprehensive questioners that we use to plan the event with you. We have no problem in meeting our customers at the venue’s, coming to their houses or even meeting for lunch! As far as we are concerned it’s part of the job for a good night!
  • Do you use truly professional equipment? The Chinese junk from eBay has permeated the US these-days, from jewelry knock-offs to low-end electronic gear. This business is no different. A competing business thinks they can go spend $1,000 on eBay junk and call themselves a DJ. That’s not how it works! In order to have good sound and good lighting it takes hard-earned money and a significant investment in time to learn your equipment well. Ask your prospective DJ, what equipment do they use? Do they have a listing of major components you can look-up online? We feature a page on our website that lists in detail what you will see at your event, and why we use it. We use all professional name brand equipment, the same you would see at a rock concert from a major star. On average, when we bring our show to your venue you are looking at around $15,000 of equipment.
  • Do you have backup equipment for my event? Stuff happens, the question is can you recover from it? Amps blow, cords break, bulbs go out, etc. Can your prospective DJ recover from it? Ask your DJ what they have for backups and how it gets installed in the event of a failure. Amazing to see sometimes no backups exist at all!
  • Do you know how to handle my guests? It may seem like a stupid question, but does your prospective DJ know proper etiquette for your party? If it’s a wedding, or a birthday party do they know how to handle themselves properly? How to play the right music at the right time? Do they know what is too loud or too low for different times of the event? All things to ask.
  • How much time do they allow for setup? A good DJ will need a large amount of time for setup. It takes us a full 2 hours to set our equipment up with all the packages, and that includes a comprehensive  sound check as well. I see DJs running into events 10 minutes before the guests arrive and be completely unprepared for the night that awaits them!
  • Do you provide a written contract? I have seen in my years so many verbal agreements break down into dust, even to the point of no DJ showing up for an event. A written contract is a must for any service engagement, and DJing is no different. We provide an easy to read 3 page agreement for your event, with an addendum, for special needs,if applicable. We would like to think our contract covers all possible scenarios relating to the services we provide you. It leaves nothing to be guessed or figured on-the-fly.
  • Will you dress appropriately? Specify the type of apparel that your DJ is expected to wear for your occasion. If you are having a “themed” event, make sure your entertainer is informed. If not, ensure that your DJ dresses up, down, or anywhere int he middle to match the event you are having.

Other Items to Note: 
Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality. Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $400 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,200.00 for a 4 hour booking. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight. A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for “4 hours”. Consultations, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion.

What you need to know BEFORE you choose an ipod for your event: Today, the trendy topic is DIY receptions which uses an ipod and a rented  sound system instead of a professional wedding DJ.   This idea is fraught with peril, because a great event is more than  simply gear and music.  It is the talent that a qualified professional  brings to the event which matters most.   A professional DJ that is a member of the ADJA allows for a smooth  flow to the event, with no embarrassing surprises. A Professional DJ from the ADJA can provide you with confidence that your event will flow  smoothly and will be an event that you, your family and guests will  never forget, instead of one they would like to.

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