'Going Cheap' is a common trap - but a bit of research can save tears!
Why are so many people unwilling to properly invest in that service provider whose job is so important?
There's little more exciting than throwing a party, and having a great DJ keeping your friends and family dancing all night with the best tunes, and great entertainment.
The aforementioned DJ is the only person who can ensure that happens and it's a minefield securing the right one.
Let's face it, by time they get it wrong, it's already too late to get it right.
When you decide to book the DJ for your event, you probably do what most people do - shop around for the biggest bargain. You're human. We all want a great deal.
Before you pay the deposit on that £80 for-the-night DJ, let's look through list of must-haves you'll likely want from your music jedi.
Anyone can play a series of tunes in a sequence. Let's face it, that's what iTunes and other similar apps were invented for. Some people can even play them in time, at the same BPM. The problem is when you try and take that system away from your busy office machine, and put it on a stage. Can your iTunes DJ quickly read their audience and assess their tastes by watching the tunes that they're reacting to, and play more of that, and less of the other stuff?
Also, do they know the importance of phrasing, harmonic mixing, and timing different genres to avoid sound code clashes? Can they identify why it's not always important to play every single song in the chart, as a priority?
While we're talking about the tunes, do you know where your prospective service provider is getting theirs from? They may well boast "30,000 songs in an extensive music library that's second-to-none", but if that library is built from hours spent ripping MP3s on YouTube, they're not going to sound great, not to mention the fact that you're enabling their music piracy. A premier DJ will refuse to use anything less than top quality MP3 pools, which service them with nothing but high quality performance quality audio. I'm a member of several of these, and as a 'Clubkillers' affiliated DJ, I have a database of the hottest music that's dance-floor tested, and setting clubs and discos around the globe on fire.
Does your DJ know how to avoid coming across as a socially awkward robot, incessantly staring at their laptop screen rather than engaging with the crowd? Do they know the right time to pick up the microphone and generate some energy? Can they even pick up a microphone, or does the idea of talking to strangers fill them with dread?
As a DJ for more than twenty years, I've spent a huge amount of time honing my skills on the stage. I know when to get hype going, and I know when to shut up. That isn't something you can learn from watching instructional videos on YouTube.
What is your DJ using to play their music collection to your guests?
Chances are, it's something called Virtual DJ. While there's nothing particularly wrong with that as such, the software costs anything between completely free and dirt cheap, and therefore lends itself to bedroom DJs, who price themselves super low in order to get the all important experience they need. We all have to start somewhere. However, do you want their start to be at your event? Wouldn't you prefer someone who's using state of the art equipment, and the most reliable and proven software, which only the most serious and committed of DJs are prepared to invest in? As a top of the range controller and Serato DJ user, I know that my equipment is favoured by the world's finest award winning DJs.
Any idiot can practice their skills in their bedroom, before putting together a carefully planned - and often tightly edited - mixtape. The real challenge is taking that skill out to an event, and performing at least as well, for paying customers.
That's a guarantee that only a premier DJ with years of experience can offer.
Does your DJ have the ability to react to requests at the event, and make it sound like they planned to play them the whole time?
If things go wrong, do they have a 'Plan B'? Are they a good problem solver? Things happen. Can they react quickly and adapt their performance, or their part of the event to accomodate any last minute changes or incidents?
As a performer with more than twenty years of experience, I've seen, heard and handled pretty much every possible outcome and challenge, and have the skills to deal with them head on.
In most cases, you have to get it right first time, because it's going to be the only time.
I've been re-booked by the same family three times, but that's rare. It's based on reputation and customer satisfaction. Most people will only ever hire one DJ in their lives. It's important to make sure that that one time, is a good time.
It doesn't always seem all that important a purchase until it's already too late. This goes double for booking a wedding DJ.
Yes, you can get your event taken care of for less than the cost of a high quality whisky, but don't risk a financial hangover. You should always manage your expectations when opting for a cheap DJ.
If you want to guarantee a goodnight, always do your research, ask the right questions, and insist on a meeting up front. Only by talking directly can you see through the smokescreen.
And we haven't even touched on the all important assurances surrounding insurance, PAT tested equipment and contracts...
Have you ensured you have some come-back should your DJ just not bother turning up for the event? What's to stop them from letting your gig go, in favour of a better paying one, on the day? The internet is full of these horror stories, and in almost all cases, the cause of the problem has been a cheap 'bargain' DJ.
To avoid all of the issues described above, and guarantee a smooth, memorable event, you can contact a hugely experienced, quality DJ in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the Thames Valley, through my booking page.