Hire a professional Disc Jockey

Your entertainment is key to your events success!

After hearing some of the horror stories of Disc Jockeys (DJs) who are boring, or a no-show for an event, We decided it was time to offer some professional advice on hiring a DJ.

There are 30 essential questions to ask a potential DJ:

1. Are you available for our date & time?
2. Do you DJ full-time?
3. Will you personally be the DJ for our event?
4. How many years experience do you have?
5. Are you insured?
6. Can you supply me with proof liability?
7. May we call your references?
8. May we plan to come and see you perform?
9. Will you help plan our event?
10. Do you provide a wedding reception agenda?
11. Do you also act as the Master of Ceremonies for the event?
12. How many consultations do you provide in your package prices?
13. Can you come to my home or business to go over the entertainment agenda?
14. Do you take breaks, how many, and for how long?
15. Are we required to provide you with anything special? (ex. Dinner / Drink)
16. Are you a member any professional organizations, or trade groups?
17. What time do you arrive to setup your equipment?
18. What will you need provided for setup, and how much room is required?
19. Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
20. How many songs do you have in your library?
21. Will you play requests and discuss the music ahead of time?
22. Do you provide cocktail/ dinner music?
23. Do you provide a wireless mic for speeches?
24. Do you use professional equipment?
25. Do you bring backup equipment with you?
26. Do you offer a lighting package, or special effects for my event?
27. Are there any additional charges, for instance for travel, or load in?
28. Do you have direct phone number, or e-mail, or website?
29. Do you provide a written contract?
30. What type of deposit do you require to hold the event date?
BONUS Question = What do you do for Signage or advertising at my event?

We believe your DJ should meet all of the above criteria and more. A career DJ has much more at stake when it comes to providing professional service, full-time. A DJ company with a solid reputation will not want to send another DJ to represent them.

Once a DJ has gained experience and confidence, being a Master of Ceremonies will come naturally to them. Before getting in front of your guests however, a couple of meeting will be necessary to go over all the details in the wedding reception agenda. It is common for the DJ to meet with you in your home a few months before the wedding to go over the agenda, and to call you at least a week prior to the wedding. A good reception planner will have all the details of the reception including names of the bridal party; times of events happening throughout the evening; type of music to play; and all other details that will ensure the evening's perfection.

Many responsible business owners carry liability insurance to protect their businesses and the consumer. Many locations are beginning to require proof of liability. Ask for proof of liability insurance. Disc Jockey's receive a Certificate of Liability which can be used as proof.

A versatile Disc Jockey is willing to listen to your suggestions, give you feedback and play from your desired song list. A professional Disc Jockey will also accept the fact you may not want certain songs played. A professional Disc Jockey cannot know everything about your musical preferences and entertainment needs without communication.

A professional Disc Jockey will assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. Ask if they have experience with your type of event.

To be sure your DJ will not be unloading and setting up after your guests start to arrive, ensure they will be there at least two hours before the event is scheduled to begin. This gives time to setup and test all equipment, and to replace any defective cables or components. It is normal for a DJ to setup the equipment in street clothes, then to change to appropriate attire shortly before the reception gets underway.

Music is very important at your wedding reception - you have thought about the music you would like and probably imagined the evening, as you would like it to be. Should the DJ not have a sufficient music library, you may find your guests aren't going to be on the dance floor as much as you would have like them to be. As a minimum, 5,000 songs is a reasonable library for a professional, and 10,000 songs is a very good-sized music library.

Ask whether your prospective Disc Jockey works with professional audio equipment. If you are not sure, ask for their equipment list and check with a local music dealer or the A.D.J.A. to verify they are using professional-grade sound gear. Remember that professional gear does not guarantee an entertainer's talent or service level, but is simply a tool for building an exceptional event. Although equipment failure is rare, do you really want your special occasion ruined because your Disc Jockey did not come prepared? It is also important to know if your Disc Jockey has a back-up plan in case of illness or an accident. Members of the A.D.J.A. have many resources available to them in case of an emergency. You may also reach our Hotline number to get a Disc Jockey when you have an emergency. The toll-free number is 888-723-5776.

Although belonging to an organization or trade group does not guarantee the talent or professionalism of a disc jockey, it may indicate the companies willingness to network, learn and grow. Disc jockeys can learn through local chapter meetings, national DJ conventions and seminars geared toward the entertainment professional.

Punctuality is a necessity. Most Disc Jockey's arrive at least one hour prior to the start time you've given them. Your entertainer should ideally be setup and in-place before your first guest walks through the door. Specify the type of apparel that your Disc Jockey is expected to wear for your occasion. Formal attire or coat & tie are the most popular forms of attire. If you are having a "themed" event, make sure your entertainer is informed.

As the guests begin to arrive and as they enjoy their meals it is nice to have dinner music playing. DJ packages generally include at least one hour of dinner (or cocktail) music. At this time, it is customary for persons seated at the head table to make speeches or to offer advice or good wishes to the new couple. For this, a wireless microphone is a necessity. A wireless microphone enables everyone to be more relaxed and comfortable, as they do not have to stand up and go to the front of the room. And maybe an elderly or handicapped guest may have something to say - a wireless microphone reaches places a standard microphone cannot.

After you have determined that a DJ has the right music, to ensure your guests are going to be up on the dance floor you may want to have some effects lighting. Basic lighting is generally included in any entertainment package.

It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial retainer. The standard initial payment for entertainment services is 25%. If you are expecting a specific entertainer, make sure you get it in writing as well.

Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality. Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to $3,500.00 with an average of $1,000.00 for a 4 hour booking. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight.

A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for "4 hours". Consultations, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion.

During the time that you book a DJ, you will need to reach them. Knowing they are available full-time without additional costs to you is comforting. A direct telephone number, e-mail and other on-line services such as a website will enable you to send them questions or information anytime - day or night. A well designed website may provide extra benefits such as on-line planners, pricing or upgrade information. It is a good place to begin looking for the right DJ.

Last but not least, remember you get what you pay for!

Owner/DJ Brent Powley
Contact us today to secure your date:
Toll Free 1-866-397-5182 or 716-433-6934

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