How To Choose A Disc Jockey

The entertainment at your wedding or other major celebration is arguably as important as the floral arrangements, food and transportation. Therefore, invest ample time and effort to make an informed decision as to who will be chosen for this crucial role. While you may be able to gain a refund as compensation for the damage that was caused by an entertainer who greatly mishandled your affair, there are no do-over for milestone occasions!

If you're certain to pick a DJ, keep these key points in mind during your search:


Experience –

While everyone starts somewhere, be sure that you know exactly what level of experience your DJ possesses before you agree to enlist his or her services. Perhaps the most important lesson that experience teaches a DJ is how to handle things that don’t go as planned. The seasoned pro will roll with changes more adeptly than someone who’s recently entered into this industry.

Anyone can press buttons and play music.

Among the most important skills a DJ acquires over many years is the ability to know what to play and when to play it. A veteran disc jockey can, even on short notice, introduce the right blend of songs to capture and maintain a certain mood. And through the inflexion of their voice and their choice of words, the DJ can draw a crowd’s attention and keep their interest when necessary.

If you are selecting a DJ from a large entertainment company, be sure to specify whether or not the experience factor is crucial to you or not. Also, be prepared to make a larger investment for a more experienced entertainer. As the old adage states, "You get what you pay for!"

To ensure that the music I play and announcements I make are heard clearly, I only utilize professional, state of the art sound reproduction equipment. I also possess a massive, ever-expanding music library that contains all of your favorite artists and the songs you love and know by heart.

References –

Don’t rely solely on a DJ who claims “I’ve been a DJ for years,” and “My clients all refer me to their friends,” as proof that they have a successful track-record of pleasing clients. Request phone numbers or email addresses of their recent clients. DJ’s, like any professionals in other industries, know the importance of maintaining contact with satisfied clients as they are the lifeblood of their operation. Certainly providing at least three references to you should not be a tall order for a DJ hoping to secure you as their next client.

Quality Equipment –

One vital aspect of selecting the right DJ is to make sure they have suitable professional equipment. What good is your favorite music or important announcements if neither is clearly audible through the DJ’s sound system? True professionals recognize the importance of investing a significant portion of their hard-earned dollars into equipment that sounds terrific.

Also, make certain that your DJ has back up equipment in addition to their main setup. I have heard many, many horror stories where DJ’s did not have any suitable means of continuing their performance after their primary equipment set-up failed. Don’t let this happen to you!

Be sure that your emcee has a professional appearance (proper attire, etc.). The professional DJ should be approachable, engaging and pleasant to deal with and accommodating to not only you but your guests, too. Also seek someone who has a speaking voice which is audible and not meek. Lastly, if you're party crowd is a diverse one, make certain that your DJ is comfortable entertaining people across a variety of ages, backgrounds and musical preferences.

Meet Your DJ –

Companies that are quite large and maintain a stable of DJ’s may not specify to you who exactly will be your DJ. They may sell you on the company’s general way of doing business at affairs but not necessarily guarantee who you’ll have unless asked by you, the client. It is for this reason that you may wish to see your DJ, preferably in person or at least on video. Next, I would also advise you to have a candid conversation with your candidate specifically about your affair, asking them how they would handle various circumstances as they arise. This will help you determine whether he or she would be an ideal match with your tastes, preferences and comfort level.

Music Library –

The content of a DJ’s music collection is like the colors found on an artist’s pallet. Be sure that he or she has the combination of music that will please you and your party guests. A career DJ constantly adds music to their library not solely based upon what they, themselves, enjoy, but what could potentially be used during future events. Also, a DJ whose collection allows him or her to excel at performing in modern dance clubs and school parties, for example, may be ill-equipped at a wedding reception or a 30 year high school reunion.

Try and divide your requests into 3 categories – “Must Play’s,” “If Possible Plays” and “Do Not Plays.” You should also submit your music requests a minimum of three to four weeks in advance of your event. This should be a sufficient amount of time for them to collect and prepare for the songs you are planning on hearing.

Also, ask your DJ if their system will allow for the use of an iPod or other digital media device. This can sometimes be helpful should your DJ need assistance in locating various songs or if your guests may wish to contribute some music to your celebration as well.

If you have any questions or concerns not covered here, please contact me at 609.868.7881. It would be my pleasure to help!

Best,
Adam

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