When hiring a DJ for your wedding or special event, be sure to do your homework. Ask the right questions and check their references. If you have the opportunity, attend a public performance or at least check out their video highlights. Needless to say, the DJ can make, or break your special event, so choose wisely. Here are some great tips to help you choose the right DJ for your next event.
1. Planning: A professional DJ will help plan your wedding or event. From the timeline to music requests and all of the special moments in between. Remember the old saying; “Failure to plan is a plan to fail“. Small items are often overlooked and can cause serious problems later on. Lean on the expert advice of a professional DJ to ensure success.
2. Experience: Make sure that he or she is not a “newbie”. You don’t want your event to be a training session. A seasoned professional will have the knowledge and foresight to overcome potential problems and deliver a memorable performance.
3. Appearance: Does the DJ represent your style? Does he or she match your event? Appearance & personality are key components to successfully connecting with your guests.
4. Availability: In addition to booking the date, a good DJ should give you personalized attention. Your DJ should be available for consultations and be easy to reach via email, phone, text, etc.
5. Focus: The focus of your event is you. Your event is not just another stop on the DJ’s personal world tour. A professional DJ knows that he or she is not the star of the show, but rather an enhancement to the overall success of the event. The music should be tailored to you and your guests, not the DJ’s personal favorites. Be careful, some DJ’s are limelight hogs. The style, energy, volume and activities should all be customized to your wishes.
6. Interaction: A good DJ will know how to read and react to a crowd. He or she will know when to play the right music to keep your guests dancing and to appropriately interact with your guests. There is a science to “cooking up” the ideal social atmosphere and a professional DJ will know many different “recipes for fun”.
7. Voice: Make sure your DJ is good on the microphone when making announcements. He or she should have a clear voice and be able to capture the attention of your guests. Additionally, their personality should compliment yours. After all, they are a representation of you during the event.
8. Equipment: Ask your DJ about their gear. Most DJ’s will be eager to brag about the quality of their equipment. You don’t need to understand all of the technical jargon, but pay attention to the level of passion as they describe their components. Beware if they don’t seem too proud, it probably means that their gear is inadequate. You deserve a reliable sound & lighting system for your event.
9. Volume: Make sure your DJ understands appropriate volume. In addition to performing at a level that is comfortable for your guests, there are laws regarding noise. In San Luis Obispo County the law prohibits noise disturbances between 10pm-7am. The maximum noise level for short-term operation of mobile equipment is 85dbA at the property line (dbA is a measurement of sound pressure level). A professional DJ should be aware of these laws and should be able to make suggestions for minimizing potential disturbances while maximizing sound effectiveness.
10. Licensed & Insured: Professional DJ companies are licensed and insured. They will be happy to provide you with copies of their policy (Many venues require this now anyways). Additionally, you might inquire about any other professional organizations that they belong to. Memberships in reputable organizations are a good sign that you’ve found a real pro!
Hiring the right DJ can make all the difference. It could be the single most important aspect in the overall success of your event… and you deserve to have a great celebration!