Hiring a DJ
Things to Look for When Hiring a DJ
Does your event need a fabulous sound to accompany it but you’re completely lost on where to start? If you’re looking at hiring a DJ, take some knowledge from the experts themselves. Denver DJ Mike of Ignight Entertainment stresses that “no two people or companies are made the same.” Sound Master Entertainment’s DJ Tony echoes that by saying, “I wish people knew how much more a great Wedding DJ does than just play music.”
To provide some help in finding your perfect musical coordinator, I’ve compiled a list of things to look for when hiring a DJ, as well as some accompanying questions to ask your DJ when you’ve narrowed down to a short list.
First, make sure the vendor in question is available on the date you need. Confirm they’re willing to travel wherever you need. Get a better understanding of the person, like their style and repertoire, equipment they do or don’t have, additional services offered, etc. Some good questions to ask your DJ under this topic include:
Do you have another event that day, either before or after?
Are you familiar with our venue? If not, will you check it out beforehand?
What is your musical style and influence?
What’s your specialty (corporate and wedding DJ services, parties, etc)?
What do you wear?
Do you have any references for us?
Can we see you in action?
How do you find that sound level sweet spot - not too loud, not too soft?
What kind of equipment do you use? Do we need to rent anything extra?
Specifics of Services
When it comes to the services provided, things to look for when hiring a DJ revolve around the actual music and any additional services the vendor may offer. It’s also important to gauge how helpful he/she will be in the choices of songs you want featured at your event. Questions to ask your DJ in regards to services could include:
What’s your music library or song list like? What genres can you cover?
Can you play songs important to us (religious, meaningful, cultural, etc)?
Can you help us pick music for processional, recessional, father-daughter dance, etc.?
Can you do custom songs, mash-ups, etc?
Do you offer lighting or other special effects services?
When do you arrive? Do you set everything up - how much time does that take?
Do you take song requests? How do you handle them?
How do you pump up a shy crowd?
Do you take breaks? When/how often?
Do you accept a “Do Not Play” list?
Brass Tacks of Contract
Once you’ve got an idea of the style and talent of the person in question, the remaining things to look for when hiring a DJ are just down to the details in the written agreement and final invoice. Some contract-related questions to ask your DJ should be:
How many hours of service are included in the base price? How much are additional hours?
Are emcee/master of ceremonies services included? If not, do you offer that service?
What’s your contingency plan (sickness, equipment failure, etc)?
Are you insured?
Do you have a cancellation policy?
What’s your deposit? When do you require final payment?
Are there any additional fees I could incur?
It’s truly important to take the time to get to know your DJ before your actual event, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and see/hear for yourself. I hope my list of things to look for when hiring a DJ (as suggested from someone who has both a corporate and wedding DJ services portfolio) has been helpful in narrowing down your choice and that you find the perfect fit for your perfect day!