Tips and Tricks on How to Choose the Perfect Event DJ

Event DJ Photo by Keegan Checks: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-playing-dj-turntable-2880793/

When it comes to your event planning checklist, there are some things you don’t want to overlook. Sure, you’ve got the food, the flowers, and the venue. But one crucial aspect you don’t want to skimp on is your event DJ.

Music is an important factor in any in-person event. Not only can it fill the void between other activities, but it also helps to bring people together.

According to research, 79% of event attendees look forward to using events to build relationships. What better way to do this than through one of the most universal languages of music?

You may be wondering how to choose an event DJ. But by following these tips and tricks, you can be sure that you have the best event DJ for your next occasion.

Define Your Event DJ Needs

When selecting your event DJ, it is important to understand your unique event needs first such as the age range and musical preferences of the guests. The best event DJ will be able to accommodate the needs of each event whether it’s for a wedding, birthday, or a corporate event.

You will also need to consider if the event DJ will be able to provide the proper atmosphere for your event. For example, a wedding will have a mix of slow and romantic songs interspersed with more upbeat dance tracks. However, a corporate event will need a different blend of music as a transition between interactions and activities.

Check for Previous Event Experience

Not every event is the same, so you need to ensure that your DJ has the right experience for your event. If you’re only looking for a kid-friendly DJ for birthday parties, you want to select the best event DJ who has experience in this area. If you’re planning a wedding, you don’t want to go with a DJ who has no wedding experience.

Another way to go is to look for an event DJ who specializes in your particular event. For instance, there are DJs who specialize only in DJing for corporate events, just like there are those who specialize only in birthday parties and weddings.

Verify Event DJ Credentials

As tempting as it could be to enlist the help of a friend or a cousin with a DJ setup, you should always verify the proper credentials of your event DJ first.

Since DJs play other artist’s music as a part of their sets, they are using another person’s intellectual property for financial gain. Playing at public events requires DJs to have a DJ license. This protects the event from falling under the umbrella of copyright infringement for music.

An event DJ may also need to have a local business permit and be registered in the state where they will be performing.

Listen to DJ Demos

As a consumer, you want to sample the product before you buy to ensure it is a good fit. If you’re looking for a DJ for an event though, it can be difficult to commit to an event DJ before you actually hear them play.

A good event DJ will likely have a website with demos of their previous work that you can listen to. Doing this allows you to evaluate their mixing skills, You can hear how they handle their music transitions and get a sense of their overall style before you book them.

Request Sample Song Lists

In addition to listening to DJ demos, another method you can use for choosing an event DJ is by requesting a sample song list. You can explain to them the premise of the event and ask them to share how they would handle the music for that event.

Song lists, also called set lists, are the lists of songs that a DJ incorporates into their gigs. By asking about these set lists, you can also get a better feel for the DJ’s musical range. You can see if their music selections fit in with the aesthetic that you had in mind for the event as well.

Ask to Meet Up

If you’re still not sure about what you’ve heard or the song lists you’ve seen, talk to them directly. Rather than leave things to chance, you can arrange a meeting for an in-person or an online consultation. This will allow you to vet the event DJ yourself.

You can ask them questions face to face and get a better feel for the person behind the turntables before the event and establish a connection. If you’re not sure about a potential event DJ, ask to meet in a public space like a coffee shop so there’s no awkwardness of having to go to their place or vice versa.

Request Previous References

As with any professional service, you want to know you’re hiring someone who provides quality services. Often, event professionals like DJs will ask past clients if they can be put down as a reference for future clients. You have every right to ask for past references of other clients that the event DJ has served.

You can then contact these references and ask them how the event DJ did. Make sure to write out a list of questions ahead of time to ask so you don’t miss anything. Address areas like punctuality, crowd interaction, and professionalism to ensure you’re getting the best event DJ for your needs.

Read Reviews

Online reviews are one of your best bets for finding a DJ for an event. Like references, these reviews are often left by real clients and customers who can verify the legitimacy of the DJ’s services and operational practices.

You’re getting an honest and unbiased review, good or bad, that you can use to narrow down your search for the best event DJ. You can see where they did well and where they could benefit from some improvement.

If you know anyone who personally hired a DJ for their own event, you can ask them too. Word-of-mouth referrals are often as good as gold for finding vetted services for events like hiring a DJ.

Discuss Event DJ Equipment Needs

When it comes to the big day, it’s important to ensure venue compatibility with the DJ setup in terms of space and equipment. You’ll need to explain if your event venue is outside or inside so the DJ can plan accordingly. You will also need to stipulate a backup plan in case of an equipment failure or malfunction.

Other elements of DJ equipment include additional lighting and effects during the set. For example, you may wish to incorporate special lighting setups into your venue that the event DJ has access to. It is important to ask about these things ahead of time because they may not be a part of the standard DJ package.

Clarify Event Costs

One of the main benefits of hiring a DJ vs. a band is that a DJ is still a very cost-effective option. Before hiring an event DJ, you will need to verify that you have the proper budget in place to do so.

You’ll need to consider aspects like travel costs for the DJ to get to and from your event as well as the costs of the equipment, the setup, and the takedown involved. If you go over your agreed-upon amount of time with your event DJ, you will likely incur overtime costs.

It is also considered good practice to provide a meal for your event DJ before or during their DJ set.

Check Availability

Don’t leave booking your DJ until the last minute. You could miss out and find that your DJ of choice is already gone after all of your hard work to find them. You’ll also need to schedule their setup and take-down times around the start and the end of the event itself.

The Knot suggests that you book a DJ around 6-9 months in advance for an event like a wedding. If you have a specific DJ in mind, it’s best to book them 9-12 months in advance to ensure the best availability.

Draw Up the Contract Details with your Event DJ

Don’t hire an event DJ based on a verbal agreement. A contract is a binding legal document between you and your event DJ. It says that you agree to pay the agreed price for the services rendered during the date and time as scheduled.

A contract also holds the event DJ to strict stipulations of their services. You will need to address areas such as terms of payment, cancellation policies, and which services are being provided. If either of you fails to fulfill your end of the contract, the proper legal action can be taken to rectify this.

Discover More Event Planning Insights at Event Planner Expo 2023 Today

Planning an event is a multi-faceted undertaking. An event DJ is an essential part of any successful event. By following these tips, you can find the best event DJ to suit your event needs.

Event Planner Expo is your premier destination for all things relating to the event planning industry. Our event takes place October 10-12 2023 in New York City, and features some of the top experts in the event planning industry. Join more than 2,000 attendees and 25+ speakers, including Gary Vaynerchuk, Marcy Blum, and Todd Hartley!

Register today to get your tickets to Event Planner Expo 2023 and we’ll see you in NYC!


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