Tag Archives: reviews

Peanuts

Pay peanuts and get monkeys

… as the old saying goes!

I witnessed this on a rare Saturday night off recently to attend a party as a guest.

I am not one known to openly critic ones work, however as I was on the other side of the DJ booth for a change, I thought I would offer some words of wisdom to any budding DJ that is starting off and wants to make a good name for themselves or even to a client that is looking to book a DJ for their event…

To the DJ: Always arrive on time or ahead of time

As we arrived at the venue around 7PM, I overheard the party hosts beginning to panic that their DJ hadn’t arrived yet. Trying to ease the situation, my wife did state I was a DJ, however I was not in a position to openly step in to assist as my equipment was at home.

I was a little concerned for the party goers as well. They were expecting their DJ to start at 7:30PM and finally once confirmed with the venue owners, were then told that he wouldn’t get there until 8PM.

This is not a good start in my books, I would always aim to arrive on the allocated time that has been agreed with the host and/or try and arrive earlier to make sure everything is in good running order before the guests arrive. It was fortunate for the DJ that there was an in-house sound system, lighting rig and a DJ booth, however you should never assume all is in working order.

To the DJ: Dress for the occasion

Look presentable. Arriving in a scruffy hoody, jeans and trainers does not set a good image to your business or to your clients.

As it was the party was fancy dress, so I would either get involved with the theme or in smart attire (and I am not talking a full blown tux; shirt, smart jeans and shoes is generally acceptable) to show that you are a professional. Whenever I am playing I wear my own branded shirts to show a) I am proud of my business and b) a chance to get repeat or future bookings from clients whilst advertising my brand.

To the client: Do you know what you’re paying for?

Do not always look for the cheapest DJ/Entertainer. I would ask the following whilst making your booking:

  • What type of equipment do you have?
  • Are you insured?
  • What happens if you cannot make my event? What back-up measures have you got in place?
  • Are you willing to meet up to discuss my/our party plans and music selection?
  • Do you have any reviews from previous customers that I/we can see?
  • Any extras you can offer to make my/our event special?

If the DJ/Entertainer is able to answer the above honestly and confidently, then make your own judgement call on if they are best suited for your event.

Showing intent to meet up with you, shows that they want to offer a tailored package to suit you and your guests needs. At A.C.Knell Entertainment, we never treat our bookings as the same, each night is unique and is usually down to a combination of the music, equipment we use and the guests as well that make the night a huge success.

There are unfortunately like a lot of tradesmen, cowboys in our industry as well. We worked with Dominic Littlewood and Melinda Messenger for Channel 5’s ‘Cowboy Traders’ a few years ago when a rogue Wedding Planner had stolen a couple-to-be’s money for their wedding day. It was great to step in and be able to provide them with an evening reception to remember for all the right reasons.

Reviews

Word of mouth of reviews are very important when looking for a DJ for your event. We take great pride in each event hosted and have some fantastic reviews from customers we have hosted events for over the years; as seen on our Facebook page which has been built up: https://www.facebook.com/pg/A.C.Knell.Entertainment/reviews/?ref=page_internal

You can read more or post your own review linking back to our earlier article on How did we do?

To the DJ: Learn how to read your crowd

This usually comes with years of experience. I am not saying you need a Psychology Degree to analyse people’s behaviour, however get a general feel for what your client and their guests want in advance. Ask them to produce a playlist of their top 10-15 or ‘must-have’ songs for the occasion. A.C.Knell Entertainment offers the right music selection for all events with a diverse library of over 100,000 songs from 1950’s – present day.

It can be easier said than done when you have a mixed age group, however I would advise not sticking to one specific genre of music for too long as this may end up clearing your dance floor.

Interact with the crowd, show that you are approachable and not just stuck to a specific playlist. Use the microphone where appropriate however use it sparingly as well.

To the DJ: Sitting down on the job

A big no in my books! Does not look professional in the slightest and makes it look like you do not want to be there.

Unless you had a legitimate reason for sitting down, such as you have a leg injury as an example, I would try and avoid this at all costs. You’ll end up looking like a Bingo caller instead.

To the client: How was communication on the lead up to your event?

If the DJ has gone above and beyond answering any questions you had on the lead up to your event, then that is great.

It shows they have a general interest in your occasion and are not just taking the booking on for the money.

We hope the above helps when making your own enquires and thanks again for reading!

A sound investment

Corny heading I know right?

However for any DJ to be successful at what they do, they must have a decent PA system to play out to their party guests.

In recent years I have been using the Cerwin Vega Intense INT152 600W Speakers which has been rated in the top 5 for Passive Wooden Speakers. If you are looking for a premium brand, there are a few companies that I can recommend:

As I move into larger events across Sussex, Surrey, Kent & Hampshire, it is key to look into finding the right system for you. Some of the questions you should ask when looking to invest in a new system I have listed below:

Passive speakers or Active speakers?

There are pro’s and cons for both…

Passive speakers require a seperate amplifier to be connected and offer power to the speakers. You need to make sure that the amp is powerful enough to support the preferred output you have chosen. This means you do not need to use additional power points to power these, however you will end up lugging around an amplifier in the meantime.

