Today, I just wanted to give a heads up about 2016. As of right now, we only have 12 dates open for 2016. So if you haven't booked a affordable, reliable and professional DJ, today I wouldn't wait to much longer. Most highly requested DJ companies get booked between 6 months to a year in advance. So, if you are getting married in 2016 and have not reserved your DJ yet. Then you better get a move on! So if you haven't booked a DJ here are a few questions to ask the DJ you are considering to book before you actually book them.
Now, also keep in mind that no one goes into business to intentionally make your wedding a huge disaster. The questions to ask are for your safety to ensure that you are getting a true professional to make your dream wedding become a reality.
What to ask your DJ before booking
ow many years have they been in business?
Experience performers should have a minimum of at least 5 years and references to prove it. Any kid with a i pod can play music, but it takes a professional entertainer to manage the crowd through music and motivate your guest to be interactive. Being interactive is definitely a plus, however, a DJ that is inexperience will also be too interactive to the point of being plain out annoying which can destroy a dance faster than playing the wrong type of music.
2. Are They Licensed and Insured or Bonded?
Every professional DJ in business today should have a business license in the State they are doing business in. If they can't provide a license, then walk away. Also, they should have a at least a 1 million dollar insurance policy. Companies with multiple employees should also be bonded. A bond is basically to ensure that they stay honest with the public they are doing business with. It ensures, that they are not going to commit any dishonest acts towards you, the venue and or your guests. Meaning if they steal from you during your event, a claim can be issued on the bond to cover your loss.
3. If Booking a Multi-OP Company, Do You Know Who Will DJ Your Event?
Several companies have employee's or sub contractors. Be cautious on booking a company that works only with sub contractors. The reason being is because the company your bookings has very little control over the quality of equipment and performance of the DJ. The reason is because the company has no if very little equipment and therefore, will contract other little companies with very little exposure or experience to DJ your event.
4. Are You Getting a Sub Contractor or Employee of the Company Your Bookings?
This basically is a recap on question #3. Employees are regulated, paid and trained by the company they work for. The equipment is owned, managed and maintained by the company you book. A company with employees will more than likely have multiple DJ Systems that are nearly identical. Therefore, if you see one event that is hosted by that company, it is more than likely the other events and your event will have the same if not nearly identical as the equipment you seen before. Sub Contractors are usually performers who own their own equipment, unregulated by the company they are hired by, usually has little to no insurance (not all but many). Since they are unregulated by the "booking" company, you cannot for sure know exactly what type of performance your going to get or the quality of equipment unless you seen that specific performer in action before.
DO They Provide A Backup DJ or Back Up Equipment?
This is a tricky question to ask and it easy to forget. However, equipment can fail and DJ's can get sick or emergencies may happen. I used to work for a company when I was a sub contractor, and they purposely would over book or completely booked with no emergency staff. During that time, I was expecting the birth of my first born son. I advise the owner of the situation and gave him 7-8 months of notice and advised him he can book me but to at least keep a back up DJ for me in case my son decided to say hi on a day of a wedding. Sure enough, July 12, 2009, the day of a wedding, she went into labor at 6:00 am that Saturday morning. As stated the owner who sub contracted me, did not have a back up and I was forced to go to the wedding. I nearly said to screw off and stayed at the hospital. However, She told me to go and so I went, DJ the wedding. The whole night I was checking on her and advised the clients of the situation and they said if I needed to go, I could go. In the end, she held out till I got done with the wedding and I arrived 5 minutes before my son was born. So, ASK ABOUT A BACK UP EMERGENCY PLAN!!! If I would of said forget it and stayed at the hospital, those clients would of had NO DJ for their wedding.
6. What is Your Attire During Weddings?
This day in age, the T-Shirt Tuxedo is out. In fact, Tuxedo's for DJ's are even rare. However, you don't want a DJ showing up in dirty Khaki's and a wrinkled polo. Most DJ's don't object to a tux if that is what your wanting, however, a professional will know that at a bare minimum, a 3 piece suit is a must regardless of climate or temperature. If your DJ is not dressed to impress, his or her performance will not be to impress either. Personal Hygiene is a must too.
