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better inform you, during your interviews for entertainment, some questions to ask and
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Choosing a Disc Jockey and or Master of Ceremonies for your wedding reception, private party, or corporate event is one of the most important decisions you will have to make to ensure the events success. Unfortunately it can also be one of the most confusing and frustrating experiences also. Everything else can be perfect but if the music and host aren't first rate your party can fizzle. There are approximately 20,000 DJ's in America, all promising to do a great job at your party. So how do you choose? The best and easiest way of locating the right music host is to hire those you've already seen. If you didn't get the name of the entertainer ask the host or manager of the facility in which the event was held. If you haven't seen a good entertainer lately, ask you friends. They probably have about the same taste in music as you and perhaps have been at an event you missed. Let them know ahead of time and ask them to keep their eyes open for you.
If these first two suggestions are not and have not worked your job just became a little more difficult. The next place to try is the yellow pages under "Disc Jockeys", "Music", and or "Entertainment Bureaus". Notice the advertisements that specifically mention the type of event you will be hosting. You will probably find several ads that look good to you but remember, the bigger ad does not always indicate the price will be higher. How do I tell which is the best entertainment company for me? The worst way to choose is simply by pricing alone. DJ company prices can range from $650-$1000.00 for a four hour performance. That's a substantial difference and although tempting to accept the lesser priced alternative, this could very well be the biggest and costliest mistake you ever made. If that's all the money you have to spend then you really have no further options, but if not, do your homework. Check out the DJ companies that most interest you. Check their public and private references. So why the difference in prices? Lets consider the laws of supply and demand for a moment. There is a very good reason why some DJ's are more expensive than others. The more expensive DJ's are generally the most experienced and their attire, music library, music equipment, and general attitude will prove that. They charge more because they have more shows and a great reputation.
The DJ's on the low end of the pricing scale are generally just getting established or have less than an adequate reputation. The lesser priced DJ may do a great job for less formal affairs and may be worth a try but, there is no doubt a greater amount of risk involved on your part of hiring the lesser priced DJ. Now that you have phone in hand and are starting to call different entertainment companies pay close attention to their professionalism and phone etiquette.
The absolute worst first question to ask is, "How much do you charge"? This is a bad question because the person your speaking with has no information about the type of event, its location, times of engagement, etc. The most important question you can ask is "What kind of experience do you have for my event"? It would not be out of the ordinary to expect a professional DJ to have performed at least 35-50 wedding receptions per year. You'll be able to distinguish pretty quickly if the host your talking to is not grabbing your attention. Should you find a host who is interesting now is the time to ask for references, brochures, and have them describe in further detail, their performance and or technique. A reputable DJ will not hesitate to give you references and he/she should have several. Now that the DJ has offered to send you a brochure, find out where his/her next public performance is so you can come and observe and speak with this person. If at that time this DJ invites you to a wedding reception this is definitely the DJ not to hire. This same DJ may and probably will have people you don't know walking in and out of your reception, with the focus then on those who will hire this DJ and not on those who already have. If the DJ has a good reputation he/she should be playing somewhere publicly.
Now you are at the facility where the DJ is performing. Always arrive unannounced. Observe, Are people in the lounge having fun? Is the DJ interacting with the audience? Are people dancing? Is the music obnoxious or too loud? Is the DJ dressed appropriately? These are all good questions and clues to the skills and personality of your DJ. Important!!! Start shopping for a DJ at least one to one and half years prior to your reception. Always ask the entertainer their policy on taking requests from both you and your guests. The best will take the request and work them into his/her format, however, do not expect the DJ to play every request. Some requests may simply be inappropriate for the mood of you event. An experienced DJ is not a jukebox but will blend requests with songs he/she feels will motivate your audience. The art of DJing is timing and this takes years of experience. Demanding a DJ to play every request can result in an uneven and possibly less fun event, although he/she should play as many as possible. It is not inappropriate to have 8-10 "Must Have" songs. You will hear DJ's boast about the number of songs or CD's in their libraries and although variety is the spice of life the facts are that during a four hour performance a DJ is going to play between 55-70 songs. Having the right 55-70 is the goal rather than 10,000 that nobody wants to hear.
A good number of DJ's will boast again about their sound systems and this is great if you are an audiophile. If not you may not know the difference between which brands are great and which are budget.
Chances are that the brand names your DJ gives you should not be the same as the equipment you've seen at a local electronics retailer. If they do mention names you recognize this should be concern for further questioning. Home/Consumer stereo equipment is not designed to stand up to 4-5 hours of high power output. It could and may fail in the middle of your party, for example: a professional DJ will have an amplifier that produces 300-500 watts per channel, whereas a home/consumer grade amplifier is usually rated at about 100 watts. The same rule of thumb applies for speakers, microphones, mixing consoles, etc. Also do not be afraid to ask about back up equipment should theirs fail.
A good deal of DJ companies have more than one DJ working for them. In this case its important to get references and possibly (before booking) speaking with the host that will be assigned your event. This is not an unreasonable request. Be sure you know who you are buying. The perfect DJ for you will be the one who is able meet your budget requirements, is personable, professional, and experienced in your type of party you are hosting. They will also have great references and promotional material. There are a lot of DJ/Entertainment companies who may or may not have your next entertainer. You want your event to be stress free and successful. The best music host will ensure both.