I’d originally intended for this blog entry to be one of those Top (fill in the blank) Things to Ask YOUR Potential DJ for any readers out there on the hunt for a DJ for their event. After a recent conversation with a friend of a friend, I changed my mind, opting to go with what you are about to read here.
Instead of taking the point of view of the potential client, I will take the point of view of the DJ. Not just ANY DJ, though… The DJ that is doing sub-contract work for a company. The DJ that doesn’t get to pick and choose the client that he is going to work for on any given week; the DJ who is assigned a client then has to reach out to said client in order to establish a Connection; the DJ that didn’t have the opportunity to cultivate a relationship with that bride or that groom (or that couple) leading into their wedding day, but has to do so during a twenty minute phone call.
When I talk with a client, my number one priority is to establish Trust by the time we say our goodbyes. If a client doesn’t trust me, we have a problem. I understand, inherently, that they want someone who is going to show them a good time and deliver on their vision of their celebration. They want someone that inspires comfort, relief and instills a sense of excitement leading into their big day. Granted, by the time I make that phone call, they’ve already made their decision on the DJ company that they’re going with; my job is to further cement in their minds that they’ve made the correct decision.
So, what goes into The Trust Factor? There are a few things; things that I considered when it was my turn to choose a DJ for my own wedding nearly nine years ago. I wanted a DJ who would deliver on the vision that my wife and I had for how the night would flow. What that means is that I wanted someone who could think on the fly and adjust accordingly to entertain BOTH of our families. My wife was born and raised in New Ulm, Minnesota. I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. The family dynamics couldn’t be more different; any DJ would have that demographic to deal with right out of the gate. I also wanted a DJ who would take charge and help keep the night moving along at a decent pace. For me, it was important that I didn’t end up trying to pull MC duties while also being the groom (something that my wife made sure to point out was NOT part of the program). I wanted a DJ who would have fun WITH us; not a DJ who appeared to be there solely to pick up a paycheck. If your DJ seems to lack any energy, it comes across as a lack of personality. Lack of personality generally translates to lack of enthusiasm from the crowd. If your crowd isn’t excited about partying with you, your party isn’t really going to be much of a party.
There’s a bit more that goes into The Trust Factor, though. Does the DJ have a plan in the event that there are equipment issues? Do they have backup gear? Does the DJ have a contract that protects you AND them should it be necessary? What happens if the DJ gets sick or has a family emergency of some sort? These are extra pieces of the puzzle that need to be addressed in order to help your day run more smoothly.
How much experience as a Wedding DJ do they have under their belt? This one is HUGE for me, as there is a BIG difference between spinning at house parties, a bar or a club and spinning for a wedding reception. Most club DJs don’t have to interact with guests; they don’t have to emcee an event and guide the crowd. They get to stay behind their booth and play THEIR set THEIR way. A Wedding DJ’s primary job is taking care of YOUR needs and delivering on YOUR vision of YOUR celebration to the best of their ability. Not only does a wedding DJ cater to your needs, they cater to your guests’ needs as best they can while working with the other vendors as a team for your benefit. A wedding DJs job is interactive: we set up toasts; we may bless the meal before dinner; we let everyone know when the hotel shuttle will arrive and inform them that it’s the last call for alcohol. These are the things that you NEED in a wedding DJ; you want to be sure that you feel confident that the DJ that you choose can deliver on all of these things.
Notice that none of these things have ANYTHING to do with a price tag. For MANY, their FIRST concern is the price. While I understand this quite well, price is just one component. There’s a saying: Good DJs aren’t Cheap; Cheap DJs aren’t Good. There’s another saying that goes hand-in-hand with this concept: You get what you pay for. While I don’t completely agree with the notion that cheap DJs aren’t good, going for the lowest price before considering anything else doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have the sort of entertainer that you’re hoping for. In fact, bargain basement price can potentially lead to other problems when it comes to the execution of your big day. My advice would be to figure out what you want in a DJ FIRST, then shop around to discover who can instill the trust in you to do so with the “best” price in mind.
In short, the main thing that a prospective client needs in choosing THEIR wedding DJ is Trust. Trust that they’ll do a great job for you on your wedding day. Price doesn’t determine Trust; it’s the intangibles that pricing doesn’t even begin to explain. Ultimately, you’re going to place Your Trust (followed by dollars) in someone that you hope understands what your celebration should be like. So long as you let Trust be your guide when you make your decision, the rest should be smooth sailing.