7. Do You Have A Website?
A professional will have a professional website. You should be able to see their event in action on their site with pictures of past events and reviews submitted by clients. You should also see a professional availability checker or see contact information. If it looks home made or cluttered, then 90% of the time, the DJ system, and their appearance is going to be the same. If they can't afford a professional website, then that is a good indication that they are not getting referrals because they are probably not recommended as much by their clients.
8. What is Your Process of Selecting Songs and Taking Requests?
Many DJ's absolutely refuse requests, others will take all song requests regardless of popularity, genre or if its edited or not. A Professional DJ will handle requests diplomatically and logically. They will be able to filter requests through popularity if the song is proper for the type of crowd or event they are performing at. Music selection is also a very crucial and tedious job. It's not just about selecting a hand full of songs and put the system on auto play. There is some serious mathematical calculations when selecting and mixing songs. Yes, Math... DJ Math to be precise. There is also a degree of Musical Theory implied as well as even some psychology. So yes, any one can play music on a MP3 Player but it takes skill, practice and talent to know how to actually perform with prerecorded music. Make sure your confident the DJ you choose has that ability.
9. Does the DJ have a Set Up Team or Assistants That Will Be Attending?
Some DJ Companies have a set up crew, others do not. Some have assistants or even have employees they are training to attend. In some cases, you may have to feed those extra people or there may be extra charges to have these people work at your event. Its a good ideal to offer food to your hired help, but at least know how many people your going to have to account for.
10. Know What Your Paying For. Ego vs Experience and Talent.
I've stated this in a few blogs before, it is VERY frustrating to hear about people paying $2,000.00-$5,000.00 for a sub par talented DJ. They pay for an ego of a DJ more than for a service of talent and skill. There are DJ's that may be worth that and they may have taken classes in Emceeing, or DJ mixing. They may of gone to actual academic accredited institutions in broadcasting and feel they deserve that. However, that is very rare. I believe that it is intuitive for a DJ to take professional training classes in how to be a Professional Master of Ceremonies, however, those classes are not accredited by any agency to ensure the professionalism. However, when a DJ tells you, he doesn't need it because he knows it all already, then its time to look elsewhere. A DJ's training is never done. Every event, we learn new and intuitive ways to interact with the crowd or mix music to create that unique style that each individual DJ is known for. So, trust your instinct. If they seem to have a huge chip on their shoulder vs being humble and take pride at what they do, then its best to go with the humbled DJ that just has that passion and love of music. Know exactly what your paying for. Don't be afraid to ask what is all included. What equipment are they using, do they have online planning. The amount of time you get with the price and any additional fee's. If there is no contract stating all your charges then look the other way. Also, a professional DJ will have a contract completely laid out with provisions, cancellations policy, penalties, travel fees, accommodations, and other terms in the contract. If your dealing with a 1 page contract that is very vague, BE CAREFUL. Look over the contract. A standard contract for a performer is usually about 2 to 3 pages long with a very detailed description of terms. A detailed contract protects you and the DJ company that your about to hire for your event.
Obviously there is many other questions to ask when booking a DJ for your wedding. It can be fun shopping around. If you have fun talking to them, then you are more than likely going to have fun on your wedding night. As I stated before, no DJ goes into business to destroy your one and only chance to celebrate your marriage together. However, its about the level of customer service and reliability that you should be concerned about. Whomever you choose, make sure you are happy with whom you choose and confident in their ability. If you feel sold, then you won't be happy but if you feel you have hired a reputable DJ, you will be. I tell clients all the time, that I would rather that they book a company that they are happy with then feeling to choose my company because of some promotion I'm running. Don't look at prices, look at reviews, personality and reputation. If you choose your entertainer based on price alone, you could be paying WAY too much or Not enough.
I hope this article helps you choose the right DJ for you. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. You can visit our website at www.siouxfallsdjsquad.com
, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 605.338.2761. We hope you choose the right DJ for your event, so you can have your perfect mix... for your perfect night.