We have clients who regularly hire DJs for corporate events or need a DJ every year for their office Christmas Party, but most people will only book a DJ once or twice in their lives. As not many of your friends will have done it it can be difficult to get advice on how to go about it!
- If you’ve been to a party, or even a club where you have really enjoyed the DJ it’s usually fine to approach them and ask for their details. If you know the organiser you can ask if they will pass the DJ’s details on. There’s no better recommendation than hearing the DJ play 1st hand. Be cautious though, in a very specific club it’s quite likely the DJ only plays that genre well. Which is great for the club, but not so much for a private party, where RnB or garage might not be what you (or your guests) want to listen to for 5-6 hours.
- If you have other suppliers ask if they would recommend anyone. Photographers, caterers etc, will have been at events and heard great DJ’s, (we often swap cards).
- Don’t accept the venue’s recommendation this is usually a paid arrangement between the venue and DJ and not based on skill.
- Industry Awards – unfortunately these are not as independent as they seem, recommendations from online forums such as mumsnet and facebook are better.
- If the DJ has a lot of testimonials it should give you a more rounded feel to how they perform. I don’t think many DJs write their own testimonials, but see if you can find anything on google, facebook or trustpilot to back them up.
- Once you’ve narrowed it down to a handful, send an email, or give them a call. Find out how quick they are to respond, and if they can address your questions.
Ask them questions, the most common are…
- Do they take requests, or work to a set list?
- Unless you’re employing someone like Tiesto or David Guetta, (or a club DJ) I expect most DJs would say they take requests. Our clients vary between those who give us a list of 100’s of songs, some who have a handful of requests, and a few who leave it all to the DJ. It’s up to the DJ to manage your list to create the best dancefloor atmosphere. Although DJs may say they’ll take requests they sometimes don’t mean more than 10ish which they can fit into their regular set. I’m not knocking this, (tbh there are only around 200 classic party songs which get played at almost every party, because people love them and they work)*.If you have a very definite idea of the music you want make sure they are OK with this.
- Do they have PAT (portable appliance testing) and PLI (public liability insurance)? Your venue may insist on these.
- What will they do if they are unable to perform?
- Do they carry backup equipment?
- What time will they arrive?
- See if they have any videos of them working and how the crowd respond, instead of great music over some flashing lights. This can give you a better feel for their personality and how they perform.
Speak to previous clients
- Make sure what’s written in the testimonials and shows in the video is an accurate representation, would they use this DJ again?
Check their terms and conditions.
They should have a website, terms and conditions and offer a contract to reassure you.
Check costs and extras?
- Our prices are transparent, because as a consumer I want to know what the cost is and not expect it to fluctuate. I don’t understand the practice of charging more to DJ weddings, (most DJs disagree with me on this). Many DJs state that their costs vary depending on many factors, and I dislike this magic potion formula of coming up with pricing.
- Find out what’s included in the cost, speakers, lighting or just the DJ?
- Will there be anything extra to pay.
Oh, great! You want to hire your DJ from BeatsAhead…
- The booking process with other DJs will vary little.
- Click here to book online.
- Call me 0207 286 1336 – I love speaking to people about their parties, not everyone likes the online process and sometimes there are some details you need to make sure of before committing.
- The information I need to book you in is
- Date of the party
- Time you want the music to start and finish
- The DJ will arrive 30-60 minutes before to unload and set up, so the music starts at the right time.
- If you need them to arrive more than 1 hour before this can be arranged with an early set up fee (approx £50).
- If you have a band/singer we recommend the DJ and band set up at the same time, then when the band comes to take their set down and the DJ is still playing no one is disrupted.
- The party location.
- it’s also really handy to know what the access is like, how many flights of stairs and if there’s parking.
- If they have a volume limiter, we have played in many venues with these installed, but it changes the equipment we bring.
- we have played in houses, community centres, offices, hotels, bars, boats, marquees, gardens, stately homes. The DJs are used to setting up in all kinds of spaces and will rarely need to visit in advance, however, if you do need a site visit this can be arranged for £70 (within M25).
- How many guests.
- With this information I create your booking and take a booking fee of 25% to hold your date.
- I send an email with receipt for the payment, confirmation of your booking and your client login information. From here you can see all aspects of your booking and add any songs to your playlist.
- Ten days before your event I will email you with the final details of your booking and the contact information for your DJ.
- On the day of your party, your DJ will arrive with all of their equipment, unload and set up, and be ready to play at the booked time.
- The balance of payment is made direct to the DJ.
- You can contact me to discuss any aspects of the party, I have a great list of suppliers: photographers, florists, cake makers; venues, etc, and I’m always happy to help.
*Not teen parties, when most of the songs the DJ plays will be new music.