How to choose a DJ?

The decision to hire a DJ for entertainment can be very intimidating. There are hundreds of companies, offering different price structures and services; each saying that their company is better than the next. How should you, the consumer, go about deciding which company will provide you with the service that you want? There are several questions that you’ll want to ask, when searching for your DJ.

Your first consideration is probably budget; how much to spend on the music for your event. DJ services charge a broad range of prices. Many will tell you that you “get what you pay for;” simply not true. Consider it this way: If you’re shopping for cereal, aren’t you going to buy your cereal from the store that sells it the cheapest? A box of cornflakes is the same, whether you pay £2 or £4 for it at one shop or another. The equipment and music that DJs use is basically the same.

We all use speakers, amplifiers, CD or MP3 players (or computers), mixers, microphones, and lighting. The DJs buy their equipment from the same sources. As for the music, there is no company that can offer you more music than any other company; unless, of course, they are writing and recording their own hit records!

So, why the differences in price? There are a few reasons. Many companies have only one or two sound systems. The DJ service industry is not their full-time job; therefore, they can “hold out” for more money from the clients. Some services that are full-time have a big, fancy office that they have to pay for; so they charge more money. Finally, many services will bring out truckloads of equipment; including speakers that stand as high as a horse. Each of these services will try to justify their price to the customer, and the only way they can do this is to say, “You get what you pay for.”

Think about these differences, for a moment. Do you want a service that has only one or two systems; only one or two DJs? How much variety can they offer? What if they get sick, or are otherwise unable to get to your event? Also, they spend their week working for someone else—instead of devoting their time and energy to your event. As for the company with the big, fancy office; why should you have to pay for that? Will the big, fancy office be the site of your party? Do you and your guests benefit from this company’s big, fancy office? No, of course not! Finally, do you want a company that will charge you for unnecessary equipment? Some DJ’s use equipment at their events that would be better suited for use at a major football stadium, such as Soldier Field.

But your event is not a rock concert! Many of your guests will get nervous if they see a lot of equipment and you can bet the DJ will tend to use that extra power to play music too loudly.

There are more points to consider: Have the DJs been properly trained? A well-trained DJ is the key to a successful event, not a fancy office or huge speakers. Ask to see the company’s training program. Some large companies will give any “warm body” a set of equipment and music, and then send them out to perform at your event. A reputable service will have a thorough screening and training process for their DJs. Also, ask to see a list of referrals; customers who were happy with the service and would use the company again, or tell a friend to use the company.

Does the company have a back-up, in case of emergency? Who would that back-up be? Many companies advertise that they have back-up; but, in fact, do not. Some companies will boast that they have back-up equipment on site; which raises two more questions. How good is their equipment, that they need back-up equipment on site? What if the DJ and his back-up equipment get into a fender-bender on the way to your event?

Does the company have liability insurance? Ask to see their certificate of insurance. Many companies advertise that they have liability insurance; but, in fact, do not. Is the company trying to sell you things you don’t need? Many companies will tell you that you need certain “extras;” such as two disc jockeys or extra hours of music. You should not have to pay for things that you don’t want or need.

Will the DJ play the music that you and your guests want to hear, and interact with the guests to your liking? There are a lot of DJs out there who think that they should be the centre of attention at your party. They will play the music that they want to hear, and some can get downright obnoxious with your guests! A good DJ will play the music that you and your guests want to hear—at a volume that is comfortable—and interact with the guests as you, the customer, want them to.

Is the company available to help you plan your big day? Will they offer advice and suggestions to make your event as successful as possible? In closing, the DJ industry is multi-faceted. Companies offer a wide range of service options and prices. Searching for the Mobile Disco that’s right for you can take some time, but if you stick with it and ask the right questions, you’ll be rewarded with a memorable event! Have a great time!