Disco & DJ Hire -10 questions you need to ask your DJ before booking.
When you hire a disco and DJ service for your event its much more than just trying to find the cheapest deal.
Very often we are just asked, “Hi, how much do you charge please?” A really good wedding DJ for example may cost upwards of £400. Some more, and some considerably less, however, do not make the mistake of booking on price alone.
There is a lot more work goes in to the preparation than just the DJing. There are also costs such as music subscriptions, insurance, running costs of websites and vehicles and the purchase and maintenance of equipment.
With all that in mind we have put together our top 10 questions you need to be asking before booking your evening entertainment supplier.
1. Are you PAT tested and do you have PLI?
PAT testing stands for Portable Appliance Testing and it means all electrical equipment has been checked and tested in the last year and the DJ should have a certificate to prove it.
PLI is Public Liability Insurance. The venue should have their own but the DJ should also have it in their own right. Without these a venue may turn your DJ away.
2. What music do you play? Do you take requests?
A good DJ will keep the dance floor busy, but perhaps not with all of the people all of the time. Some guests may not have seen each other for years and just want to sit and chat. So if some people are just sitting down but having fun don’t worry.
You might like to give the DJ some genres or a list of 10 or 15 tracks to fit into the evening. You may also wish to list certain things you would like your DJ to avoid. Most DJs offer to send out a planner in advance for you to complete which would include the above along with timings of things such as your first dance or cake cutting.
If you find yourself stuck with ideas for your first dance then you may find this particular blog useful:
3. Do you offer any other services?
You are planning an event after all! So check whether your DJ hire company offers any other services that you might need. They may be able to offer you a package for multiple bookings. Also most good companies will be part of a known network of suppliers so if they can’t help they may be able to recommend someone who can.
4. Are there any hidden costs?
Check that the price you have been quoted is fully inclusive of everything you are expecting, and that you are not going to be hit with any surprises. Some DJs may impose travel charges on top of the price. Or on the day of your event you may decide your party is going really well and want the DJ to play longer. Your DJ may happily oblige but with an extra hourly rate.
5. Do you have a microphone?
This may be important to you if you or your guests would like to do speeches, sing or make announcements. Most DJs should have a microphone but may not be so willing to give it up, especially as they can be often expensive and highly valued.
6. How do you interact with guests?
It is always a good idea to discuss how you would like your DJ to interact, as some people prefer the DJ to limit microphone work whilst others may want the DJ to talk lots and encourage guests to get involved. A good DJ will be able to read a crowd and blend different musical styles together.
7. How long do you need to set up and pack away?
Some DJs may have a lot of equipment so check how long they need to set up. Also bear in mind things like access and whether it may be better for them to set up before you arrive rather than dragging kit through a room of people who are eating. You may also have to finish your event by a certain time so check with your venue what time the music needs to stop playing and allow time for the DJ to pack away.
8. Do you offer a contract?
A written contract is really important so you both know what you are agreeing to. If nothing else it should offer you some re-assurance. You can also ask the DJ to see their terms and conditions before booking if this is something you wanted to check first before agreeing.
9. How long have you been DJing and what experience do you have?
Whilst anyone can set up and call himself or herself a DJ don’t be too caught up on this question. Remember a DJ could of worked in clubs for years but not actually DJ’d at a wedding before. Ask your DJ if they have any feedback or reviews you can read. This may help you get a better feel for what you can expect from your DJ.
10. Do you require a deposit and how can I make payment?
You may be working on a budget, you may be booking at the last minute or you may be planning well in advance, so asking how payments are made may influence your decision on whether to book. There are varying degrees of deposit requirements out there and some DJs may request up to 50% at the time of booking or may even want the whole fee up front so its worth checking as this is something you may need to take into consideration.
So as you can see, choosing your DJ is certainly an important decision.And of all the people you hire for your event, probably has the greatest impact on how you and your guests remember the day.Ultimately, after you have asked all of your questions, go with your instinct. If you find yourself drawn to one DJ in particular then go with them, even if they are not the most highly polished or recommended.It may just be that their particular style will mesh with your personal taste.