How to pick the perfect DJ for your event

Choosing the right DJ for your event is one of the most important decisions you will have to face as a party planner. A great DJ can get all of your guests up on their feet and dancing, while a junky jockey is just as capable of ruining the mood as a rain storm of fire ants. There are a few key things you need to keep in mind when setting out to find the perfect DJ and this list should point you in the right direction.

1) Never start by asking “what do you charge”. DJs hardly go by a flat rate, so you’ll learn nothing by asking this question without first telling the DJ about your event. Be sure to first share important details like type of event, size of venue, who the audience will be, etc. Once you’ve provided them with what THEY need to know, start getting what you need to know by asking “What kind of experience do you have with events like mine?”

2) A very vital detail that must be addressed immediately concerns the equipment necessary for the DJ to do his or her job. You need to find out from your DJ what kind of gear would be needed for your size and type of event (speakers, booth, microphone, turntables, CD collection) and if they would be providing all of it themselves. A DJ with his or her own equipment is best because they’ll be experienced using it, you won’t have to worry about finding your own, less liability, and simpler set-up.

3) Now that you’ve qualified them for being experienced with your type of event and for having their own gear, it’s time to start discussing the music. This is very specific to your type of event and it’s very important to keep your guests in mind. For example, if there are children present, make sure songs with profanity are censored. If grandma and grandpa are present, do your best to avoid death metal and gangsta rap (unless they’re into that sort of thing). If your event has a dance floor and a diverse guest list, there is a way to balance the playlist to cater to all ages and it’s up to you to find the right balance of classic rock that every generation appreciates and modern pop songs that will get everyone dancing. As the paying customer, you are absolutely entitled to 8-10 “must play” songs.

4) Will the DJ also act as an active MC and engage your guests? Or will he or she simply pick the songs to play? This choice is up to you based on the kind of event you want. Ask yourself what would be fun if you were at a guest like this, and then try to figure out how to make it even more fun. Be cautious when allowing guests to make too many requests…a bad request can bring the mood to a screeching halt!

If you follow these steps and feel comfortable with the DJs personality after the in-person interview, you should have no problems finding the right disc jockey to motivate your audience and set a lively tempo for the occasion. Make sure you discuss any additional terms your DJ might have…even DJs get hungry so do whatever you can to keep them happy. A happy DJ is a happy party.

We hope these tips prove to be useful and good luck with planning the rest of your big FIESTAAAH!

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