So you have decided you want a DJ to entertain at your event,
the next step is to choose a DJ that will play for your style
of event and is within your budget. From over 12 years experience
in the industry below are some non-biased tips that will hopefully
help with your DJ entertainment selection.
1. Decide your DJ style
The first step is to decide what type of DJ you want for your event.
There are many different types of DJ's nowadays. You may be
after a DJ to entertain a mixed age group with a variety of genres
of music at say a wedding or a genre specific DJ who will play for
a certain age group.
Every DJ has his/her own style. When you book a multi operator
company (a business that employs or contracts 2 or more DJ"s),
ensure you talk and plan with the DJ who will play at your event
and make sure you feel comfortable with that specific person.
Ask what type of music the DJ enjoys the most. You are half way
in your selection if it"s the style that you want at your
event. Common events usually require the following types of music.
Weddings Partys Corporate Events
All Genre Mix DJ All Genre Mix DJ All Genre Mix DJ
Ethnic Music Knowledge Club DJ (Urban & Dance) Cocktail Music
Dinner Music Knowledge Pub & Bar Music Knowledge Pub & Bar
Cocktail Music Knowledge Specific Genre DJ Specific Genre DJ
Decide your budget. Prices range from approx $400 Inc GST for a
basic DJ service for 4 hours up to $2000 Inc GST for a fully qualified,
in demand and experienced DJ (in and around Australia). This can
be more if they are a celebrity or a well known music producer.
DJ rates vary based on talent, personality, experience, music knowledge,
mixing ability, demand, equipment required, venue accessibility
(for load in/out) and location. Generally speaking, you get what
you pay for in the entertainment industry.
Do a little research before locking a DJ in for your event. Talk
to friends and venues that hold events like the one you are having.
Usually a word of mouth DJ service is the best to choose. Your guests
will always remember a bad DJ in the same respect they will also
recommend a good DJ.
It"s simple. Ask your potential DJ how many events similar
to the one you are having he or she has performed at. It"s
important your DJ will have the knowledge on how to direct the event
with the right music and show to suit the style of event you are
having. If they can back up their experience with solid testimonials
and even provide an entire gig on DVD / Video that you can review,
you are on a winner. Short video clips will not represent the entire
night. A DJ"s performance is really judges by the 5-6 hour
In the hands of a master, a DJ"s Playlist will direct a room
of people who came for a relaxing dinner or social call into a fun
& exciting party. Each song that a DJ plays creates a mood for
each person and the room as a whole. You should have a say in what
music you would like for the night. Make sure your DJ will accommodate
your ideas, play the music you want at the event and will take guest
requests on the night.
The DJ service should provide a music list for you choose a few
styles and songs and also let you choose the music you do not want
played. This is usually filled out on the event planner. On average
around 20 songs per hour are played. From experience it"s
good to choose say 20-30 must play songs and a few genres to follow.
This leaves a little room for the DJ"s creativity and will
give the DJ an idea of you and your guest"s tastes.
The "don"t play" song list is just as important.
5. Event Planner and Written Contract
A DJ needs in-depth knowledge of your style of event so he/she
can be prepared for the day. An event planner can give this information
to the DJ to assist in creating a successful event. A contract should
also be signed by the DJ service and client to ensure a legally
smooth running event which protects the DJ along with the client
if there are any issues that may arrive. For your own piece of mind
make sure you sign a contract and even pay a deposit (usually 30-50%
of total price) for your booking as it makes it more legally binding
when money changes hands.
Ask if your DJ service uses professional sound and lighting equipment.
If you can, get them to send pictures of what their setup looks
like. Cables should be hidden, there should be minimum light trussing
(unless they have a large lightshow) and it should suit your style
of venue. If you have paid good money for a nice venue, a DJ"s
setup should be subtle and blend in with the venue. Check with the
DJ to make sure they have backup equipment in case of failure. This
should include amps, mixers and cd players / turntables / computers.
Remember that sound & lighting equipment is only the DJ"s
tools and does not reflect their talent, personality or type of
service you will get at the event.
Follow these steps and the rest should be easy..
1. Choose your style of DJ and budget
2. Talk to friends, family and venues to see if they have recommendations
3. If you cannot source someone you know, check the Yellowpages
or Bridal Magazines
4. Make sure you feel comfortable with the DJ you are speaking to..
5. Ensure they are accommodating and will assist with the style
of your event..
6. Remember you are the hirer, if you are not happy with something,
7. Check their experience & equipment used..
8. If you are happy & confident with what they do book them
and ensure you get a contract / event planner
9. Liaise with the DJ leading up to the day..
10. Most importantly, enjoy the event!