a DJ: Points to Consider
By Bill Smith
Smith and the Magic of Music
When you plan a party of any sort, your objective is to ensure that your
guests have a good time, period. Your choice of entertainment,
particularly if you are considering a DJ, is crucial to that end. Who
you choose for your wedding reception or special event will have a
greater degree of effect than any other factor, such as food or
location. The DJ you choose is a direct reflection on you. Here are some
important points to remember when you interview a DJ company.
Prompt return of your phone calls or Emails: You should expect to get a
call back or an Email back within 24 hours. Many DJ’s are out working
and may not be able to return your call within an hour or two.
Willingness to meet with you and present his/her service: Will the DJ
try to meet with you soon, or is he/she just trying to book the date
sight unseen? Is their material neat and professional looking, and is
their presentation organized and informative?
Is the price too good to be true? It seems that the DJ is often the last
service chosen, after much of the budget is expended on a venue, food
and clothing. This often leads brides and party planners to shop for the
cheapest price possible because of a lack of resources. This often
backfires when holding out for the lowest price. However, if you have
adhered to the guiding principals noted here, you will know to avoid
services that have a rock bottom price because they will not be able to
display the level of quality and attention to detail that EVERY client
Do you LIKE the person that shows up? There is NOTHING worse in the
world than having to do business with someone you do not like. Choosing
the person who “feels” right is the most important factor in picking the
right entertainer for your party or reception. The DJ you choose should
be very open about what he/she can do for you and should volunteer
information and “show” you that knowledge base.
Is the person knowledgeable about your type of event? There are all
kinds of DJ’s. Club DJ’s, wedding DJ’s, Rave DJ’s…the list is endless!!
Can the DJ you interview handle your type of event? Ask the DJ how many
events of your type that he/she has done.
What sort of documents does the DJ use to procure your business? In a
good interview, the DJ should show you several documents. First and
foremost is a planner. This planner should impress you enough to the
point where you begin to understand that the DJ you are hiring is a
professional, and is capable of handling your event. A sample copy of
the CONTRACT to be used should be available as well as a schedule of
pricing information. A DJ may also give you a list of references. CALL
THEM!! Ask if there were any issues or problem areas when the person
dealt with the DJ.
Does the DJ have a viewable music database? It shows you what sort of
music he or she has available. Many DJ’s do not use music lists, others
do. In some fashion, you the client, need to be assured that the DJ you
hire not only has a sizeable collection, but has a variety of music,
especially for wedding receptions, where many different styles of music
and guests will be in the same room together.
Does the DJ use professional grade equipment? If the DJ does not have
pictures of his or her gear, you should ask to set up a time to see the
equipment or see pictures of the DJ’s set up. Although there are many
fine home stereo equipment components made, they are not suitable for
commercial or repeated use and varying room conditions. The DJ should be
able to tell you what he/she uses and characterize the equipment as
Will the DJ offer to meet with you AFTER signing the contract to plan
your event? A professional DJ is ALWAYS willing to discuss your event at
any time before the event starts, and should display the flexibility to
accommodate changes and help you solve problems. Meeting your DJ to plan
your event is of paramount importance to a successful event such as a
Consider this when pricing your DJ service: You should consider your DJ
service an insurance policy that ensures that all of the other money you
spend will not result in bad memories or a less than enjoyable occasion.
You do get what you pay for. Good entertainment is NOT cheap, and cheap
entertainment often is NOT good!! And yet many people will pay far more
for a cake, flowers, or food than they will for the most crucial
ingredient at a party – the music. When was the last time you saw a cake
reading a crowd and spinning a CD, motivating a dance floor crowd, or
making announcements in a dignified elegant way? Further, when was the
last time you heard a guest tell you “Boy, that prime rib was great, I
can’t wait until I go to another party to have that again”? No, that
DOES NOT HAPPEN. Instead, they talk about the music that was played, and
whether they had a good time or not. The music is always what they will
talk about and whether the DJ was any good or not.
