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How To Choose A DJ

Music on Wheels can light up any size room

Music on Wheels can light up any size room

How To Choose A DJ

6 Key Tips To Protect Yourself:

1:  Experience is Essential. ( Experience coupled with abilities is the only true recipe for a successful event.  Hint: If they don’t have experience, let them experiment on someone else. )

2:  Don’t Sign an Assumed Contract. ( An assumed contract is a contract sent to you without your consent.  Some companies rely on assumed contracts to fill their calendars & the event planner unwittingly signs a contract with the wrong company. )

3:  Don’t Sign a Contract That Attempts to Re-Assign Your Rights As a Customer Making You the Employer. ( Contracts of this nature are a Tax-Dodge making you responsible for Taxes, Workers Compensation & Unemployment Insurance. )

4:  When You’ve Made Your Decision on Whom to Hire, Make Sure You Contact Them Immediately. ( Dates are perishable.   Keep in mind that other event planners generally call around the same time you call about your event date. )

5:  Be Extremely Cautious of “Re-Branded” Companies. ( A Re-Branded company is one that’s changed its name.  Inquire carefully as to why, if a name change occurred to stay in business? )

6:  It’s Best to Hire Your Entertainment As Early As Possible. ( 12-18 months is quite common. )

Here are some tips on how to choose a DJ.

Key Questions To Ask:

1:  What Company Have  I  Reached? ( HINT: Make sure that you reach the company you dialed.  Be cautious if the company answers by a name different from the phone listing.  You may have reached a company intercepting phone calls intended for another company  – or – you may have reached a company operating under different names due to poor customer service, or for failure to show up for performances.)

2:  Is My Date Available? ( HINT: Most event planners that are looking for the same date as your date will be looking around the same time as you. )

3:  What Is The Deadline To Reserve My Date?

4:  What Type of Event Do You Specialize in? ( HINT: Ask how much experience they have & how many events they’ve done.   100 events/year for 10 years is more experience than 10 events/year for 20 years  )

5:  How Many Years Have You Been in Business?

6:  Are you currently registered with the Secretary of State? ( Several companies operate “off-radar” to avoid taxes & other legitimate business expenses.)

7:  Do you carry General Liability Insurance?  ( If the DJ you plan on hiring damages the reception facility or injures a guest you, as the “host”, could be liable.)

8:  Is Your Equipment Insured? ( If the entertainment or DJ you plan on hiring suffers a loss of their music & equipment due to theft, fire, flood, storm…etc, will they be able to replace the music & equipment in time to be ready for your event? )

9:  Do You Currently Have Workers Compensation Insurance to Cover Your DJs?  ( If the DJ you plan on hiring doesn’t carry Workers Compensation Insurance for their staff, you could be liable for the injuries since you are hosting the event. )

10:  How Do You Charge (by the hour, flat rate, etc.)?

11:  What Are Your Rates For Dances?  ( Keep in mind that price is a statement of value.  Lowest price usually equals lowest value. )

12:  What Are Your Rates For Background Music During Dinner & Cocktails?

13:  What Are Your Rates To Assist Us With Our Wedding Ceremony If Needed?

14:  Do You Charge a Deposit?  If so, how much?
( HINT: Be cautious about paying a deposit to a company with a poor track record or minimal experience. )

15:  When Is The Balance Due For Our Event?

16:  Do Your Performance Fees Include Lighting?

17:  What Is Your Travel Charge?

18:  What Is Your Cancellation and/or Postponement Policy?

19:  Do You Offer a Written Contract?  ( HINT: Refuse to pay a deposit if the company does not offer a written contract.  Remember the saying: “A fool and their money are soon parted” )

20:  How Do I  Book Your Services?  Be Cautious of  “Assumed Contracts”.  ( HINT: If you did not specifically request a contract from a specific company…don’t sign it.   Some companies make a practice of sending  contracts  to everyone that calls for information.    Some unfortunate wedding planners end up hiring  a company they did not intend to hire.    Only request a contract from the company you intend to hire & read the contract carefully.  Always ask for clarification if you are unsure of a term or item in a contract. )

21:  If We Hire Your Company, Will You Subcontract Our Event to Another Company?
( Read your contract carefully.  For example: If you hire a DJ through a Radio Station be specific about which ON AIR DJ you expect & will receive.  Make sure that the contract clearly states the NAME & LOGO of the Radio Station you are hiring and the ON AIR TALENT that will be performing.  )

22:  How Many Events Can You Handle On A Given Day?

23:  What Type of Guarantee Do You Offer in the Event You Don’t Show Up?

24:  Will You Be A Master of Ceremonies or Only Play Music?

25:  Do You Encourage Audience Participation? If So, How?  ( Pick an item that they give as an example & have them explain how it is done.   HINT: If they can’t explain it over the phone they probably won’t know how to explain it the night of your event.)

26:  Do You Use Props?  (inflatable toys, etc)  If we don’t want them, can we negotiate a discount?

27:  Will You Be Selling Glow Products or Props To Our Guests?

28:  Do You Offer 3-Hour Events with Ability to Add Additional Time?  ( Several reception facilities will not allow music to play until 1am;  more reputable companies know this & should alert you to this possibility at the time of booking. )

29:  Do You Take Breaks?  If So, How Long Are They?

30:  Do You Expect Food and Beverages To Be Provided During The Evening?

31:  Will You Be Drinking Alcohol During My Event?

32:  Do You Offer a Pre-Event Music Meeting?

33:  Will We Be Able To Speak With The DJ That Will Be Performing At My Event?

34:  How Do We Choose The Music That Will Be Played?

35:  Is The Play List Predetermined?

36:  Do You Take Requests?

37:  What Kind Of Equipment Do You Use?

38:  Can The Volume Be Adjusted During The Event If It’s Too Loud?

39:  What Age Groups Do You Usually Cater To?

40:  What Is the Standard Attire for Your DJs? ( Are they allowed to smoke or drink on the job? )

41:  Do You Offer Packages? ( HINT: Packages can be deceiving.  Make sure that packages list the specific times & itemized prices to assure that your getting a fair deal. BE CAUTIOUS of entry level packages.  They are designed to offer limited features for limited budgets.  In most case they include basic gear & limited experience. )

42:  When Do You Typically Set Up Your Equipment?   ( Before the guests arrive, during the reception  or  just before the dance starts? )

43:  How Long Does It Take To Set Up and Will It Be Completed Before The Guests Arrive?

44:  How Much Space Is Required For Your Equipment and How Many Power Outlets Will You Need?

45:  Aside From A Banner Used To Cover Your Equipment, Will You Be Doing Any Other Forms Of Advertising During My Event?

46:  Do You Have Any Recommended Vendors Who You Have Been Impressed With?  (flowers, cakes, photographers, videographers, etc.)

47:  Where Are Your Main Offices Located?  ( Most legitimate companies will have a business office or store front that you can make an appointment to visit & view their equipment & staff.   HINT: If the entertainment you hire fails to show up, how will you find them? )

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