Music and entertainment surely combine to form one of the vital organs to any event. Unless you're working primarily with a live band you'll certainly have a DJ to keep guests dancing all night long and the spirits high. Who will be your ideal DJ/MC?
You may have to speak and meet with several to get the right connection. Here are some very helpful points I've learned from being in the event industry for so long:
1) Are they a club DJ or an actual wedding & events DJ? Normally you can tell from their online presence but feel free to ask this. Some DJs are more accustomed to being in the club scene. They can throw a great party but they may not be happy or even familiar with wedding or proper event structure, being an MC, etc. Wedding DJs are a particular breed...the night is more about the bride & groom, not themselves!
2) How established and committed are they? Do they have their own company? Are they insured? Are they doing this full time? These are things that affect cost, of course. Decide the level you'll need for your occasion.
3) Do they have the right setup you need? Weddings are normally magical and glamorous...your DJ and entertainment area should be as well! It should look professional, clean and include the right lighting. Unless it's a simple backyard pool party we want guests to think, "Wow," and a great setup makes the client look fantastic! Also, many weddings and larger events require separate audio systems for the ceremony and cocktail areas. We need to have everything covered.
4) Ensure they utilize professional microphones and gear. Your event is important and sound quality is a priority. No one enjoys it when sound flickers, cables fail or the room gets blasted with that ear-piercing speaker feedback. A quality wireless microphone is ideal for ministers, officiants and even toasts where the person speaking wants to move around the room.
5) Do they work using an event timeline? Timelines are vital to weddings and can help things flow correctly for corporate events or even simpler birthday parties. It's the tool we use to organize all times, locations, announcements and names of the clients and important guests (ex. bridal party, persons doing toasts, etc.).
6) Make sure they require and use professional contracts. Contracts protect both you and the vendors. This is a sign your DJ is serious and it helps handle any disagreements or disputes that may arise during an event.
7) Do they take and encourage requests? It's never fun to hear that your DJ doesn't have a particular genre or favorite song. People that get their top songs played are not only excited but are always on the dance floor. It makes the occasion more memorable! The DJ should also make efforts to ensure they have wifi/internet access in order to access specialized music as needed.
8) Will they meet with you at your event venue or location? This is important to be able to walk through your location together to agree on where the setups will be. Your DJ must know where power sources are, where the dance floor will be, where lighting will look best and how to strategically setup for the ideal sound quality.
9) Do they have backup systems and gear? It's never fun but gear can fail, power outages can occur and laptops can crash. Professional DJs can prepare for this by bringing backup systems, 2nd laptops, battery-operated bluetooth speakers and so on.
10) Make sure they can really perform! A bad pianist probably won't be performing for long unless he practices and sharpens his skill. DJs that can really work their craft can transition smoothly between any kinds of songs or even segments at your event. The ceremony will flow into cocktail hour and dinner should flow into the dance party. Even dinner can be negatively impacted by playing improper music or by 'dead air.' Most people can tell or feel when something is "off" or out of place. Check out your DJ's reviews and videos or audio clips from their work. If you can, visit them at one of their public events while they're working (ex. Bridal expo, community or charity event).
We hope this list helps you find the right DJ and/or MC for your event. Just like it pays to hire the right photographer and video team, we are all helping to create those amazing memories for you and your guests.
Contact us for your next big event or special celebration!
Grant "DJ Gannon"