Below is a very informative list of expectations that will help you know we are the choice mobile
dj for your event.
How to Choose a Houston DJ
How to hire a DJ for your event - Hiring a quality wedding DJ
by Brian Harrell writing for www.alltimefavorites.com
•1. How do I know what a quality DJ is?
If you are truly looking for a top professional, you need to take time to
investigate a company and their DJ's. Some companies allow you to pick the
exact DJ and some pick the DJ based on your needs and type of event. If you
pick your exact DJ and have seen their performance, you can be pretty sure of
the quality you will get. If you allow a company to pick the DJ for you, then you
need to be very careful to check into the experience of the person that is
choosing the DJ for you. What is that person's qualifications? Are they a DJ?
How long have they been a DJ? What makes them an expert on choosing the DJ
for your event?
One way to determine if one company is better than another is to ask for a list of
their DJ's and how much experience they have, and how long have they been
with that company. If you find a company that does not know how many DJ's
they have, how long they have worked for them or their experience levels
individually (not company-wide), then stay far away from those companies as
they don't even know what they have "in stock". Those type of companies also
will not match up the proper DJ to your event with a very high success rate. The
better companies should ask you what type of DJ you want, music styles,
interaction and then they should within seconds know which of their DJ's by
name to start telling you about. You'll know a better company when just after
you explain what you want, they can then tell you right then which DJ's match
•2. Always see a Performance. It is best to see a performance of the DJ service
to get a feel for the quality of the DJ's at that company. Many have video demos
and on-line video demos to preview the quality. If previewing by video remember
to watch how the DJ interacts and not just that a group of people are dancing.
See how clear the DJ talks and does what they say enhance the experience?). It
is very easy to get into the DJ business so you have to look at the proof a
company offers. Most do not allow live previews at an event as it is not nice to
send clients to interrupt another private event. With the Internet it is very easy
to see a preview of the DJ in online video. Ever been to a dance with a DJ and it
was really bad where the DJ was not doing a very good job? It is usually avoided
if the client had seen the DJ on video BEFORE they hired them or it could be that
the company showed a very good DJ on video but did not guarantee that specific
DJ on their event. These are very critical things to watch out for. Even if you
can't see a DJ performance before you book them, at least meet with them
(preferred) or at the very, very least talk to the exact DJ that you are looking to
hire for your event. If budget is an issue and you need to hire someone at the
lowest price, the company will probably not be able to give you an idea who the
DJ will be, or the quality.
BIG TIP: Always guarantee who will be your DJ in the contract and see a
performance of them (or at least talk to or meet them) before hiring that specific
•3. References: Even if your friend says the DJ he or she saw was great, it may
not be the type of DJ that fits what you like. Check at least 5-10 references on
the DJ or service you are looking to hire (either names and numbers or written
comment letters). Remember that DJ’s can give you a really good sales pitch, you
need to check references to assure that what they are saying is true. Any
reputable DJ service will have plenty of reference letters on hand to show you the
quality of work they have done. No references? Don't book them.
BIG TIP: Here is the key to getting good, accurate references: Ask the company
for references on the exact DJ that you are looking to hire through their
company and make sure you ask for references on the most recent 6 events they
have done (best if you get referrals to customers who have hired them over the
last 3 months). This way they can not hide behind the "top 10" reference letters
of the last 10 years.
•4. What training does the DJ have? Ask how many shows the DJ will have that
will do your event? A DJ will have a basic idea of what to do at a wedding after
25 shows with a very good trainer and about 100 shows without any training.
Still, the more shows over 200 you have done will give you a much better DJ as
they will know how to read a crowd and know exactly what song to play next
based on the crowd reaction to the current song. Find out exactly what
experience in the type of event you are having that your specific DJ has.
•5. How many songs do you bring to your shows? What Format? A top
professional should show you a sizeable song list (at least 20,000 songs from
oldies to new music for weddings). The DJ should have the styles of music you
want at the event. If a DJ says they don't have a song list, they probably don't
have what you need or are hiding something as their is very good software out
there like Music Database 2000 to help them put their collection into a database.
*COPYRIGHT WARNING * Be cautious of duplicated CD's and computer-based
music collections. It may be hard to ask a DJ company "Where do you buy all
your music from?" but it is important to find out. Some of the larger companies
are being shut down for duplicating hard drives of songs for multiple shows.
Serious DJ's buy their music and don't pirate it from the web. A question that
can be asked of the DJ service is, "Do you subscribe to a DJ or radio music
service for each of your systems?". If they don't have a master copy for EACH
DJ system they own, they are in violation of US Law. A few DJ subscription
services that are legal are www.tophitsusa.com or www.promoonly.com (there
are more legal subscription companies also)
•6. Sound and Lighting Systems: Minimum for a 175 person event would be 200
watts per channel sound system (stereo), Colored lights (4 or 8) that chase to
pre-set patterns or to the beat, a mirror ball, 2 CD players (or computer-based
system), mixer, microphone. Most DJ's should have at least a 15" bass speaker
and horn per side (channel) for groups under 175 guests. If you are having a lot
of top-40 or dance music you will need much more bass such as another (2) 15"
bass speakers or a 18" subwoofer for better sound. Some DJ services go really
crazy on huge sound & lighting systems. (BIG TIP:) REMEMBER, it is the DJ and
not the sound/lighting system that makes or breaks a show unless your event
needs both. Get a good DJ first, and then if you like a lot of lights and fancy
equipment, spend more for those items.
•7. Does the company really take time to find out your needs? A good DJ
company will start the conversation by asking you what your type of event is, #
guests, location and type of DJ you want. They should ask you how much
interaction you want from the DJ, sound and lighting, and at least what kinds of
music you want played. If they start the conversation by spewing out all the
types of shows they offer, they are clearly not listening to the client and usually
do not have the client in mind at the event either. They should ask what your
needs are and then tell you which packages they offer can supply those exact
needs. If they do not ask questions about the type of show and DJ style, they
they do not have your needs in mind.
•8. I could hire my friend and save some money or just go with the cheapest DJ
(they are all the same, right?)
Yes, you can. Unless your friend is a professional DJ, it will be a disaster the
same as if you did your own dental work. A DJ is a professional that knows
through experience which songs to play when, and how to professionally interact
with the crowd to keep the music and dance floor full with all guests having a
great time. This only comes from training and experience with being in front of
people and an extensive knowledge of music and equipment to make a successful
event. There are thousands of people who thought they could just hire a friend
to play CD's at their wedding or special event, and they wish they could go back
in time and do it right.
•9. The Contract. Does the contract guarantee my exact DJ or minimum DJ
experience level or a date at which I can choose my DJ? A better contract also
lists the equipment in general, sound system, lighting, # songs brought to the
show, styles of music brought to the show, DJ Name performing the show OR
style of DJ wanted including description of the interaction level you want,
Cancellation Policy, What if a DJ is sick policy, Statement that they are insured (if
they are), and other special details discussed between the client and DJ. You, as
the client, can ask for anything you talk about to be put into that contract to
guarantee that is the way you want it. If they won't put it in writing, then they
probably won't do it at your event. BIG TIP: Make sure the exact DJ name of
the DJ you picked is guaranteed in the contract.
How to Hire a DJ
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