10 Important Questions to ask a DJ before you hire them:
1. How long have you been a DJ?
A Good DJ has years of experience. DJ Kingpin has been Djing public and private events since his freshman year in college (1998). That makes over 13 years of experience
2. Are you insured? Can you supply me with proof of liability?
Responsible business owners carry liability insurance to protect their DJ businesses and their customers. Many upscale venues and catering halls require proof of liability for mobile entertainers and Djs. Ask your DJ for proof of liability insurance if your venue requires so. DJ Kingpin offers liability insurance if requested. DJ Kingpin can send you a Certificate of Liability which can be used as proof.
3. Will you be willing to play requests and discuss music ahead of time?
Any versatile DJ should be willing to listen to your suggestions, and give you feedback on music requests. Also, the DJ should be able to play from your desired song list. Any professional Disc Jockey will also accept the fact you may NOT want certain songs played, and should respect your wishes by avoiding those ‘do not play’ songs. DJ Kingpin offers a music database that makes song selection easy, and also an event planning section on www.djkingpinmusic.com .
4. Do you use Professional Equipment?
Ask your DJ if he/she has professional audio equipment, or needs equipment provided for him/her. If you are not sure what professional equipment is, ask for their equipment list and cross check it with a local music vendor to verify they are using professional-grade sound gear. Keep in mind that professional equipment does not guarantee an entertainer’s talent or service level, but it is important to know the music will sound well. DJ Kingpin uses Serato scratch live, with Gemini club mixer and Gemini turntables. DJ Kingpin can also provide price quotes for venues with built-in sound equipment to help save customers money.
5. Do you provide backup dj/equipment at my event?
Although equipment failure is rare, do you really want your special occasion ruined because your Disc Jockey did not come prepared? It is also important to know if your Disc Jockey has a back-up plan in case of illness or an accident. DJ Kingpin has backup djs from pop-off productions, also has backups of all music in case of catastrophic serato failure.
6. Does the Disc Jockey know the proper etiquette for your type of party?
Any professional Disc Jockey can assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. Ask if they have experience with your type of event. Some events have to require clean music, or music suitable for all ages. DJ Kingpin has clean versions of most music and can also edit any song ‘on the fly’.
7. How much time do you allow for set-up?
Punctuality is a necessity. Most Disc Jockey’s arrive at least one hour prior to the start time you’ve given them. DJ Kingpin normally takes approximately 20-40 mins to set-up, depending on if lighting is requested. It can take up to an hour to break down.
8. Do you provide a written contract?
It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial deposit. The standard initial payment for DJ Kingpin’s services is 25% upon signing DJ Contract.
9. Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
Specify the type of apparel that your Disc Jockey is expected to wear for your occasion. Formal attire or Suit & tie are the most popular forms of attire for formal events. Any good Dj will dress the part.
10. Do you belong to a professional organization or trade group?
Although belonging to an organization or trade group does not guarantee the talent or professionalism of a disc jockey, it may indicate the companies willingness to network, learn and grow. Disc jockeys can learn through local chapter meetings, national DJ conventions and seminars geared toward the entertainment professional. DJ Kingpin owns his own licensed business, and is also still affiliated with Pop-Off Productions (www.popoffproductions.net , www.welivethis.com)
Other things to consider:
Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality.
Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,200.00 for a 4 hour booking. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight. Remember, cheap Djs are not good, and good Djs are not cheap!!
A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for “4 hours”. Consultations, research, music production, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion.