When choosing a DJ for your event, of course you’re going to want someone with all the right traits to guarantee a successful, entertaining experience for all of your guests. But, what questions should be asked and exactly what topics should be discussed? We’ve compiled a list of 20 questions to inquire during the interviewing process in order to really understand the quality of service that the company offers and what level of experience they have before booking your date. We’ve also provided our answers.
The answer should always be “yes”. A written, legal contract indicates that you’re dealing with a true professional. It also insures that he or she is obligated to perform and provide the agreed upon services. The contract should outline time frames, pricing, services, and note any stipulations. We suggest being as specific as possible (as we do on our agreements) and noting arrival time, ending time, exactly what services have been agreed upon, your selected package, any applicable discounts, addresses, and primary and secondary contact information for all parties involved.
It’s important to meet with your DJ to observe their style, body language, and how he or she relates and communicates. Does the DJ act excited about your event? How quickly does he or she respond? Is he or she social and approachable for your guests? A Ran Music Service has a select team of DJs and is family owned and operated. Doing so allows for your event to be personalized, lines of communication to always be open, and gives clients the comfort of knowing their exact contact person. There’s also the reassurance that we’ll be quick to respond. Instead of being assigned a random DJ that you may never have the opportunity to meet prior to event day (unless you want to be charged a ridiculous “Consultation Fee”), A Ran Music Service knows who will DJ the special occasion.
You want to be sure that there aren’t any possibilities of your DJ arriving late or disheveled due to a prior commitment. Consider that you may want your DJ accessible in the instance that the venue has any questions, a mic-check for speeches/the officiant is requested, or maybe a rehearsal with music is in order. At A Ran Music Service, we reserve the day for your event.
It’s no secret that this industry is very saturated! Ask for examples of how the DJ company will personalize the experience and for them to show you their awards, credentials, and reviews. Seek out testimonials with more than one generic comment to show you that the DJ was invested, prepared, and at the top of his/her game. What does he or she offer that will make your event memorable? Read our reviews and view our awards to see how we differ from other companies. 😊
You’ll want to be sure that the DJ understands the acoustics and layout of the room so that he or she is bringing the proper equipment. At A Ran, if the venue is new to us, we arrange to meet with the Event Coordinator at the venue prior to your event and do a walk through to ensure a 100% smooth and successful event.
Not always do clients consider the MC portion of the event, and some companies charge an additional MC fee. At A Ran, these services are included with your package. Our MCs are very well organized, have proper microphone technique, and are comfortable with public speaking. Quote from a bride: “They did all the announcing for the dinner and dances, which we greatly appreciated and Niki did a great job speaking. I would definitely use them again in an event. Thank you for making our day special!”
Most other companies will send out their DJs with a pre-set list of music and advise them not to deviate. This means the same songs are played at every wedding. For us, we get to know the couple and their guests’ musical preferences and will play songs throughout the evening based upon that insight. You will never hear us play the exact same list at every wedding.
We specialize in “trending”. This is when we observe you and your guests to see what songs and genres of music they are most liking. We then select the next song based on what your guests are enjoying the most. Also, we do not allow for “dead air”. Songs will effortlessly flow from one to the next unless it has been requested that we pause to make a special announcement.
A professional ALWAYS has a back-up plan! We travel as a team of 2-3 people so that someone is always manning the equipment. We ALWAYS arrive early to conduct a thorough sound check well before your guests arrive. This is at no extra cost to you. It’s a professional courtesy. In addition, we always have back- ups…as well as back-ups to those back-ups. We’re prepared for anything! In addition, we make sure that we have multiple copies of your specialty songs on hand during your event so it’s guaranteed that your request will be played.
Again, look for authentic reviews- reviews that are descriptive and mention names and specific events and venues. On sites where it’s an option to respond to reviews, look for the company’s or owner’s response. Does the company have any negative reviews? Why? How was this addressed? At A Ran Music Service, we hold all 5-Star reviews and nothing less.
Seek a company that continues to educate themselves on trends. Even if your style is more “old school”, a company that continues to update and/or expand their library proves that they actively invest in their company and work to understand their clients and accommodate them. A Ran downloads new material and adds to the library at the end of each month.
