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Five Questions to Find the Right DJ For You

Author: Dave Shaw       Date: August 12, 2014

In the last decade, professional and pro-sumer audio equipment has become more affordable, more reliable, and more user-friendly, allowing entrepreneurs to enter the mobile event marketplace with lower initial investment capital. The industry is teeming with amazing, inventive, and fun entertainment companies, and finding the "right one" for your event can be a challenge.

But what makes a company the "right one" for your event? To make the search process easier, we've broken down what we believe to be five essential questions to keep in mind when considering a service.

1. Do I feel more or less stressed after the first meeting?

Many companies will prefer to schedule an appointment rather than giving a quote over the phone, and that's OK. The first appointment is called the consultation. The professional uses this scheduled time to explain his or her services face-to-face while getting a sense of your requirements for the event.

You shouldn't be pressured to sign a contract or pay for anything at your first meeting. You can expect to be presented with some initial information, a quote, or a proposal at the end of the consultation. This is a way of saying, "it's OK for you to think it over," and sets the stage for a less-stressful future experience.

2. Do they have referrals?

If a person walked into a tattoo parlor with the intention of getting a tattoo, it seems natural that the person will first look through the tattoo artist's portfolio before getting work done. A tattoo is a permanent feature on your body just like an event is a permanent feature in time, and the entertainer that you book could determine how you and your guests look back on those moments. Like the tattoo artist, the entertainment professional should be able to supply pictures and video, reviews, and other forms of testimonial.

3. Are they willing to work within my vision?

Customer service is absolutely essential for any business, and an entertainment company should be able to accommodate any special requests you may have. In the past, it used to be all about the packages. But in recent years we have seen a trend away from the "package" paradigm and more emphasis on a la carte or itemized services, giving the customer a greater overall bang for their buck.

4. Do they have liability insurance?

Most venues today will not accept an entertainment company that does not have a liability insurance policy. The insurance policy is there to protect the venue, vendor, your guests, and mostly importantly you from any costs incurred from any unlikely property damage or bodily harm resulting in transportation or use of the equipment at the event. However unlikely, accidents can and do happen - as much as we hate to admit it. The standard insurance policy covers up to one million dollars, so make sure your vendor has a strong policy that can meet or exceed that number.

5. Is this all they do for a living, or is it a hobby or a side job?

A full-time entertainer is more desirable because they are - generally - much more committed to providing a quality service. A failure of service might be disastrous to a full-time professional, where a part-time professional might consider a failure to be merely a setback as they fall back on their primary source of income. Full-time entertainers and businesses are often more seasoned, have a polished presentation, and have greater reliability.