Find a Qualified DJ

A great DJ for your event is hard to find but luckily there are a couple of good was to find one. I recently interviewed a local DJ about what to look for and this is what he had to say. Here are the 10 important questions that people should ask a DJ before hiring them and here are his answers:

Q. What should clients look for when hiring a DJ?

A. There are the obvious things such as references and years of experience and knowledgeability, but the single most important thing is to look for a personality match. The DJ is one of the most visible vendors at your event and will represent you before your family, friends and coworkers, so it’s vital that you ‘click’ with your DJ. They should demonstrate a deep commitment to understanding exactly what you want for your event and should exemplify the type of personality you’d best like in your event’s host.

Q. What type of music do you play?

A. Since most of our events include groups of wide and varying groups, we provide music from all genres and eras, including big band, oldies, classic and current rock, disco, 80s, 90s and contemporary hits, country (including Texas country), Tejano and Latin, as well as some local and independent selections.

Q. How do you handle requests from guests at the event?

A. Taking requests is a great way of learning your audience and we often encourage it. We do however make sure to gently decline to play anything offensive or that our clients have put on their ‘don’t play’ list or that wouldn’t serve the function well.

Q. Can you talk a little about how you emcee events. How does it work for weddings vs. non weddings?

A. How we emcee is first determined by our clients’ tastes and preferences. Some prefer minimal hosting while others like the emcee to take the spotlight a lot. Most commonly, for both weddings and non-weddings, clients opt for something in-between those two extremes. As a company, we specialize in very natural hosting; that is, for events that want someone to host and guide and engage the guests but without the more extreme ‘comedian’ or clownlike aspects. A lot of people are concerned about making sure their emcee isn’t obnoxious or loud and we’re very good at keeping our performances stylish.

The main difference between weddings and non-weddings is usually in the number of announcements. Weddings typically have the most announcements as they have more traditions to include. Non-weddings, like company parties or anniversaries or reunions, generally require fewer announcements. But again, it all depends on what the goals for each event are.

Q. What do you wear when you DJ?

A. Traditionally we wear a tuxedo. Other events may call for a suit-and-tie or ‘cocktail formal’.

Q. How many breaks do you take and is music played during those breaks?

A. Typically, for 4 or 5 hour performances, we don’t take any breaks unless we’re working with a band, in which case obviously we play durin g each other’s breaks.

Q. How much time do you need to set up your equipment?

A. It takes only about 30-40 minutes for a standard set-up, though we arrive 2-3 hours prior to each event to be sure there’s plenty of time for sound check or any unforeseen circumstances.

Q. How long have you been a DJ?

A. Personally, I’ve been DJing for 25 years, professionally for 16. The other Penguin DJs have from 1 year to 13 years of experience.

Q. How much do you charge for events?

A. A standard 4 hour event for up to 250 guests runs between $995-$1495, depending on the emcee you select.

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