It’s your event- incorporate your style! Our motto is “A Personalized Approach to Your Unique Event”. Testimonial from our bride, Ana Maria: “Niki provided a guide for me to fill out ahead of time with cues for music, speaking roles, ambiance desired during different parts of the day, etc. It made planning the ceremony a breeze! I was able to choose from a HUGE, but not overwhelming, library of songs and had a few added for when our guests were being seated and during the reception. At the dance, which was at a different location from the ceremony, they were able to read the mood of the crowd perfectly and chose songs that kept the dance floor filled the entire night!!”
Any company that is respectful of your requests should be open to a “Do Not Play” List. Let’s be honest, we all have at least one song that we really don’t care to listen to. 😊 Whether it’s because the song stirs up bad memories or simply because you find it annoying, the DJ should keep track of which songs you choose to eliminate and honor those wishes.
Image DOES matter! It makes a statement of respect for the client. We do not dress in suits or tuxedos. We will be dressed in proper business attire as to demonstrate professionalism.
Most other companies will charge by the hour and then extra for lighting, MC services, the use of their microphones, gratuity, taxes, mileage, on and on. Make sure to request an exact list of packages and services and ask about additional fees. We do not have hidden fees. We charge the ceremony fee, package fee, and that’s it! Travel is only charged for venues that are an hour or more away from our equipment garage. There are no hidden taxes, and gratuity is appreciated NOT demanded!
Legitimate businesses will carry insurance as well as be registered with the Secretary of State. Some venues require that a DJ carries insurance in order to provide services at their establishments. Make sure that your DJ is not simply DJing as a side project or hobby. Consider this statement: “There’s a high probability that a cheap (or free) DJ won’t be in business by the time your wedding arrives. Many low-priced DJs aren’t charging enough to support their own businesses for the long term; you’re just financing their hobby.”- Stephanie Padovani/DJ Scott Fijolek
Smoking or drinking could mean breaks in the music. Liquor- well, that could open up all sorts of doors to trouble. The client should rest assured that he or she will always receive the full attention and focus of the DJ without any hinderances. In our code of ethics, we state that “We will never smoke, drink, or fraternize on the job.”
Here at A Ran Music Service, we are sound technicians as well as DJs, so sound quality is of the utmost importance to us. Sound quality can make or break an event because, quite frankly, bad sound quality is very disruptive. When it comes to music entertainment, be sure to seek trained professionals. One of our clients said it best: “The dinner music was just right and it was at the perfect volume the whole night, they played great songs and had great sound quality.” We recognize that socializing is also important during your event. We don’t mistake volume for quality.
It’s important for the DJ to be familiar and comfortable servicing the specific type of event that you are hiring them for. A club DJ may not be suited to perform as a wedding DJ. Here’s an actual example, coming from an Event Planner: “I think the worst experience I’ve had with a DJ was with a budget client who hired a friend to DJ. He was a club DJ, supposedly, but had ZERO experience on a mic. He wasn’t prepared for the traditional elements like bouquet/garter. Even though I printed out everyone’s names for him, when he did the introductions, he messed up the names of 2 of the couple’s kids AND said one of the bridal party couples twice. Then later during the garter toss/placement, he couldn’t find the song they wanted, so instead of just leaving the song on that was playing already, he STOPPED THE MUSIC to look for the song they requested. The guy who caught the garter didn’t want to wait anymore, so he just put the garter on the girl and walked away. It was a mess and it was completely out of my control.”
Your event is important, and your DJ should believe that, too. Unfortunately, many DJs have responded to this question with a) the money b) the booze c) to pick up chicks. Unfortunately, not everyone in the DJ industry is in it for the right reasons and, it’s certain after hearing certain remarks, not everyone in the industry conducts themselves professionally. It’s an honor to service a client. When a client chooses us, they are inviting us to be a part of an important moment. We realize what an amazing opportunity it is to assist someone with their celebration.
When interviewing a DJ, he or she should never make you feel like you are asking too many questions or rush your decision. If the DJ is passionate about what they do and serious about the business, they will make the time to answer any and all questions that you have with clarity and honesty. It’s important to feel confident in the vendor that you select because, “The music entertainment that you select for your wedding or party is responsible for 80% of the events’ success and the memories you will have for the rest of your life.”- Martha Stewart
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