Crystal James

Executive Operations Manager

27 years experience worldwide in the Entertainment Industry and now Executive Operations Manager for Kevin Colangelo Premier Disc Jockeys, and without doubt a leading authority in etiquette and the right way to plan an event. Having traveled the world and experienced different cultures and religions has given Crystal a enormous amount of knowledge and understanding.

The Entertainment Industry is scattered with so many idea's and suggestions and when viewing websites you get the feeling that they have all copied each other in what they say, and rarely understand what they mean or have any idea of what the client expects.

On your travels across the Internet you will read many DJ Services "Frequently asked questions" and more often than not you will notice a pattern - Disc Jockey Websites all seem to be saying the same things. Saying is one thing but doing is another.

Follow my tips and judge for yourself.

Have Questions?


 

 

 


 

Most people have this in mind when searching for a DJ:

 

"We're just looking for the cheapest price"

If you're only comparing hours and dollars, you must begin by assuming, incorrectly, that all DJs are exactly alike, and the cheapest one is the best value. Unfortunately, most people who "go cheap," and have a nightmare experience with their DJ, end up assuming (also incorrectly) that all DJs are equally bad.

if your DJ is bad, he's the only thing your guests will remember about your party, and all your careful planning will go to waste.

 

Avoid

Hiring a family friend to DJ your event

Shopping for the lowest price

Allowing someone, other than yourself, to select a DJ company for you

Attempting to use a "IPOD" - (the most common disaster scenario)

Hiring a DJ without Public Liability Insurance

Assuming all DJs are the same


Hiring a DJ: Points to Consider
By Bill Smith
Bill 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 deserves!

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 professional grade.

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 wedding reception.

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 event

Thanks again to Bill Smith for his permission to reprint this article for everyone here!


Answers

  1. 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.
     

  2. Do you have Liability Insurance?

    Yes all of our Disc Jockeys carry insurance - DO NOT book a DJ without it!
     

  3. 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 - Tuxedo.
     

  4. Do you have back up equipment?

    Yes, and we bring it with us to all the events that we do.
     

  5. Are you going to talk a lot at my event?

    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.
     

  6. Are you going to make us do silly games?

    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.
     

  7. 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.
     

  8. 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 to.
     

  9. 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!
     

  10. 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!
     

  11. 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.
     

  12. 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.
     

  13. 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 you!
     

  14. Should you tip the DJ?

    NO - unless you want to

Planning tips to Find your DJ

Many people think that a Dj is a DJ and they are all pretty much the same - how wrong they are.

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 questions first:

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 contract.

5. Do you have AAA breakdown services or similar in case of transport problems?

6. Do you charge extra fees and taxes?

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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