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Blog

HOW TO CHOOSE A DISC JOCKEY

(QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR ENTERTAINMENT)

BY MATT PETERSON

 

   It has been said that the key to having a terrific time at any wedding or special function is the music and choosing the right entertainment company will only help to ensure you and your guests a perfect party experience that will be forever remembered.

   In recent studies, it has been discovered that your choice of entertainment is responsible for approximately 80% of you and your guests overall enjoyment of the reception.  In essence, the musical entertainment can make or break the party as it is ultimately responsible for the largest portion of time during the wedding day.  Most receptions last an average of five hours so the success of the event will depend upon who is chosen as the main entertainment for this most important date.

    Yet remarkable most couples tend to overlook this fact as they will opt to cut back on there overall budget by electing to hire someone who “just pushes a few buttons and plays some music”.  So how do a perspective bride and groom go about choosing the appropriate Disc Jockey service for their wedding day?  Here are some questions that may help guide you in your decision making process:

     

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

   Pricing, while this continues to remain a very hot topic, here are last year’s statistics.  The average wedding cost $28,000 - $32,000 and the entertainment was reportedly worth 10% of the receptions budget.  Weddings made up an estimated 29 billion dollar industry just last year alone.

   Ultimately, it all comes down to what the bride and groom is willing to pay for the services that they will receive.  Please be cautious when choosing your entertainment on just price alone as you will usually get what you pay for.  Choose to be a smart entertainer shopper and shop around first, before making your final decision.  When talking to a perspective entertainer, ask what services you will receive, and how long will they be performing for, will they take any breaks, and you may even want to ask if there any extra added fees for setup/break down, driving time etc?

 

HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN IN BUSINESS?

    This is a very important question due to the fact that many people prefer to hire an established business.  This is not to say that a younger less experienced person may not be your best choice, but good companies tend to stick around for a while as they are not just out for a quick buck.  A well recognized business will have many community ties and they will be willing to provide you with numerous references.  This will also help the consumer to decide if the entertainer has the personal expertise to perform at their specific event.  For some people word of mouth and personal referrals are their best source of information, so when beginning to look for your entertainment, you may want to start with your friends and family.  The average engagement last for 12-18 months, so you may want to choose an entertainment company who has been around for at least that long.

  

ARE THEY A FULL TIME OR PART TIME ENTERTAINER?

    Ask if this is something they do as a full time or part time job. Do they work somewhere else?  You may even want to ask for their office hours or times that they are available to meet with you. This proves to be very important as communication is an essential part of your planning process.  Will you be able to contact your entertainer effortlessly through phone, e-mail, etc?

 

DO THEY BELONG TO ANY PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS?

    There is always power in numbers, so ask your entertainer if they are an active member within their community and industry.  These associations usually adhere to strict admission guidelines and a professional code of ethics which must be fully met before any disc jockey is admitted into the association.  These associations can also provide many opportunities for networking and ongoing education of their members.  Is your entertainer involved in any way?

 

ARE THEY FULLY INSURED?

    This continues to be a hot topic with countless Disc Jockeys and Mobile Entertainers as many venues and clubs are asking them to provide proof of liability insurance.  In the end it all comes down to protecting yourself and your loved ones.  Insurance should not be taken lightly.  Just take a look at the recent events in Rhode Island and New York.  Any Disc Jockey who is interested in obtaining insurance should contact their local insurance carrier, Chamber of Commerce or National DJ Association.  

 

WILL THEY PROVIDE A WRITTEN CONTRACT?

    When discussing any legal matters there is no better way to protect yourself than to have all of the terms, specifications and verbal agreements in writing.  Will they provide one for you?  Does it discuss all of the terms, fees, hours and who your DJ will be?

 

WILL I KNOW WHO MY ENTERTAINER WILL BE?

    Always ask who your entertainer will be?  There is nothing worse than a total stranger coming up to you on your wedding day and saying congratulations.  This is your special day and you should be surrounded by your family, friends, and loved ones.  You should feel comfortable and know who your Disc Jockey is, even before signing a contract.

 

WILL I BE ABLE TO MEET WITH MY DISC JOCKEY BEFORE THE EVENT?

    This should be answered with an absolute yes.  Your Disc Jockey should be willing to meet with you at least once or twice before your event. This is crucial to the success of your event as it will only help to customize the event to your specifications. 

 

WHILE PLANNING THE EVENT, AM I ABLE TO ADD MY INPUT?

    Again, the answer to this is a resounding yes!  After all this is your special day, do what you want, you are the guest of honor.  Your Disc Jockey should be willing to listen to and accommodate all of your personal needs and wishes.  You may also want to ask if they are willing to help assist you during the planning process.

 

DOES THE DISC JOCKEYS PERSONALITY COMPARE WITH YOURS?

    This is by far one of the most important factors to consider when hiring a Disc Jockey for your wedding day. As mentioned earlier in this article, this is your special day and you want to be surrounded by all of your family, friends and loved ones.  So why on earth would you choose to have someone there who you are not fully comfortable with?  You have just spent your entire life looking for that special person whom you plan on spending the rest of your life with.  So when choosing the entertainment, who is in charge of this most important day in your life, it should be someone whom you enjoy listening to and who you find entertaining. By asking these questions, I hope you will find a Disc Jockey who is just right for you. 

 

Matt Peterson – Owner, Peterson Productions Disc Jockeys

Vice President, National Association of Mobile Entertainers

Endorsed Professional Entertainer

FAME Certified Disc Jockey

 

 
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