I get asked all the time “What Makes you better?”, “What are the differences in Wedding DJ’s?”, “What should I be looking for?”, and my favorite “Why do you cost so much? So here I break it down to help answer some of these questions starting with the basics:
Does your Mobile DJ have Insurance and a business license?
This may seem basic, but this roots out a lot of the hobby DJs that do it on the side or are not true professionals. Some venues also require that your DJ provide proof of insurance before performing and in some cases the DJ has to do some additional paperwork to add the venue on their insurance for your event.
Does Your DJ also act as your Master of Ceremonies (MC)
Believe it or not it takes some training and skill to be a MC. Take radio personalities for instance. Most radio personalities went to a school for broadcasting and learned techniques for speaking. Same thing applies to a MC, however for mobile events you have to not only be the MC you have to also be the DJ. So finding a DJ that can not only DJ your event but also MC your event is critical. Can they motivate that crowd? Do they speak well into the microphone? Do they keep things moving? How well do they transition between different parts of your event? We always recommend checking out video before hiring your DJ/MC.
Wedding and Event Reviews.
Reviews and videos are key in the selecting process if you can’t see your DJ or MC live. Most review websites such as WeddingWire, The Knot, and Yelp to name a few are trusted websites for reviews where vendors can’t make changes to the reviews. Yelp can be difficult for vendors to get reviews as Yelp only keeps reviews from people that frequently leave Yelp reviews so we highly suggest using WeddingWire or The Knot as sources not just for weddings, but also for Quinceanera’s and other events as well. Don’t just look at the 5 star ratings read some of the comments to get a good feel for what past clients experienced.
Real Videos from Weddings and Events.
Now a days video is easy to capture and if a DJ or MC doesn’t have video then I would question there ability. When you do get to see some video here are a few things to look at: MC skills. How well do they speak on the microphone. Mixing skills during dance time and crowd reaction. Video Testimonials. You get to hear from that couple or client how well they performed. Please also note just because you they played that song in that video or did that special tradition doesn’t mean that’s what will happen at your wedding. So don’t get to caught up in music and traditions. That’s why you have planning meetings!
Planning and Execution.
A DJ and MC is so much more than someone who makes announcements on the microphone and hits play for the next song. They have to coordinate usually with several people before those announcements or special songs that are played such as Caterers, Venue or Professional coordinators if you have them, you the client and if it’s a wedding are all the right people in the room for what’s coming up next. So the planning and production time before hand is key to the success of your event. Does your DJ/MC meet with you for planning meetings? If you are out of the area are there planning calls? How easy is it for you to get information to your DJ/MC? What is the response time thus far interacting with your DJ/MC?
Do you get help and Advice during Planning?
Anyone can be a order taker, but does your DJ/MC have experience performing at weddings or what ever your event is? Most couples or clients are typically planning an event for the first time and having that experienced professional to guide them through planning is very helpful and can give you that peace of mind that things are taken care!
Two person team vs just a DJ.
Many DJs or DJ companies operate with just sending out one person to DJ and MC your event. One person is great for parties that are just playing music with just a few announcements. When you get to weddings and events that have more activies that require more coordination then thats really when you need a two person team. Having another person allows your MC the ability to truly be a Master of Ceremonies. Make sure everyone is in place before announcements. That person can focus on you and the crowd while the other person is switching music. For weddings and any event with lots of coordination, song changes etc.. you should have a two person team. This doesn’t replace or take the place of a true professional coordinator as they typically have a different focus.
What other services does your DJ/MC offer?
Being able to get multiple services from one vendor is helpful in managing your wedding or event as you only have one POC instead of many and you usually can save additional money by getting all the services from one company, and with them doing it all they all work well together for a great final product which is you stressing less and having a great time!
Is there website up to date and do they post on social media?
Why is this a big deal? It shows how active they are at doing wedding and events. It shows how active they are at displaying there work. You get to see interaction on social media from past clients, other weddings pros, and others. Do they offer advice on social media and on Blogs specifically if you are a couple or person that may need lots of help planning your wedding or event.
Why should I meet with or have a phone call before booking a DJ?
You are hiring a service and not buying a product. One person’s service is different than another person’s service. Talent, style, training, skill, and experience is what you’re buying not to mention how does that DJ/MC know what you need until they figure out whats important to you the customer? Remember this service is tailored to you. Every venue, couple, and person have different requests. Making sure you get what’s important to you without unexpected budget surprises should be important to you. How do you know what you’re missing if you don’t have that conversation?
Why does a DJ cost so much?
Lot’s of things factor into the cost of DJ/MC services now a days. Insurance, business licenses, equipment storage, advertising, music, fuel, technology, design, training, taxes, etc… Now a days DJ’s need to stay up to date with the latest in technology and the latest music. Couples and clients now a days demand backup equipment and lots of reassurance that everything will be perfect. When you book a DJ for 6, 5 or even more hours in some cases they are really not working just that set amount of time. You have load in, setup, drive time, and equipment checks through the week. Meeting with clients for their planning meetings, preping music, editing music in some cases, and working with other vendors before you even perform. Most wedding and events also take place on weekends which are the most valuable days of the week. Consider there is only 52 weeks in a year so that means there is only 52 Saturday’s that a DJ/MC has to book weddings as most weddings take place on Saturdays. So as a DJ you have limited days you can make a living and recoup that investment. Your clients and couples are demanding that you perform well and most of these events are a once in a lifetime. So the level of risk is greater to do a great job. Most weddings your spending on average of $35-$50,000 or more. Hiring a true professional that interacts and usually influences 80% of the event is money well spent.