Too often going through the entertainment options is left at the end of your exhausting “Event – To Do List” — but it shouldn’t be. The music can make or break the mood of a party, this implies that the band or DJ is a standout among the most essential elements of your event to set the right mood and create the vibe and atmosphere you’re going for. You definitely don’t want to hire someone without completely verifying them initially, otherwise you might be stuck doing the chicken dance.
We love questions! And we know how important is getting the right band or DJ. You need to look for someone who besides playing the tunes you like, will do so with a style and personality that keeps your guests happy. We’ve put together this list of inquiries that will help you to asses a DJ, band, or any other entertainer.
1. What’s your style?
You must know whether their style will match and work with the mood and vibe you’re going for. If you’re having trouble determining if they are the right DJ or band you want, request to watch a performance, it could be live or on video, and you’ll get on the band’s vitality, energy, personality, and obviously, musicality.
For instance: If you want to have an elegant party with plenty of casual conversation, a band that depicts itself as “rock and roll with a whole lotta edge” is a music mismatch.
2. Can we provide “must-play” and “never play” song lists?
Any music band or DJ deserving some respect, will have a broad music collection or library to take advantage of for your party (however it’s worth asking how many songs they have access to anyway). You most likely would not prefer to simply give musicians free rule to play whatever they want from that list.
Get some information and ask how you can go about requesting particular songs, if they will be able to play some songs that would be important for you, like a traditional melody from your heritage or your favorite #1 pop hit, and how many of those melodies they can ensure to play. Overwhelmed? Your future band or DJ may have already sample lists of good and bad songs to play, based on their expertise and proficiency.
3. How do you handle requests from guests?
Let’s be realistic, after a couple of glasses of wine, your guests are going to get loose, and they could believe they’re dancing at a club, instead of a private party. Which implies, they’ll queue for the music stage whenever they can, asking for everything from “Shout” to “B**ch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.”
You don’t need inappropriate or awful songs being played at your party just because a drunk guest asked for them, saying no to such guests could end up in some issues or attitudes, so it takes an experienced person to do so properly.
4. Do you work with any reception space, its acoustic, power and amplification requirements?
It might sound obvious, but you need to be sure your music band or DJ will arrive beforehand to proper setup for the event, place the speakers properly for the best effect, tweak the volume and EQ based on the acoustics and layout of the space.
It’s important to know beforehand they have the necessary equipment in case they need an extension cord, backup generator or other supplies.
5. Do you include other elements, such as lighting?
It could be cost-friendly (and easier for you) to get all of these extra requests from one company, ask the band or DJ what else they can include or have for you to choose from.
6. How much space do you need?
Big bands can take up a lot of space (as anyone might expect), even DJ’s require some space for equipment. However, every band and DJ have a different set-up; while some can squeeze into a little corner, others will require a full 20-by-10 foot space. In regards of the band, you may also want to ask: How many musicians are in the band? How many vocalists? Is there any difference in regards of how many musicians/instruments you can hire?
And since it would really be a bummer to hire a DJ or band just to discover at the last minute that they can’t set up properly at the venue for your party, you should probably ask ahead of time.
7. What’s your back-up plan?
Hopefully you won’t need one, but you will definitely want to have a viable backup plan in case something goes wrong. So, to put your mind at ease, ask what they would do on the off chance that something keeps your band or DJ from showing up on your event day.
Is there a backup inside the same company? Someone else can step in? What’s your sick-day policy? What’s your backup if there’s an equipment malfunction? Whatever the scenario you can think of, ensure it’s an arrangement everyone is comfortable with.
8. How would you motivate a shy crowd to dance?
Some DJ’s will show the most recent dance moves or will verbally encourage guests to step onto the dance floor, others will simply choose tunes that will naturally get your guests moving. Pick someone who works with a technique you like and feel confortable with.
If you don’t want conversation from the DJ or band, or want to keep it at minimum, make sure to specify that so they can accommodate your request.
9. Can we tell you what to say?
This goes back to the question concerning the band or DJ style – If he mentions he doesn’t like to talk at all while playing, most likely is not going to be too keen about taking your script proposals, either.
If you need someone who acts as a master of ceremonies for your party, look deeper and find out how open they are to say what you want them to announce. Perhaps you have an amusing or funny message you want them to say during an important stage of your event?
10. What’s the difference from your competitors?
Any professional band or DJ will take pride in their work, and will have the ability to answer this inquiry genuinely and express the things that make their services one of a kind.
Some companies, on the other hand, will take this open door to “bash” their competitors and tell negative things about their rivals. We consider this kind of conduct amateurish and unprofessional, you probably may want to meet any DJ or band that other people say something bad about.
The answers you receive will help you best determine which vendors you would like to select to help you with your big event. Start with the big burning questions that are at the forefront of your mind when you think of your event.
At Cutting Edge Entertainment we love questions! When we meet with a client, we love answering questions in order to provide a more comprehensive picture of what we do and how we handle different situations. Give us call and we’ll be more than happy to help you out organizing your big day.