Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to Plan for the DJ to Setup

An experienced DJ should tell you what they need for setup. A wall outlet is almost always needed. Very few DJ’s work on a generator or battery power but some can for outdoor events. Their can be an extra cost if a generator is needed so check with your DJ. Generally one outlet is fine. Two or more outlets can be helpful especially if there is a lot of mood lighting.

If the event is at your home you can plan ahead by unplugging anything plugged into the nearby outlets that are not needed during the event. The DJ should be able to tell you how much room they will need. By clearing a space in advance it can save on stress prior to the event. You may not be sure which is the best area for the DJ’s setup. Let your DJ know this before they arrive. They may want to get there a few minutes earlier to help pick the spot they think is best. Past experience has given me a good eye on the best area for the guests comfort and my setup.  I am happy to give advice with this problem.

The amount of time the DJ will need to setup varies with what equipment is needed for your party. On average it takes about 60 to 90 minutes for setup. This depends on if lighting and/or karaoke is used. If the event is in a rented space check with the venue as to how long before the event they will allow you and your DJ into the room.

You may also have decorations of your own to setup and you don’t want you or DJ to be rushed. If the DJ has to rush to setup he or she may not get done before the party starts. Some venues will allow you entry hours before and some less than 30 minutes. Check with the venue before you book as to how much time they allow. Planning ahead with these few simple things will help your party run more smoothly. I will have more about cutting down on setup stress in the next entry.

Need a mobile DJ and or karaoke?
 Contact me at 877-652-7265

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How to Select Wedding Music So That Everyone Has Fun!

Brides and grooms often prefer to hear only the music they like at their wedding. They may want to consider what their guests will like also. At times the bride and groom come up with a long list of songs that only a selection guests will like. For example, their song list may only consist of fast hip hop music which appeals to younger guests. This may make the older guests leave early. This is okay if that is what is intended. If not it is important to consider all the guests when selecting a variety of music.

Weddings often consist of guests of all ages. If you want all your guests to enjoy themselves than a mix of music is needed. This means you can have the newest fast dance music, oldies for the seniors, disco from the 70’s as well as new music with heart pounding beats.  This will insure that everyone enjoys some of the music.  Keep in mind that all the guests bring gifts and all should be considered.  Since the grandparents usually bring the biggest gifts they should be considered in the entertainment.

Keeping it family friendly is also important. I play only the “clean” radio edits of each song at family events. This way older guest and those with children aren’t offended. Many times there are one or two styles of music the bride and groom can’t stand. I have found people either love country or hate it. If the couple has country down on their do not play list the guests that want to line dance may feel alienated.  This also puts the DJ in the position of having to make an excuse if a country request is made. Even if you hate a certain type of music you may want to consider allowing two three songs from that genre to be played if requested. You can always go to the rest room during that time and powder your nose.

 I have done weddings that were scheduled too late at night. At these weddings the older guests and those with kids all left while the party was still going strong. In those cases, the music can usually become all of one type without the concern for entertaining a diverse group.  The music sets the mood of the event. Try to make sure you set the right mood for everyone you invite. Otherwise you might as well save some money by reducing your guest list down to just people of your age group. 

If you want people to remember your wedding as a great event consider your guests when selecting your songs.  When planning consider weddings where you were a guest.  Think about what made it a success and what did not.  Consult with a few people about their feelings about music at weddings. I am sure you will come to the right conclusions.  Need more advice? I always assist my clients with sound advice. Get it? Sound advice!  Okay bad joke but good advice.

Need a mobile D.J. and or karaoke?

Contact me at 877-652-7265

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to have music at your party and hear it at your volume

A lot of time and money can be spent planning and having a party. You want to be able to hear the music at the volume you like. When renting a hall check with the management beforehand on any volume restrictions. In a restaurant or hotel even when you are renting a separate room the music can leak out and disturb other guests. As a DJ I have been told by management to turn the music down even at volumes that were appropriate for the event. Guests have come up asking the music be turned up and I have had to tell them I couldn’t. This can be very upsetting when you paid a lot to have the party and can’t have the music the way you would like.

I’m not talking about a heavy metal rock concert type volume but the expected volume for dance music. This also happens during karaoke parties as some of the less talented (bad) singing really gets to people outside the party. Some places have movable walls to separate rooms. These walls can vary in how they block sound. If you can scope out some parties being held in that room before you book. This will give you an idea of how loud the volume can be. Please be careful not to intrude on the event taking place. I don’t want to encourage any wedding crashers.

Some hotels have outdoor spots for parties. Outdoor areas can look beautiful and seem like a very tempting place to have a party. These can be fine for the ceremony part of a wedding but I have usually found they don’t work for the main party. The outdoor area is often surrounded by the guest rooms. The overnight guests complain to the management the music is disturbing them. Most hotels also have a strict 10 P.M. quiet policy. Sometimes this is due to the local ordinance. I have entertained at several events where the host wanted to go overtime but the management told me the music had to be shut off exactly at ten.

There are a few exceptions to these rules. If you want the music at a low volume, for instance, at a cocktail party. Check what time the hotel quiet policy is. It is most often ten but there maybe a few exceptions. Many banquet rooms at hotels and restaurants work perfectly fine to block sound and allow you to have your music at your volume.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How to Plan a Budget for Hiring a Party DJ

I have received calls from customers who have already booked their party at the most exclusive hotels. When I quote my rate sometimes my fee is over their budget. This always shocks me no matter how many times it happens. The hotel costs many times what the DJ cost. How can they afford such an expensive hotel but can’t afford a DJ. They over spend on the hotel and leave little for entertainment. How can this be avoided? The answer is proper budgeting.  Most of the time the party room is booked before the DJ. Customers book the room without knowing the total costs for all of the elements they desire for event. 
A simple solution is to call your first and second choice of hotels learning cost for the number of guests you are expecting and the room you want for your party. Next would be the food budget. Buffet is generally less expensive then sit down dinners. The types of food can greatly change costs as well. Find out the range of food costs and write it down.  Then call some D.J.s and find out who you like most. DJ rates can vary widely so finding the rate of the DJ’s you like is more important than speaking to a few random DJ’s just to get pricing. The music and the food make the party whether it is in the house or an upscale hotel.  Give the DJ an idea of time of year and day of week. Saturday nights may cost more than Sunday mornings. December may cost more than February. DJ rates can vary with supply and depend during popular party seasons.  Even if you don’t know the exact date yet, ask about the rate for your few preferred dates. 
You may find in the end you have the budget for your first choice of hotel, food, day and DJ. If you don’t have enough in the budget for everything your 2nd choice of hotel with the food, day and DJ you want maybe a better choice than your 1st choice of hotel with a substandard DJ or food choice. People will enjoy great music and a nice hotel over poor music and the best hotel. The bottom line here is find out the costs of the various components and then proceed to book them.  You and your budget will be happier.

Need a DJ and or Karaoke? 877-652-7265