Whether you’re planning a wedding reception or anniversary celebration, a business seminar or a fund raising event, entertainment is a definite must to make the party a success. One of the most popular party entertainers today is the hired entertainment DJ. DJs have become the go to entertainers for parties and social events for a number of reasons. First, and foremost, they are typically less expensive than a live band. Secondly, and equally as important, a DJ is often much more flexible than a live entertainer, and can cater to a wider variety of tastes. However, not all DJs are created equal, and there are some important questions you need to ask when hiring a DJ for your next event. But never fear, the following tips will make hiring a DJ the easiest part of your party plans.
Hire a Professional
This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. There is more to being a DJ than simply having “two turntables and a microphone”, and while many amateur DJs may have ads in the local paper or on Craig’s List they can not always offer the level of professionalism you need to make your event a success. Check the yellow pages and online business directories for professional DJ services, and look for a DJ with a minimum of three years experience.
Match the Entertainment DJ to the Event
Many DJ services specialize in certain types of social events. Some are strictly wedding DJs, while others might concentrate on corporate events or even children’s parties. Each specialty requires a unique set of skills. What works for a wedding may not necessarily be suitable for a fund raiser. When considering a professional DJ service, look for one that has experience with the type of event you are planning.
Check Out Your DJ’s Website
It is unlikely that the DJ you hire will have an office or a shop that you can visit, so it can sometimes be difficult to judge their level of professionalism. However, most professional DJ services will at least have a website that you can visit. A poorly designed website, that offers very little specific information, may be an indication that the service you are considering isn’t up to the job. When considering a professional DJ service, let the style and content of their website be your guide and use that to narrow the field of prospective entertainers.
Get Recommendations and Referrals
A good DJ service should be able to provide you with customer endorsements and referrals from their former clients. These recommendations are the professional entertainer’s resume, and if the DJ you are considering can not supply you with satisfactory customer endorsements it might be wise to interview another service.
Demos and Play-Lists
Interviews and websites can only give you part of the picture, and the DJ service you are considering should be able to provide you with samples of their work. A good professional DJ will have a selection of demos, recorded at previous events, which you can listen to to get a feel for their performance. These demos will not only let you better judge their mixing skills, but will give a good indication of their ability to interact with party guests.
Any good DJ should also be able to provide a comprehensive listing of songs and genres for you to choose from for your event. You want to choose the service that offers a full range of musical choices, and that is able to fill any specific musical requests that you may have.
You actually do get what you pay for. Hiring a DJ may be significantly cheaper than booking a live band, but it still requires a financial investment. Remember, the quality of equipment and performance will be reflected in the cost of the DJ. Cheap may save you money, but it may also result in a poor performance and a party embarrassment.
Whether you are planning a wedding reception or a political fund raiser, hiring a professional DJ may be the answer to your entertainment needs. Take your time, follow the few simple tips we’ve outlined here, and you’ll find that sorting out the entertainment portion of your event may be the easiest part of the planning process.