Tips to Book a Reunion DJ

reunion

Time sure flies, huh? Whether it’s your 10 year or 50 year reunion, it’s important to find a DJ who can get ‘tuned in’ to your crowd. Reunions are particularly fun events for DJs due to the nature of the event. The very fact that it’s a reunion, helps plug us in to exactly the music the crowd grew up listening to. We can bring them right back to freshman year, or senior year depending on the release dates of the songs played. Nothing brings people back better than music.

Some fun ideas we’ve done in the past are provide a rotation of video commercials from childhood of the alumni (without the audio) to play on a projector screen in the background. All of the toys from childhood, long forgotten, are brought back as a great addition to the ambiance. Lighting is a must at these events. The older we get, the less we want house lights blaring on us while we dance. DJ lights provide the perfect balance of movement, but just enough light to make dancing safe, as well as comfortable.

Reasons to hire a DJ for a reunion:

  • DJs can research the graduation date and play old favorites from high school
  • DJs can provide a variety of music from golden oldies to current pop and hip-hop
  • DJs can host the event, directing people to any ares of interest, such as a picture display, or photo booth
  • While booze always helps loosen up reunion attendees, a good DJ can win the crowd over and get them dancing
  • DJ lighting and videos add a great visual and give your guests something to talk about
  • DJs are usually one-man-shows, allowing for affordable rates

Why price shopping for a reunion DJ isn’t a good idea

The only difference is price, right? Wrong. In 15 years of DJing, this was a big disappointment I had with prospects. I refused to drop my price simply because a hobby DJ was willing to do a party for $50/hour. It’s nothing personal against the hobby DJs, and I don’t blame them for trying to get their foot in the door and some gigs under their belt, but I felt bad for the parent who was running a huge risk in the attempt to save a few dollars.

What could go wrong with a cheap DJ?

  • ┬áCheap DJs might not have redundant equipment. If a mixer, computer, external hard drive, speaker, or amp blows, the party’s over.
  • Cheap DJs might not legally purchase their music. This means that songs can be mislabeled in title, or mislabeled as ‘clean’ versions when they are not. Illegal downloading makes it more likely they have a virus on their computer, which could shut things down at any moment.
  • Cheap DJs might be nervous on the microphone. If the DJ is uncomfortable, EVERYONE is uncomfortable.
  • Teenagers can be very picky with the music they request. Cheap DJs may not know how to handle that age group, or come across rude.
  • Cheap DJs might not keep their music updated to be able to play requested music, much less the clean versions.
  • Cheap DJs tend to have other full-time jobs. This divides their attention, preventing them from following up on, and keeping track of requested details for your event.
  • Cheap DJs might not know how important it is to keep their vehicles in good shape until they find themselves broken down on the way to a gig. I learned this lesson the hard way, and it was back when I was a cheap DJ.

Now that you’re absolutely terrified of hiring a cheap DJ, keep in mind that all professional DJs began as cheap DJs. Everyone had to start somewhere. It’s up to you on how much risk you will tolerate. If your daughter’s sweet 16 is a party at the house, and there’s a contingency plan if the DJ doesn’t show or his/her equipment fails, then you’re not running much risk. If you booked out a $15,000 venue downtown with nothing but a DJ to entertain, you should mitigate as much risk as possible by paying the cost of a professional.

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