Your DJ, if you have chosen a good one, will display many of the
following skills and attributes before and at your event:
- Master of Ceremonies
- Party organizer
- Sound technician
- Light technician
- Ability to read a crowd and pick the right music
- Flexibility to adapt to sudden changes
- Follow the plan that you and he/she have worked out using the planner
- Seamless continuous music at all times unless otherwise specified
- Extensive library of music
- Professional grade of equipment
- Audience motivator
- Ability to co exist and coordinate with other professionals at your
Thanks again to Bill Smith for his permission to reprint this article
for everyone here!
Can you plan my event in whatever
way we choose?
Yes, we can custom
tailor your event just the way you choose. Not
every event has to be done the same way. You may
want to add something different or not do some
of the old standards, its all up to you.
Do you have Liability Insurance?
Yes all of our Disc
Jockeys carry insurance - DO NOT book a DJ
What would you wear to my event?
Depending on what type
of event you are having we will wear what is
appropriate for the occasion unless you tell us
different. Normally we will dress in formal wear
Do you have back up equipment?
Yes, and we bring it
with us to all the events that we do.
Are you going to talk a lot at my
Do you mean are we
cheesy DJ's? The only talking that we will be
doing is for the announcements that you want us
to make. Our experience has taught us to let our
music do the talking.
Are you going to make us do silly
No, not unless you want
to. We do have some different and unique games
that we offer, but we will go over all of that
when we sit down with you. There will be no
surprises at your event. The last thing we want
to do is make you uncomfortable at you event.
Are you going to show up at our
event with a home stereo?
No, we use all
professional sound and lighting equipment. Check
our equipment page for what we use.
Will you be set up on time?
Yes, that is
guaranteed! We show up at least an hour and a
half before the start time. That is so we can do
a sound and lighting check. and meet with your
location and anyone else that we need to talk
How can you offer so much service
and equipment for the prices that you have?
That's simple, our DJs do a lot of work for us
and therefore we get a discounted price for you!
Do you have any hidden charges
like some other companies do?
No, all of our pricing is listed up front, no
set up or tear down fees, travel charges, taxes
or anything - even tips!
I looked at your music list and
did not see the song that I wanted?
That's not a problem,
not all of our songs are listed on line there
are only over 160,000 listed there. But if you
request a song that we do not have we will be
have it for you.
After we sign with you will we be
able to contact you about our event?
Yes, will are more than
happy to work with you every step of the way, we
will answer any questions that you have,
remember the only dumb question is the one that
you don't ask.
Will you do a theme wedding, or
do you just do traditional weddings?
We are willing to work
with you for what ever type of event that you
want to have, it's important to us that your
event is done the way that you want it. We
remember the most important thing, we work for
Should you tip the DJ?
NO - unless
you want to
tips to Find your DJ
Many people think that a Dj is a DJ
and they are all pretty much the same - how wrong
DJs come in all shapes and sizes and
quality, but the over riding factor is that most DJs
are not quality controlled by anyone.
A DJ working from home may be good or
may not be, or may have good equipment or not.
How do you the consumer tell?
We have set up this Company to stop
all your worries and fears, in that all the Disc
Jockeys listed on this site and affiliated with us
have gone through rigorous testing and quality
controls, background checks, equipment checks and
reference checks, thus making sure you do not have
to worry about the unknown.
Many people judge a DJ on price alone
finding the cheapest one and going with that deal -
unfortunately the first consideration factors have
been overlooked, and you should not book on price as
the first determination.
You need to ask these important
1. Do you have Public Liability
Insurance Mr. DJ?
2. Can you supply recent references
of clients for me to contact?
3. Do you have any other vendor
references I can contact?
4. Do you have back up equipment in
case of failure - this must be written in any
5. Do you have AAA breakdown services
or similar in case of transport problems?
6. Do you charge extra fees and
7. What is the value of your services
in descriptive words?
8. Have you ever had any complaints?
9. What format of music do you use -
MP3, DVD, CD or tapes?( Tapes and MP3's are the
lowest quality - best is CD or DVD quality)
10. Do you provide a guarantee?
11. Do you provide a contract and
what is the deposit and final payment terms?