Jeff's Mobile DJ Service
PO Box 724 Needville, TX 77461
Office: 979-793-4544 or Cell: 713-259-2643
What You Need To Know When Hiring A DJ
cannot buy a Chevy Cavalier and expect it to perform like a Lexus.
Please feel free to
print this form out for use when contacting a DJ.
Your Prep Work
a list of all contending DJs in your area. It is best to leave room between the
names to write in information such as price and what they offer for the money.
Just like in all areas of business there are many different styles of DJ. You
have DJs that specializes in weddings and others that specialize in clubs and
bars. Remember, you do not go to McDonalds when you want to order T-bone steak.
The price of a DJ is very
important and tells you a lot about the DJ or Entertainment Company. On one hand
you have the “lowball DJ” who either does not have the skill and/or the
equipment to carry the event properly.
There is lower priced DJ
that will do a very good job but may have other employment so they have limited
or no time to put into the success of your event.
On the other hand, you have
the “medium to higher priced DJ”. These DJs utilize nothing but professional
audio and professional lighting equipment, as well as being professional
entertainers. They will have the time and experience to help you plan your
event. In the world of DJs you really do get what you pay for.
Step 2: Make A List Of What You Are Looking For
As stated before there are many types of DJs. It is best to know what you are looking for in a DJ before you start the interview process. Here are a few things you will want to know ahead of time.
These are just a few
things you might want to know before hand. You may in fact have a few more of
your own choice.
Step 3: The Interview Process
The following is a list of
questions you might want to ask your DJ candidates. Each question will be
followed by an acceptable answer.
Pay close attention
to their phone voice, mannerisms and attitude during the interview. Remember if
they are rude or have a bad attitude over the phone this is most likely how they
will act around your guests.
They should be able to tell you in a matter of moments if the date and time slot is open. You would not want to waste a lot of your time listening to a sales pitch just to find out they are unavailable. Most DJs understand that your time is valuable.
A professional should have an adequate
amount of experience. This experience will help in the planning and selection of
music for the event, thus allowing you to enjoy the event rather than spending
your time running the event.
Remember this is your event and you want to
be comfortable with the fact that your DJ will listen to your wants and needs.
This being the digital age, a professional DJ should have an extensive library
of well over 2500 song titles. You may want to listen to the excitement in their
voice as you discuss your wants or don’t wants for your event. These are clues
to how the DJ will behave once at your event. This will also let you know
whether or not they are really interested in the outcome of your event. I
recommend that you do not try to program the entire event. A professional DJ
will have the ability to find the types of music that are getting the best
response from the group and continue to play those types of music.
Most DJs these days are utilizing Digital
Performance Systems. So you will want to know if they have the ability to play
CDs. You may very well have a special mix that you want to play.
You are laying out your hard earned money
for a professional DJ with professional equipment. There are many brands of
professional equipment on the market. Some I am sure you have heard of and
others you may have not. So what I would do is inquire as to where they
purchased their equipment. Then call the stores, if they are local and that will
give you an idea of whether they are using professional grade equipment. This
will also help you determine if they are using today’s technologies. Here is a
list of the minimum equipment a professional should have.
2 or more
speakers large enough to handle the event.
library that consist of 2500+ song titles.
stands tables and covering for the equipment.
one wireless microphone to be used by you and your guests.
professional grade mixer.
equipment in case of an emergency.
You have most likely spent a lot of money
on a hall and decorations. You do not want a DJ that shows up and places a bunch
of equipment on a table with wires running all over the place. A professional
will have more of a hidden system with equipment organized and out of site. Most
DJs have a web site and will have pictures of their setups available for you to
view. Remember, there is a lot of wiring and not all of it will be invisible.
A professional will invest in additional
equipment to insure the success of your event. This is professional grade
equipment but lets face it, a lot can happen.
A professional will always be willing to
dress the way you want them to for your event. Whether it be casual,
semi-formal, after five or formal. A professional will never charge extra to
wear a tux at your event.
Although personal references are great it
would be even better to have references from a hall or caterer or some other
type of professionals they have worked with. But also remember that most mobile
entertainers work with a large variety and this may not be possible.
This can be a big factor in setup time and
sound quality if they have a working knowledge of the venues layout and staff
A professional will always be willing to
work with the other vendors to ensure the successful outcome of your event. You
would hate to find out afterwards that your photographer left before you cut the
cake and there are no pictures. Another disastrous thing would be that the DJ/MC
has called for the toast only to find out that the caterers have not yet served
Don’t be afraid to request this. An
online planner with access to the music library will save you tons of time. You
will know right from the start if they have the songs you are looking for
already or if they need to get them. A professional will never have a problem
getting those special songs for your event in the case that they do not already
The performer should never have a problem
with meeting you face to face or inviting you to watch them perform at an
This is very important and widely over
looked by the shopper. A professional will always give you a written signed
contract insuring that they will show on your event date. This will protect you
against some one taking the money and running.
A professional DJ will have his equipment
insured as well as a liability policy to cover the venue. You will need to
contact the venue to see if they require a liability binder on the performers.
If they are serious about their business they will have insurance.
The serious professional will always
answer:” As many times as it takes to ensure the success of your event.”
Bottom line you do not want some one that will not talk to you until the day of
This is the meat and potatoes question. This
is also one of the biggest deciding factors when booking entertainment.
Remember, a professional entertainer will charge more for their services than a
weekend DJ just looking to make some extra cash. If it sounds to cheap to be
real than it probably is. Make sure to keep notes on each DJ so that you can
compare their prices with their services. Never be afraid to have them justify
the price whether it is high or low. Remember all the time, energy and money you
have put into this event. Now, ask yourself do I really want to take a chance on
the entertainment based solely on price. Your guest will remember the
entertainment at your event long after it is over and some times spending those
few extra bucks is well worth it. Hiring a DJ is kind of like buying a
car. You cannot pay for a Chevy and expect it to perform like a Lexus!!!!
4: Weighing all the possibilities
Well we have come to the hardest part of the process and that is making
a discussion. I beg you not to base this solely on price but on the services
that are performed. The happiness you feel at this moment for saving a few buck
is going to be completely shattered when your event does not go as you would
have liked. It is common for a couple to meet with the caterer and taste their
food and meet with venue to see the accommodations they offer. Most want to meet
with the photographer and view their work and let’s not forget that most go to
the flower shop to pick out arrangements. But the same people will leave the
single most important part of the event up to a few minutes on the phone.
Here is a time line of the average event. We are using a wedding and
reception for this example.
20 to 30 minutes
30 to 40 minutes
30 to 60 minutes
Cake cutting and toasting
10 to 15 minutes
to 5 Hours
You want to be positive that you are completely comfortable with the
company you are about to hire. Remember when you are speaking with them to make
notes about their demeanor. If they are shy, they will be that way at your
event. If they are obnoxious and don’t listen to your concerns then they will
be that way at your event. If they have a good balance of listening and offering
advice then they will act this way at your event.
Step 5: Have a great worry free time at your event. You deserve it.