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.
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!