Thursday, December 4, 2008

Creative DJ Services

Choosing a D.J.

Choosing a DJ can be a daunting task. After all, you have very little experience in the field and even if you did you still wouldn’t really know which company to choose.

The market is saturated with companies and many of them are part-time players that are using the DJ profession as a side-line to their day job or main occupation.

The single, most common mistake that the average consumer makes when choosing their DJ services is allowing the price to be their #1 deciding factor. Price certainly is an important factor but all too often when choosing the lowest priced company you will get what you paid for.

As a DJ company we can’t count the number of times that we’ve received a frenzied, last-minute phone call looking for a DJ to replace the cut-rate operator that had been booked for months but has now either taken a better paying job and dropped you (that happens a lot) or just decided he didn’t feel like working on your date.

We have even fielded the occasional call on the actual day of service only to hear a pleading voice on the other end saying, “Our DJ hasn’t shown up and isn’t answering their phone can you send someone immediately to bail us out?”

For an amateur, part-time operator this type of sleazy business practice may not necessarily have a long-term residual negative effect on their business as a shady operator can just change their name every few years and start over leaving many honest clients in the lurch.
Of course there are, in fact, some very proficient and ethical DJs working on a part-time basis but the fact still remains that there is more opportunity for a part-timer to have a less than professional approach to your booking.

How do you find a DJ that best fits your individual needs?

You should start by taking note of your “gut” reaction after communicating with your potential DJ and/or Company/Owner:

Ask yourself:
A) Is this person someone that you would feel comfortable working with?
B) Do they actually listen to your concerns and address them in a satisfactory manner?
C) Do you get the feeling that your success is their #1 concern?

Now Ask a Series of Pertinent Questions!

Do you provide a detailed itinerary?
(One of the most advantageous side benefits of an experienced wedding DJ is their ability to quarter-back your itinerary at the venue and keep everything running on-time and in order.

Do you provide professional-grade equipment?
(Some DJ’s use a Home Stereo – at Creative DJ Services we use only professional grade equipment)

Do you use modern CD systems or just a disc-man?

Do you use a computer hard-drive as your music source? If so, do you have a Professional CD player and a selection of CD’s for use if your computer crashes during my event?

Do you provide back-up equipment?
(The last thing you need is to have the sound system blowing up in the middle of your Reception – we have never experienced the pain of that happening as we carry back-up mixers, disc players and microphones – this allows both of us the luxury of relaxing in the knowledge that the show WILL go on)

Is your equipment presented in an attractive manner free from the signage or printed advertising that some DJ companies display to promote their company?
(You invest a lot of time, money and expertise in transforming your room into your vision of the perfect environment for your special day, the last thing you want is for them to set-up a bunch of banged up, old gear and tacky signage)

Do you provide lighting in the package offered?
(If you are booking for an afternoon event lighting may not be necessary as it will have little effect in a room that isn’t dark but in any other situation lighting has a tremendous effect on setting a mood)

Is there a variety of music available?
(You will want to have at least “some” input on your music and don’t want to work with anyone who won’t listen to your taste in music and develop their play-list accordingly)

Is your music licensed?
Any music played is legally required to be AVLA licensed.

Can we provide you with a play-list as well as a “do not play” list?
(We encourage you to provide a “Must Play” and/or “Do Not Play” list)

NOTE: At Creative DJ Services we always send our music lists to you as soon as you book as part of our mandate to do our part in keeping your planning “on-track” and ahead of the game.

Will the DJ play requests from our guests?
We spend the time necessary to identify your likes and dislikes and maintain control over any requests to see that they fit with your preferences)

Do we receive a signed contract at the time the deposit is made?
(You will want to be in possession of a signed contract that states the total amount due, the hours of service and any special requirements that have been agreed on between you and your vendor – if you have identified a particular DJ that you want to perform your services make sure that their name is included on the contract)

Will the set-up be completed to ensure that music is playing at the time that your function begins?
(Your guests will feel uncomfortable and wondering if they are arriving too early if they walk into a totally silent room)

What will my DJ be wearing?
A professional DJ will be wearing a jacket and tie. There are a few dinosaurs that insist on wearing a tuxedo but most DJ’s and clients agree that this is a major faux pas and extremely tacky. It also detracts from the real stars of the show, your Bride and Groom and the bridal party who will in most cases be decked out in a tuxedo.

Are you a member of any DJ associations?
Most professionals are members of the CPDJA in Canada (The Canadian Professional DJ Association) or NAME (The National Association of Mobile Entertainers) or NADJ (The National Association of DJs) in the U.S.

OPTIONAL: Would you supply some recent references?
(Personally, I would give limited credence to references for 2 reasons)
a.) Often references are a friend or relative of the DJ company which of course renders them useless.
b.) In North America it is almost impossible to verify whether you are receiving a true reference. I was involved in a recent situation in Canada where a sales person had been hired with a glowing reference. He was fired after 6 months when they had gathered enough documentation to verify that the individual had actually never done any work at all after the first week of shadow training. He sat around the house sending in false reports, claiming sick days and watching TV.

This weasel’s former employer (who was the source of the positive recommendation) was confronted at an event later and asked why he’d committed such a horrendous lie. His response was, “I felt bad about it but we’ve been sued for giving an unfavorable yet deserved reference on a former employee and can no longer take the chance. Besides we’d originally hired the goof on a false reference.”

The bottom line: Never base any decision soley on a supplied reference, use this list of questions as your guide and best of luck to you in your DJ search.

For more helpful free information that will assist you in making an informed and suitable choice, please visit the best interactive Wedding DJ in Vancouver at: