Frequently Asked Questions You Should Ask Every DJ

What’s an event WITHOUT good music?

A good DJ is as important to a party as the dinner menu or the decoration of the event site. Selecting a disc jockey for your event is one on the most important decisions that you can make. Absolutely nothing can go wrong on this day and proper planning is essential. The entertainment can make or break your event. If the venue was average, the food ordinary, the speeches too long but the entertainment was phenomenal, your guests will remember your event as a success. Likewise, if the venue was beautiful, the food was amazing and the speeches funny but the entertainment was lousy, your guests will remember your night as less than spectacular. Think about it, the last time you went to an event that had good entertainment, do you remember what you ate or how everyone was dressed or do you remember that the music was great and you had a wonderful time?

Separating the professionals from the backyard DJ can help you avoid becoming an event horror story. Nobody wants an irresponsible music person who shows up late (or not at all), doesn’t interact with the guests, plays inappropriate songs or uses faulty equipment, without back-ups. Once you’ve got the selection narrowed down to a few candidates, it’s important to keep your focus on the type of entertainment you want, rather than try to get the DJs into a price war. If a disc jockey keeps dropping his price to get your business, he may not be very good. Most professional DJ companies rely on referral business and maintain a certain pricing standard. It’s worth a few dollars to make sure you’re getting a quality entertainer.

Another way to narrow the choice down to one is by developing a rapport over the phone and paying attention to their attitude and way with words. Their personality tends to carry over into their DJ style.

Consider more than pricing

Avoid those who don’t return calls promptly or fail to send the information you requested. Most importantly, trust your instincts. If you have that feeling that someone is wrong for you…you are probably right, move on. One of the biggest mistakes and a guaranteed recipe for disaster, most people make when looking for the musical entertainment for their event, is calling every DJ and booking solely on the lowest price. Do your research, ask for references and talk price after all your other goals have been met.

Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $200 to $2000 (or more) for a 4 hour event. The best price isn’t always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. Surveys conclude that 93% of event planners would have spent more money on their entertainment and would have made it their #1 priority in hindsight.

A full service DJ company will normally invest up to 15 hours preparing for your event even though it may appear that you are only paying for “four hours”. Consultations, music purchasing and editing, preparation, set-up, tear-down and other items related to the preparation of your event add up to the overall success of your event. Ask about the disc jockey’s presentation. Ask them to explain how they will handle the details of your event, if it is a wedding, how will they handle the Grand Entrance, your first dance, cake cutting, etc., and do they give you several different ways they can handle these events. You want to be comfortable with the DJ’s style and personality.

How much experience do you have as a DJ?

Experienced DJs have the knowledge of common problems and situations. Make sure to hire an experienced DJ to host your event. A less experienced DJ may be adequate for a school dance or backyard party but DO NOT TAKE A CHANCE on your “once in a lifetime event.” Desert Music Entertainment’s DJs all have performed at over 100 events and have, at least, 10 years experience.

How will my DJ be attired?

Your deejay should be dressed to fit your event. Some DJ’s wear a tuxedo or suit…but don’t count on it unless you ask. At Desert Music Entertainment we usually wear a tuxedo, however, if your preference is a suit or even a sport coat we will accommodate your wishes.

What’s the size of your music library?

Can you choose from a song list? Can you choose NOT TO HAVE A SONG PLAYED (a “no” play list)? Does the DJ have a wide selection of music that will satisfy the tastes of all your guests (maybe two to three generations)? Will your DJ be comfortable playing music from the Big Band era to the most current music? Desert Music Entertainment’s dee jays have a minimum of 10,000 songs and, in most cases, a lot more, that they bring with them to each event.

Most modern, professional Dee Jays have made the transition to digital music. This is an expensive transition so it’s another way to weed out the amateurs from the true professionals.

Are you the DJ that will be performing at our event?

Make sure you ask who will be performing at your wedding and that you get to meet and consult with this individual. You aren’t hiring someone to just play music, you are hiring a personality who will interact with your guests. It’s important that their personality fits your expectations. Desert Music Entertainment has 5 DJs on staff that gives us the flexibility to find just the “right” personality for your event.

Are you insured?

A professional, reputable DJ should have some sort of liability insurance to cover the unexpected. Desert Music Entertainment carries a two million dollar liability insurance policy.

What type of equipment do you have?

A Professional DJ should have professional sound equipment…not “home consumer” equipment. You’re looking for name brands like Yamaha, Pioneer, Mackie, QSC, Sennheiser, Peavey and Numark. Professional sound equipment is very expensive thus lower-priced deejays may not be using top-quality gear (which could be a problem right in the middle of your event). Be sure that the disc jockey’s equipment will be adequate to accommodate your event location (loud enough without being TOO overpowering).

How much time do you allow for set-up?

You want to make sure that your Disc Jockey has everything set-up and checked prior to your event start time. While sound equipment make take less than an hour to set-up, set-up times vary by event and the equipment required. Make sure your dee jay has planned for this. At Desert Music Entertainment we arrive between 1 and 3 hours in advance of the start time.

What happens if my DJ gets sick or gets in a “wreck” on the way to my event, is there a “back-up” DJ on call?

Desert Music Entertainment has 5 DJs on staff, so yes, we do have a back-up DJ, with back-up equipment, on call, in case of emergencies and, in most cases, the DJs carry back-up equipment with them, so if there was an issue, your guests probably would never know.

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