Travis Gilbert of Atlanta’s own Avalanche Entertainment tells all and gives the inside scoop on just HOW to hire a DJ for your next event. Use this helpful advice and you can’t go wrong.
Want the fun of your own Atlanta Occasion to carry you and your guests through the night? Hire a fabulous DJ. Everyone loves a good party, and an excellent DJ can provide a lot more than just tunes. However, many people don’t even know where to begin their DJ quest. Here are some tips to scoring the perfect professional to entertain your guests, convey your personal style and keep the party going all night long.
First things first, leave price out—we, promise we’ll come back to it! Many people fail to view DJ’s as a hot commodity and opt for cheapest they can find, not realizing there are differences to look for. Think of the best events that you have been to and ask where they found their entertainment. Friends, family, photographers, caterers and your event’s location will have some great referrals. Then check your favorite search engine and local publications for a few more options. Use these resources to start your DJ research.
Now that you have some contenders, make contact and ask questions—this will help you narrow your list. Remember, leave the price out till you narrow your search down because you never know what kind of deals and specials are available, plus your DJ will more than likely provide competitive pricing. You have to make sure your comparing apples to apples and this list will help you know the differences.
Here are some valuable questions in order that we feel are most pertinent:
- Are you available for <insert date event>?
- How long have you been a performer?
- Are you also a Master of Ceremonies?
- How many events have you performed?
- What makes you different than other local DJ’s?
- Describe a typical event and how you perform.
- Are you a full time DJ?
- Can you provide any references?
- Do you have any reviews online?
- Are you insured?
- Do you have an entertainment group backing your services?
- Will the same person I talk to before the event be my DJ?
- Have you received any nominations or awards for your services?
- Do you charge by the hour or do you have package plans?
- Is travel & set-up time included?
- Do you provide any tools to assist me in planning my event?
- Can we choose our own songs?
- Do we have to choose music only from you library?
- Do you take requests?
- Can you play music from our ipod and can we provide you with music of our own?
- Do you use industry standard professional equipment?
- Is your equipment well maintained and how does it look?
- Do you have back-up equipment?
- How does your equipment set up?
- Do you provide wireless mic’s?
- Do you provide any basic dance lighting?
- How early must you arrive to set-up?
- What do you wear?
- Can we advise you what to wear?
- Can you create a proposal for me detailing costs and services provided?
- What is the bottom-line cost?
- Do you provide any discounts?
- How long is your quote good for?
- What is your reschedule policy?
- What kind of deposit do you require?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
From here you have a better idea of what to expect from a local DJ. Look at your proposals and weigh out your options. Visit their websites and look for client feedback, photo galleries and videos from events. There are many things to consider before you make your final decision. Your DJ should provide a planner—this will give you a general timeline, a format of how the event will be run and a sample of music that will be played. Check their music libraries to ensure that there are songs that reflect your personal style and enough songs to keep your guests on the dance floor (look for at least 5,000-10,000 songs). You are paying for much more than a warm body behind turntables! Do not believe that just anyone can speak in front of people and convey the message with confidence and enthusiasm while also making the message effective. If your searching for a DJ for your Wedding, always, always meet the DJ before you sign any contracts. Never go by a company’s reputation. This is 50% of the process of finding the right DJ because at the end of the day the best DJ for your event will be able to communicate on your level. Listen to the voice of your DJ. Do you like it?
Make your informed decision. Get a contract. Do not be shy—these DJ’s cannot make your event the talk of the town if you don’t talk to them. Be clear about exactly what you want. Have confidence that you made the right choice and enjoy your Atlanta Occasion!