The entertainment is one of two most talked about details of any special event yet is typically less than 10 percent of the total budget. With a little guidance you can get it right!
Here are some tips for finding the right DJ:
1. Start by asking friends and relatives if they know of any great DJs. A good recommendation from someone you trust is important. If you can’t find one this way, start looking online or through the yellow pages under “disc jockeys.”
2. Ask each DJ if they’re available on your date and location. Ask them to send you background information, a contract, playlists, information sheets, testimonials, references, etc.
3. Ask them how much they cost, what’s included and what’s not included (setup, teardown, dinner music, consulting, etc.). Ask if they are a registered business in their state and if they have at least $1 million in liability insurance. Question a company that is very low in cost – there's a good chance you will be putting the success of your event at risk in order to save a few bucks. If the company you are looking at is in the high end, ask them to justify their cost. You might find you are compensating for their large sound or lighting system that you have no desire to use; but you might find that there are added services that are worth the extra cost.
4. If you’ve never met the DJ or haven’t heard any great testimonials from friends or family, then schedule a meeting. DJ videos and brochures help, but a sit-down can provide much better information. Make sure they can provide the type of entertainment you desire. If you’re having a specific style of event (wedding reception, swing dance, beach party, etc.) make sure they are well-qualified. Ask them how many other events they’ve done similar to yours.
5. Is the DJ you’re meeting the DJ that will actually entertain at your special event? Most DJ companies with more than a few employees can’t say for sure who your DJ will be until a month or a few weeks ahead of time. Keep this in mind when shopping. Be sure that the DJ you hire knows what you’re looking for and is responsible and professional.
6. Once you feel you found an established disc jockey in your price range, with the music selection you like, make your final selection based on personality. Some disc jockeys like to steal the show. These DJs are always on the microphone and like to be very visible. The other end of the spectrum is the DJ with a lack of any personality who does nothing except play the music. Other companies are well balanced. Usually you can get a feel for style simply by talking to the disc jockey over the phone.
And here’s how to hire your DJ:
7. Make certain the DJ has a written contract and that everything you expect of them is in writing. If they refuse or give you nothing but a bunch of verbal claims, find another DJ immediately. Review the contract line by line. Ask questions if you’re unsure about something. Sign and return the contract with the deposit. Be sure you understand the cancellation policy.
8. Decide on the start and end time for music. What time will the first guests arrive? Make sure the DJ is completely setup by this time, even if you don’t want music played until later.
9. Four to six weeks before the special event, complete and return the playlist and information sheet along with a map to the location and any other necessary information. Make sure the DJ understands exactly what is to happen and when, including specialty dances or important announcements. If you’ve requested any special music that the DJ doesn’t have, be sure you provide it the day of your event. Make sure the DJ’s attire will be appropriate. Go over the pronunciation of all names to be announced, even if they seem common. Tell the DJ if they’ll have to use stairs, elevators, long hallways to unload.
10. One week before the event, confirm the setup time, music start and end time and balance owed with your DJ.
11. During your event, consult your DJ immediately if something is not going as you discussed or if you change your mind about anything. If the volume is not right or they’re playing the wrong songs, let them know.
12. Enjoy your event!
|How to Hire a DJ|
Top Reasons to Select ANDJs
Music Makes the Event
Bridal Song Suggestions
Learn to Dance
View reviews of All Night DJs: