Meet your DJ for a much better party!
When I read that people are not meeting up, I’m a little sad and also wonder why not?
This article is written after reading that many Couples are not meeting with their DJ. I realise that not all Wedding Supplier provice Supplier Meetings with potential clients or even their booked clients, but I’ll explain below why I feel it’s essential.
So, why do you really need to meet your DJ (and any other important supplier for your Party)?
The DJ will be responsible for the longest single element of your Party. If we’re talking about your Wedding, no other single aspect of your day will exceed the time the DJ will be working.
On average, the evening DJ will be in attendance from 6pm until midnight, but will usually be leaving at 1am after packing up, so they’ll be in your company for 6 hours, possibly longer.
When I’m providing my Master of Ceremonies service, I’ll typically be at the venue from mid-day until Midnight (over 12 hours once I’ve packed up)
Ok, so with these thoughts in mind, here are my Top 10 Reasons for meeting your DJ for a Better Party
Imagine if you really don’t like the DJ?
You’ll have the DJ potentially annoying you for the next 6 hours.
There! I’ve said it!
We’re all not alike. We all naturally warm to some people, but also have an aversion to others. Sometimes there is no obvious reason for this or perhaps there are more obvious reasons. Regardless of this, you really need to meet them to find out.
You wouldn’t invite people you dislike to your party…. so why take the risk with suppliers?
Luckily, most DJs I know are nice, friendly, normal people. Some even have friends! haha.
Seriously though, it’s worth investing your time to filter out the good, bad and ugly.
So there is a risk the DJ is not really for you, but you will not know until it’s too late.
If you have a Day Job, I will be certain you were hired after a face to face meeting. Very few jobs exist where you’ll be hired on the basis of an email.
Why do so many people exchange a few emails then agree to book without a meeting? I find that potentially worrying.
If they don’t want to meet, what are they hiding?
- Lack of expertise? It’s easy to hide behind a nice website and some well-drafted emails. It’s much harder when it’s face to face.
- They won’t actually be the DJ that attends? Yes, sadly some DJs will keep the date open and take a better paying booking, then find someone else to attend your special day. Terrible behavior, but it does happen.
- It’ll cost them too much money? Fuel and Time eats into their profits at the expense of your party.
- They’re not that interested? The party you’ve been planning for months or years may just mean nothing to them. It’s a bit of income and the less they do the better (for them)
- They don’t value the meeting. After all, they can worry about the details on the night and hope for the best.
You can ask them direct questions.
- Put them on the spot! There are lots of examples of “questions to ask your DJ”. I personally enjoy these and it’s a very easy way to show I’m prepared, responsible and savvy. A good DJ will be able to think on their feet.
- If they are out of their comfort zone, will be DJ be honest? It’s actually ok if they explain they don’t know much Bhangra if you just want a few tracks, you’ll be able to help with some suggestions. This is far better than them guessing. I’d want to work with Honest suppliers and so should you.
Honesty works well for everyone so hiding lack of experience is something to be concerned about.
- If they are obviously lying, what else are they lying about?
- An experienced DJ will be used to questions and will be able to give confident replies and advice at the same time. You’ll be getting some free advice!
They can draw off previous, similar parties.
- You may want a cool funky house set, or perhaps 30mins of Metal, or you’re aching for all the party cheese. Can the DJ describe other parties? Perhaps they’ll be able to show you photos or videos.
- They may know the venue and give you instant confidence that they’re used to similar parties. If they are used to budget village halls and pubs, they may not be really prepared for the local Manor House.
- They may personally specialise in the music you want to hear. How great would that be to find out? Think how relaxed you’ll be when you know they’re on exactly the same wavelength.
You can cover the timing in detail.
- For many parties, especially Weddings, the timings can vary significantly. I’ve personally had a 6pm setup that was ultimately 10pm (with a strict midnight curfew on music!).
It’s always worth running through the timeline of the day. If you are having speeches at 6pm and the DJ needs to set-up in the same room at 6pm, I would flag this as a potential problem. Setting up DJ equipment is a noisy disruption that would unsettle even professional speakers, let alone a nervous best man!
- The DJ will be able to draw on their experience (often of the venue) and suggest unbiased alternative options.
- Perhaps the venue won’t allow any suppliers in until 6:30 but you’ve invited guests from 7pm? Some issues can’t be easily overcome, but they can be better managed as soon as possible.
- You’ll have an experienced expert confirm the timings are realistic.
Ask them about their business.
- How did they start out, why not let them tell you their story (but don’t let them bore you!).
- Do they have backup equipment? “It’ never let me down” is a poor response when some form of backup is very easy.
- Are they insured? Many Venues will require Public Liability Insurance.
Note: I’ll dispel a myth. This can be £29.99 per annum, so hardly a large expense. There really is no excuse.
- It their equipment tested for electrical safety (“PAT Tested”). Also a sign of a responsible business.
- Most good DJs are passionate about the work they do, the parties they rock and the clients they value. This will show when they talk about their work.
You’ll build a better relationship.
- The success of the party can really hang in the hands of the Entertainment. A terrible choice of songs will be a disaster as can too much or too little microphone use. Perhaps the DJ will be continually talking. You can cover your preferences and get them onboard with your wishes.
- Knowing the DJ by Name, perhaps sharing a laugh over a story and then trusting each over will only help you to get a better service from them, and ultimately a much better party.
- When I walk into a Wedding and meet the couple, I’m “Jason” and never “Mr DJ”. Ok… the staff/other suppliers may call me the latter (but I always find out their names and ensure I use them… “Ms Duty Manager” can get some funny looks!).
- For me, this better relationship aids me into having personal responsibility for the success of the party. I don’t want let down the really nice couple or their guests. Of course, it’s totally reasonable to expect every supplier to be professional and deliver this regardless, but I find the party works much better when there has been some prior meetings.
- Without a meeting, forging this relationship is much harder and there is a risk it’s “just another party”. No-one would truthfully want that.
Are they worth their fee?
This may sound crazy, but this is their chance to impress you.
If they cannot show they will add great value to your party… perhaps you shouldn’t book them!
Will they be a good “fit” for you and your party?
It’s better to find this out now than on the day.
When I do meet up, I’ve usually had a chat on the phone with the person wishing to book, so I have a fairly good idea what they want, so there are rarely many surprises during the meeting.
If a face-to-face isn’t possible most DJs will have a Laptop can easily arrange something through Skype/Facetime(Apple Only)/Google Hangout etc. There are load of options these days and so very little excuse.
I’ve had Skype chats with overseas clients at very strange UK Hours, but it was important and chatting at 4am (2pm their time) is absolutely the best thing I could have done.
The couples I see complaining about a rubbish DJ have rarely invested time in meeting up.
They may have valid reasons for complaining, but many of their issues would have come out during a meeting and so this could have been avoided very easily.
Common complaints are:
- The DJ didn’t play the music we wanted.
- The DJ wasn’t smartly dressed
- The DJ had lights that shined into our eyes.
- The DJ didn’t use the Microphone.
- The DJ didn’t have insurance.
- We didn’t really like the DJ.
Some of these can be covered by email, but most topics are better-covered face to face, usually before a booking is taken.
For the above reasons, I recommend scheduling a meeting with me before they consider booking.
Meet up in a Coffee shop or a quiet bar and you’ll get a free drink and cookie 🙂