Active speakers are independently powered with the amplifier contained within the speakers and/or bass bins. You will need to make sure there is sufficient power points available at the venue for this, however the added benefit is you will no longer need to move around a standalone amplifier as this will offer a portable solution with microphone or mixer inputs directly into the speaker itself.

How powerful is the system and/or how many people can this cater for?

The output of a speaker system is very important whilst doing your research. It is key to understand what type of events you usually cater for and how many people are usually in attendance. On average this can range between 80 – 150 people normally, with larger events looking at 350+ people.

I have recently invested in the HK Audio Linear L5 Club Pack from DJKit.com which boosts a massive output of 4400 watts. Now obviously I haven’t had the chance to push this to it’s full potential yet, however early signs show that it has a large throw with the sound across the room, which leads me to my next point.

What size of venue do you usually perform at?

This is extremely important with the acoustics of the room. If you are using a smaller system (for example with an output of 400 watts) this isn’t exactly going to carry well in a large concert room. Assess the type of venues that you normally perform at and make a call on what system will best fill the room.

What manufacturer warranty/guarantee is available with the system you are looking into?

A good quality PA system does not come cheap. If you are playing in the public domain you should realistically look at spending anything from £600 upwards. The RRP on the HK Linear 5 Club Pack that I’ve acquired is £3,839, however the system also includes a 5 year warranty should there be any unforeseen issues that you encounter with usage.

Cables are equally important!

Investing in a new system alone is not enough, you should look at sourcing good quality speaker cables or leads that are compatible with your PA. This will make all the difference with the output of sound.

I have included a little video below unboxing the system I went for and from the first initial test at an event I hosted last night (Saturday), it definitely outperformed my expectations:

Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions on what you’ve seen!

Beware of the Trolls

Trolls

Image source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sammy-sultan/what-to-do-with-internet-trolls_b_3707933.html

What is an Internet Troll?

The traditional meaning behind a troll was always depicted as an ugly cave-dwelling creature or monster. This is also true to this new meaning the “Internet Troll”, whom personality is reflected by this description of a troll.

Sadly myself, have been a victim of Internet Trolling on a community group on Facebook recently. With the Internet now being an increasingly popular way for people to express their opinions about individuals and businesses, this sort of activity can be potentially damaging and hurtful to those that try and make a living through trading or operating their business or personal activity online.

Why is “trolling” bad?

Like any business, we take great pride in our positive reviews. We even welcome negative reviews if someone has had a bad experience to help us develop our business and learn from previous mistakes. After all, we are all human and we cannot be perfect all of the time.

Don’t be mistaken, trolling is not a form of customer/client voicing their review of something. Trolling is where someone attacks a business or person with no justification or reason behind their attack. Often this results in vulnerable people; especially in this day an age (whom try to maintain a popular impression online), to be driven to drastic events.

Sadly, I have read so many stories in the news, in which children have committed suicide over heartful comments in some of these attacks:

Can you kill yourself already?’ The vile online messages from internet trolls ‘that led girl, 16, to hang herself

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2246896/Jessica-Laney-16-committed-suicide-internet-trolls-taunted-told-kill-herself.html

Lucky for me, I grew up when the Internet had only just been invented and the Social community (or anti-Social in this case) did not exist until recently.

So bullying was often an exchange of nasty words verbally; rather than written down to a whole community of strangers to see, read, share or like with their peers. The viral affect caused by these “internet-bullies” can be far more damaging these days than a few nasty words.

What leads people to “troll” others?

We will never know the real reason to why people have to express so much hate for another person. Sometimes this could be down to jealously, due to someone’s success or perhaps they may just have a personal vendetta against them or even in some cases, just a random unprovoked attack.

What can be done to prevent being trolled?

Report it to the community administrator, police (yes that’s right it is now a criminal offence to be a Troll) and if you know who that individual is you can file a “gagging order” with your Solicitor/Lawyer to prevent any slanderous content appearing about you on various channels.

In some cases you may not be able to identify who the Troll is as they often try and hide behind a computer screen (often behind a fake profile or alias) to stop themselves getting caught with no thought on what damage they can do to that individual or business. Luckily for the victims, these individuals are being exposed for spreading hatred by the authorities all the time and punished for their crimes:

Twitter Trolls Jailed For Sending Abusive Tweets

Read more: http://news.sky.com/story/1200521/twitter-trolls-jailed-for-sending-abusive-tweets

So to anyone else that has encountered similar sort of problems, follow our advice and rise above the comments as they are probably jealous of what a wonderful person you have become.

Speak soon!

A.C.Knell

How did we do?

Like any business, reviews and positive feedback are key to their survival. It is always in their best interest to provide a great service and experience to their customers.

At A.C.Knell Entertainment we strive to treat each gig we perform at as the best ever to ensure the crowd have an enjoyable and fun experience.

Whether we are performing at a wedding, providing PA hire, Karaoke or music for a Birthday party or kids party we make sure it is an event you’ll remember.

Reading some of the testimonials on this website is a positive sign that we are doing something right. 😀

We take great pride in our Reviews and if we have hosted an event for you recently, we want to hear about how we performed for you.

 

ACKnell 10% discount

Feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page or write a comment below and you will be entitled to a 10% discount off any future party bookings…