12 things to consider or ask your DJ
before booking them!
1. Legal written contracts.
Ensuring both yourself and the DJ is covered via a written legal contract is very important and something your DJ will be happy to provide if they are a professional establishment. Establishing what level of service the DJ is obligated to provide and vice versa is the first step in achieving a well organised and prepared event.
2. Who will be DJ'ing at your event?
Most often, the person you speak with on the phone is not the person that will be DJ'ing on your big day (this is most common with larger companies). It is crucial to have transparency on exactly who will be DJ'ing at your event, what experience they have, their background, style and mixing capabilities to ensure you feel comfortable with them and that they fit the style of your event (you wouldn't want a 50 year old scruff playing at your daughters sweet 16th now would you?!)
There are many ways to achieve this and here is one of them. Make sure the DJ provider sends you a clear bio and picture's of the DJ and if possible, a recorded mix that they have personally created. Immediately, this tells you who your DJ is, what experience they have, what they look like and what their DJ'ing capabilities are. You are now in a much more informed position to decide whether this DJ is for you or not.
3. How many years experience does your DJ have?
This question is often misunderstood and easily masked with "I’ve been a DJ for years!" DJ'ing at your friends house party here and there and having a once a month residency at your local for the last 3 years is not what we at LondonsDJ.uk would consider 3 years of DJ experience (more like 3 months!). Your DJ should be willing to give you a number of events that they have performed at including venue names and dates. You will very quickly know when a DJ is masking his or hers experience as you dig deeper.
4. What makes your DJ stand out from his/her competitors?
Any professional disc jockey should always take pride in the service they offer and for this reason, be able to answer this question clearly with honesty and passion. Here at LondonsDJ.uk, we believe you should be looking for 4 key elements in your DJ service provider's answers, 1. Complete transparency, 2. At least 6 years’ experience in the industry, 3. The highest level of presentation and 4. A desire to achieve their clients vision.
5. Is your DJ comfortable making clear, precise and professional announcements?
This is less important if you are looking for a DJ to perform at your club however this is crucial if you would like a DJ to perform at your Wedding, Corporate event or even a Birthday. Any professional disc jockey should be comfortable making announcements and serving as the emcee for any event that requires it. The best way to gauge a DJ's announcements skills is by simply speaking with them on the phone or in person, you will very quickly hear for yourself if they are a clear communicator with a good speaking voice.
6. What system does your DJ provider have in place in the event that your DJ can no longer perform on your day?
Luckily enough, LondonsDJ.uk has never had this situation occur however, we have strict measures in place to ensure we are ready if it ever did. We can't hide from the fact that accidents do happen, you can't predict when you are going to fall ill and despite your exquisite planning and preparation skills, things don't always go to plan. Your DJ provider should be able to explain clearly what measures they have in place if the unexpected ever occurs whilst ensuring the standard and quality of the DJ remains the same.
7. How will your DJ handle your music request list and “Do Not Play” list?
This question is important as it not only matters how the DJ answers this, but also what your own expectation are as (dare I say) sometimes the client can get this wrong also! Let’s start with the client, you must not see the request list as a chance to test out your unparalleled taste in music or should you use it as a chance to fulfil your dreams of being a superstar DJ. It's important to create your list as a guideline to prepare and guide your DJ on not only yours, but also you guests taste's in music. You are investing your hard earned money in a professional DJ to not only play your favourite tracks, but to also ensure your night is a huge success and judging the crowed and what they are reacting to is a hugely important factor in achieving this.
Here at LondonsDJ.uk, we believe your DJ should not see this list as an easy way to play your chosen music, happy in the mind-set that the success or failure of the night lays on how well you have chosen your music. The DJ should be able to pick and choose the right songs from your list and mix them in with proven tracks from his or hers experience that they know will get your guests dancing, whilst at the same time trying to play as much from your list as possible.
8. How will your DJ handle requests from guests?
This is quite an important and easily overlooked question. It can be quite a daunting environment for a DJ, especially when you have guests high on life (and liquor) adamant that their song be played despite how inappropriate it may be or that it is clearly stated on the DO NOT PLAY LIST! Your DJ should be confident, well-mannered and professional enough to play the right requested song's for the night whilst having the ability to politely deny songs that are not appropriate for your event, a skill that we believe only develops with many years of experience.
9. What will the DJ wear to your event?
Times have changed since the black trousers and black shirt School Disco look. Many clients want their DJ to look "like a DJ" in something smart casual and some would like their DJ to be smartly dressed for their wedding or corporate event, in which case the DJ should have a nice suit (not to bright or shiny) something that looks smart, presentable and like you have made an effort (more like Harvey Specter from the TV show 'Suits' and less like Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs & Mase in their 1997’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” video)
10. How much of a deposit does the DJ provider require to secure your date?
Any professional establishment will require some sort of deposit to secure your date. This not only protects the DJ provider but also yourself. You should expect to pay anything up to 50% however, some DJ's require much less and in most cases this is because they are either a small one man company or they may DJ part time. Though we don't discourage small deposits, if the contract doesn’t clearly state a specific guarantee of service with a clear cancellation policy, the DJ may only be legally responsible for returning your deposit (maybe something small and insignificant) in order to back out of doing your event. This could have huge implications if your event is your wedding or maybe a big launch for your new product.
11. Is your DJ insured?
It is absolutely essential that any DJ you consider carries a full liability insurance policy. In most cases, venues require all vendors working at their facility to provide proof of insurance before the event, so your provider (not having this) may have a detrimental effect on your event by being refused set up on the day. Liability insurance protects you and the venue in the very unlikely event that your DJ accidentally injures one of your guests or damages the venues property.
12. What equipment does your DJ use and do they have a backup?
At LondonsDJ.uk we take the subject on equipment very seriously and ensure we provide the very best quality equipment in very clean and good working order. We share the opinion that if we can do it then there is no reason why other DJ providers can't offer the same. Long gone are the days that you strap hideous bulky lights to a bar with wires hanging out everywhere and speakers with gashes and scrapes all over it from constant usage. Technology these days allows DJ's to offer the same visual experience as the older larger lights from smaller, more compact and clean looking models. They should also take ( or have close by) 2 sound and lighting systems in the unlikely event that any of the equipment fails.