There is a good chance you have heard at least one story about or have had to deal with a bad DJ experience. At Good Time Music Service we want everyone to have a fantastic event, even if we aren’t your entertainment. To help with that we have compiled a list of things you can do or should ask your prospective DJs.
You Get What You Pay For
It’s a common saying that seems to hold more importance in regard to the entertainment field. There are a couple types of DJs and companies that you will encounter in your search: the full time DJ (someone who makes their entire living off of events); the weekend warrior (someone who may be a great DJ, but only works on the weekends, perhaps some formal training); the large multi-op DJ company (cheap equipment, cheap djs, cheap prices, book as many events as possible); and the novice (just starting out, usually learning on the job).Understanding that prices will vary greatly depending on your location, try to determine the median price for a DJ for your event type. Most DJ companies already know that median price and will stick right around there when giving you an estimate.
Most Common Gig Type
It’s important to ask your future DJ what type of gigs they perform at most. If you are looking for a wedding DJ you will want to find a DJ that specializes in weddings or performs at enough weddings a year to provide you references. If you are looking for a homecoming or prom DJ, you will want to find someone who specializes in school dances or top 40 music.While that might seem like it would go without saying, there have been many instances where wedding couples have hired a DJ they enjoyed at a local bar, but who has no experience with coordinating a wedding ceremony or reception.
Preview Your DJ
You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, so why hire a DJ without previewing their work? Most DJs are able to arrange for a time when you can come see them in action or check out their system prior to/after an event. By doing your due diligence you are saving yourself from any surprises and future headaches.
This person is going to be a focal point of your event, you’ll want to make sure their appearance meets your expectations. This starts from the first time you meet them until you are done conducting business with them. A well dressed DJ not only reflects well on them, but you as well. You’re event attendees will feel more comfortable approaching someone that is well dressed, easily identifiable (company logo or colors), and friendly.
Insurance, Licenses, Accreditations
This is perhaps the most overlooked part of hiring a DJ, but is extremely important. No one plans on accidents happening, but they can and do. If a DJ doesn’t have a general liability insurance policy be cautious when hiring them. Any accidents that occur as fault of the DJ could hold you equally liable if they are not insured.Most DJs do not need to carry music licenses as that is covered by the performance venue. However, most DJs should have a basic understanding of how ASCAP and BMI licenses work, so feel free to test their knowledge by asking them. Their knowledge on the subject is one more way of knowing they are working to help protect you, the consumer.Finally, look for any accreditations. Even something as simple as belonging to a local Chamber of Commerce helps legitimize the DJ and prevents you from being scammed. Many quality DJs will also belong to organizations such as the American Disc Jockey Association (ADJA) or the National Association of Mobile Entertainers (NAME). Any awards such as a Best of the Area are a great way of knowing your DJs reputation too.