Selecting a DJ

If you are truly looking for a top professional, you need to take time to investigate a company and their DJs. Ask questions like:

"What are the DJ's qualifications and how many years of experience does the DJ have?" A DJ that has been in business for a while is most likely doing the right things - otherwise, the DJ would probably not be employed very long. This is especially important for events such as a wedding reception where the DJ must not only provide great music, but also work well with other vendors, make the appropriate announcements, and keep the event going as planned.

"Which DJ will actually be working at my event?" In some cases - especially with larger DJ companies - the person you first meet with and sign a contract with might not be the person that shows up to work your event. Insist on meeting with the DJ that will be at your event to verify he or she has the qualities you are looking for. Ideally, you will want to work with the same person from the beginning, through the planning stages, and at your event to help ensure things go as you envision.

"Does the DJ use professional grade equipment?" High quality equipment is a must for a couple of reasons: 1. Excellent sound quality. The music and announcements/speeches should be pleasing to the ear. 2. Reliability. Professional equipment tends to be more reliable. For example, when the best man is making his toast at a wedding reception, we do not want the wireless microphone to cut in and out - a more expensive, higher quality microphone greatly reduces the chances of this happening.

"What about backup equipment in case there is equipment failure at my event?" Even the highest quality equipment can fail. It could be as simple as a faulty power cord. A professional DJ will bring a variety of replacement and backup components to quickly get things back on track should a failure occur.

"Does the DJ have a large selection of music?" This is less important, but still a good question to ask. A larger music library enables the DJ to play a variety of music and handle requests. However, keep in mind that an average of only 18-20 songs are played in an hour. Regardless of whether a DJ has 5000 or 50,000 songs, he or she will only be able to play around 75 of them at a four hour event.

"Does the DJ have liability insurance?" All vendors at your event should have liability insurance. This helps protect you, the vendors, and the venue where your event is taking place. In some cases, this is required by the venue.

More recommendations:

Read reviews from the DJ's previous clients.

Request a copy of the DJ's contract and read it thoroughly before making any commitments.

Many individuals look for a DJ based on price. The entertainment usually has the largest impact on the success of the event. Keep in mind you typically get what you pay for.