Choosing your DJ….

As you are possibly finding out, choosing a DJ for your Birthday, Bar / Bat Mitzvah, Anniversary or Corporate Function can be a bit of a minefield! So many DJ’s all with the best possible kit, all with “Trillions of tracks from 1610 to current date” and all with more experience than Chris Tarrant (am I showing my age a bit!).

Using the tabs across the top you will find more information on the different services available, access the different Photo and Video Galleries, read Testimonials about my services and read my Blog Articles, some of which also include a video montage of photo’s taken on the night.

However, if you are in the initial planning stages and want to ensure that you choose the right DJ for your event, then please read on!

You’ll be glad to hear, that actually, choosing your DJ is quite simple once you understand that there are several different types of DJ out there, and depending on your type of event, some DJ’s are just not the right choice. BUT armed with some simple questions, you can soon cross off some that are simply not the right kind of DJ for your event, and start to draw up a short list of DJ’s that you will be phoning up and talking to!

Creating the Shortlist of DJ’s / Disco’s for your Party or Event ……

  • · What kind of function is it?

A DJ just getting starting as a hobby , may be OK at a Kids birthday party, but they will really struggle with the pressures of a multi-generational gathering. Also, a 60 year old DJ, whilst great for a family gathering such as a Wedding or Anniversary, may not be up with the current music trends, and thus, not a great choice for an 18th or perhaps 21st Birthday.

 

  • · How many people are you expecting?

Some DJ’s specialise in the smaller party (up to 150 on average), whilst others will kit available to cater for much larger parties. Choosing a DJ who has the right equipment for your event is a main factor in it’s success – you don’t want the music so quiet no one can hear it – or too loud that no one can hear themselves think.

 

  • · Agency or Independent Operator?

Not sure of the difference?

 

An Agency/Multi-Op Agent is where a company has multiple DJ’s on their books. Whether they sub-contract, employ, provide all the equipment or none is not the point. The point here is that more often than not, when you book a DJ through an “Agency” you may not know who you are getting until the night, the DJ you get may be changed at the last minute, and ultimately as you placed all the control in the hands of the agency, you have no control over the DJ who will be performing and their level of ability or suitability for your event. This may not be a bad thing, there are many Agencies that are very good at their job, unfortunately there are also many companies who simply farm out the work to the cheapest DJ’s they can find, and the first you will know of it is at your event! Agencies are usually, but not always cheaper than a professional party DJ.

 

The Independent Operator is essentially a DJ who works for himself. They will take the booking, discuss the event perhaps even meet up and go through all the different options that are available. Some may call this the Personal Touch! You know who you will see at your event, and you know that you have chosen that person for a good reason.

 

Many agencies will claim that the main advantage of considering an agency is that, in the event of Illness, accident etc the agency has other DJ’s they can call on at a moments notice……. That said, you will also find all professional DJ’s will also have a similar “emergency plan” in place too…… so really, your choice here is what is the bigger factor – price or reassurance that you have chosen the right DJ to make your party perfect!

 

  • · Price

This perhaps should be at the top, as it’s always one of the first questions that is asked. Yes, price is of course an important factor, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. You are choosing a DJ to perform at your event. To create and provide the entertainment which is forming the basis from which your guests memories will be formed.

 

There are some DJ’s who charge absolute peanuts – and more often than not there’s a good reason for that (sub standard equipment, payment in cash, dodgy downloads and no real consideration for the party host’s wishes etc ).

 

There are some DJ’s who charge a fortune – but not all are worth it! However, when you are looking at the top end of the market, you are usually looking for specific skills such as large performance equipment or club mixing skills, Professional Wedding DJ (www.odysseyweddingdisco.co.uk ) etc, so you should be able to sort out the wheat from the chaff in this price bracket.

 

It’s the mid-range bracket that effects most conscientious party hosts as this is where it’s becomes a bit more tricky to work out which DJ’s are trying it on, and which DJ’s are actually going to provide you with what you want.

 

  • · Personality

It’s not just about how you get on with the DJ over the phone, or at your client meeting. It’s about how they interact with your guests at the event. There are some older jocks who like to talk regularly, introduce tracks and generally use the microphone a lot. At the other end of the scale, you have those that will use the microphone when needed, and just let the music to the talking! Do ask the DJ’s you speak to how much the use the microphone – and ensure this fits in with your requirements.

 

  • · Testimonials

Professional DJ’s will have a raft of Testimonials that they can show you, either as Thank You Cards or E-mails that have been sent through after an event or a Testimonial/Evaluation style of form completed and returned by the client.

 

  • · Mix Tapes / See them Playing at another Party

- Mix Tapes – if you are after a Club DJ, then this may be suitable – however, for most parties or events, this really won’t be necessary.

- Visiting another Party – most DJ’s won’t let you come and see them perform at another private party for two reasons. 1) It’s a private party! and 2) every event is different – the event you come and see them at may have the liveliest crowd around and make them look awesome, or they may have a crowd where the guests are more content with sitting and listening which will make them look not so good.

 

The worlds’ best DJ could play all the best tunes, but if the guests don’t want to dance – there’s nothing you can do about it – or is there? Professional Party DJ’s will have a raft of ideas for you to consider if this happens to you….

 

Questions to ask the shortlisted DJ’s / Disco’s

  1. Will I get a signed copy of our agreement detailing the date times and fee? A written contract is for your protection and peace of mind. It needs to be signed by both you and the DJ.
  2. How and when will you need payment? Deposits could be anything from £50 to 50%, the balancing figure should be paid beforehand. Always pay by cheque, debit/credit card or BACS as these payments can be traced. Cash is rarely accepted on the night by professional DJ’s except in extenuating circumstances.
  3. Will you be on your own or will you be bringing the local tribe to clear up the buffet? Many DJ’s have “roadies” – people to help them set up and pack down. You are not obliged to feed or water your DJ (although the offer is really appreciated!) and especially not their roadie. The last thing you want to see is your DJ concentrating more on their partner/roadie and not watching what’s going on with your event. However, some events do require more than one DJ to act as a lighting tech, request taker and the like.
  4. Have you a back up plan if you meet with a disaster? (ie is he part of a network of DJs that can help him out if he has an accident or is ill) The all important Emergency Plan.
  5. What happens if any of your equipment blows up? A professional DJ will not only have all their equipment tested annually (PAT Testing) to minimise the risk of problems, but they will also carry spares with them to every event for “just in case”. This way whatever happens, your event will carry on regardless.
  6. Do you have Public Liability Insurance? Some venues insist on PLI of up to £10 million, so it’s worth asking your DJ – all professional DJ’s will have this, so just ask for a copy if your venue has requested it.
  7. Can I choose music before the event, and can my guest make requests as well? Believe it or not, there are some DJ’s who do not want to take any requests from you or your guests! Most DJ’s will take requests from you, most DJ’s will take requests on the night. It should be noted that very few DJ’s want a list of 200 songs from which they are not allowed to deviate……….f you want to do this – hire a Juke Box! A good DJ will react to your guests, will play what’s going to get people enjoying themselves and dancing – your DJ needs to have some flexibility.See HERE FOR DETAILS ON MY ONLINE MUSIC SYSTEM WHERE BOTH YOU AND YOUR GUESTS CAN CHOOSE THE MUSIC THAT’S GOING TO GET YOU UP ON THE DANCEFLOOR.