Dance Zone Entertainment which serves Canterbury, Queenstown and the South Island is a proud member of the Disc Jockey Association of New Zealand (DJANZ). We would like to share some of their tips about how to find the right DJ for your event and one who you can trust. This is a real challenge because you can't generally see a DJ at work at another party, school, karaoke, event or wedding reception.
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Here are a few questions to ask:
Are they well
groomed? Your DJ should be freshly shaved and clean with tidy hair. Will they
wear a formal dinner suit (tuxedo), business dress, tidy-casual, or a Hawaiian
shirt, black jeans and sports shoes? Find out ahead of time and make your
You are paying
money for a professional and they should have new-looking, quality equipment
and know how it operates. Make sure it's predominantly pro equipment, not home
stereo or consumer grade. There is a difference! You are hopefully hiring
someone who takes their job seriously, so make sure they have made the
investment in quality equipment.
equipment can fail on occasion, so it is important to know whether your DJ has
extra components, or hopefully another entire sound system available to them.
Usually, only the top-notch pros invest the extra money to ensure that
everything works on your event date and backup systems are in place.
If not, when can
you meet the DJ who will work at your function so you can feel comfortable with
that person and make sure you are on the same wavelength? WARNING! Some
DJ's will book your event and then pass it on to another DJ to play your
Do local venues, hotels,
photographers and other event professionals give you a good referral of the
company? Remember, if you receive references from a DJ, they're going to be
only the best ones. Ask to speak with other wedding professionals or to see the
references on paper if you're uncertain.
Ask the DJ if they
have ever performed at your venue before. It helps if they have a rapport with
the staff, if they already know the place, how to get there, what the
acoustics are like and where the power points are. Things like this just make
it less likely that you will have any problems.
If not, why not?
If a DJ is serious about his business, he will want an agreement and a
deposit. The agreement should offer a guarantee that he personally will
show up on the day and will perform for the times you have decided on. If
there's no deposit and no agreement, there's nothing to bind him to your event.
A professional DJ will insist on a deposit to confirm your date and a
contract/agreement is your protection.
Can your DJ
provide aesthetically pleasing additional lighting? Modern effects lighting can
really add to the liveliness and energy of the night and makes the dancing just
that much more special. Some DJ's still use floor- standing,
headlight-sized floodlights called light-boxes with a basic chase pattern.
These flood the room with light with no dynamic impact and are clumsy, bulky
looking lights. A quality operator will usually offer a set of exciting
controllable intelligent effects that are elevated to avoid shining in the eyes
of seated guests.
should be clear, concise, energetic, polite and not overdone. Usually your
guests are not interested in hearing a DJ "ham it up" over the
microphone. Does your DJ have any radio, television or acting experience?
Have they acted as master of ceremonies before and do they have the wedding
knowledge to handle last-minute changes of plan? Talking well on a
microphone effectively is a skill that takes much practice and
experience. Listen to how they speak with you on the phone- are they
confident, eloquent and polite?
Once you feel you've found an
established disc jockey in your price range, with the music selection you like,
make your final selection based on personality. Some DJ's like to steal the
show. These DJ's are always on the microphone, like to be very visible and very
loud. The other end of the spectrum is the DJ with a lack of any personality
who does nothing except play the music, while other companies are an even
mixture of the two. Usually you can get a feel for style simply by talking to
the disc jockey over the phone.
One final suggestion is for you to carefully listen to not only what an event professional says when you ask questions, but how they say it. Do they speak with knowledge, passion, enthusiasm and a desire to really help you create a successful event? If so, you should book them quickly as they will be in demand!