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Serving The Inland Empire, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Palm Springs and Los Angeles Areas

Tips On Hiring A DJ

Here are major issues you want to know about before calling/hiring prospective DJs:  

 * Date, time and location.  A 4 hour event is not always the same, and rates can vary on ALL 3 items.  A 4 hour event on a Saturday night is probably more expensive than a Sunday afternoon.  Since many DJs will work multiple events on any given day, availability may be an issue if your event takes up both afternoon AND evening slots such as 4:00 - 8:00.  Likewise, if your event is from 7:00 - 11:00, and your DJ is booked from 1:00 - 5:00, it may be problematic if that customer decides to extend their time to 6:00 OR you need him earlier.

* Think about what type of personality you want-low key, master of ceremonies or high profile.  Keep in mind this has nothing to do with the type of music!  Please see our Frequently Asked Questions to see which personality is best for you.

* Some DJs do not work well with extensive pre-selected request lists, while others do.  Also, some DJs will not let you pick more than a few songs.  Convey to your prospective DJ whether you will:
A) pick out all or most of your music
B) want your DJ to use his experience to play the best possible music for your guests and take requests
C) pick out some music AND let the DJ use his experience and take requests 


DJ companies come and go every year!  Similarly,  new DJ web sites pop up on the internet every week and shopping by internet alone will give you only 1/2 of the story.  Even today, the web is not all encompassing, and you may be missing out on a lot of vital information.  Check with your other vendors (hotels, photographers, caterers, bridal magazines) and most importantly - call and talk to each prospective company.  Remember, DJs perform a customer service, and how they handle your initial consultation can give great insight into how they work as a whole.

It is important that you are able to pay with a credit card for a few reasons.  If the DJ does not comply with the contract agreement, you can dispute it and get money back.  Second, it shows the credibility and seriousness of the business with whom you are dealing.  If their customers are important, the company will eat the very small cost and let the customer have the convenience.  Any DJ company who is in the business as professional, will likely accept credit cards.

Nothing can be more annoying than "What is your budget?", "We do not give quotes over the phone" or "Let's set up an appointment to discuss".  You can pretty much assume the price is much higher than most and you are not going to get services that are any different than ours.  

Some DJs do not even have a web site!  Since there are free web hosting sites everywhere, this should not be an issue.  If they are serious about their business, a professional DJ should have professional material, equipment and just as important - an informative web site.  If they are not "good with computers" they probably cannot troubleshoot the complex DJ equipment and that can be a major issue.

With today's technology, there is absolutely no reason why a DJ should not be using digital media such as CDs or MP3s.  The most reliable source is CDs (which IS digital).  MP3 is great, however it depends on how it was recorded.  96 Kbps (FM radio) is unacceptable quality.  Some DJs download their music from the internet (legally and illegally), and never know the source from which it was recorded.

Some customers believe that if they discuss something in person, it will be done. Although it is important to talk to your DJ before the event, do not just "interview" a DJ and hire them just because you "clicked" with him!  The biggest complaint customers have with DJs is "I told him to do something and he didn't do it.  Some DJs will simply "do their own thing" at your event.
  The meeting doesn't give you any insight of the DJ's musical capabilities (ability to read a crowd), organizational skills, reliability to follow instructions or return your phone calls in a timely manner, etc.  One advantage of hiring a company is that they know the strengths and weaknesses of each DJ.  When a company assigns a DJ for you however, it is critical for your DJ to contact you to discuss how everything will run. 

Do not risk hiring an inexperienced DJ just to save a few dollars. A polished professional can calmly deal with the nervous family member, or a crowd that just won't dance, while keeping the event enjoyable. Make sure the DJ will be experienced at YOUR type of event. A DJ whose resume accentuates night club experience may not be best suited for the professional atmosphere that is necessary for weddings.  Also,  don't be afraid to ask for references specific to your assigned DJ.  And, ask how the company trains their DJs - you may surprised at their answer!

Some events require a heavy interaction, while others like to have a DJ that will just remain in the background. Most prefer someone in between or - a moderate personality (also described as a master of ceremonies). The type of personality should be your choice. The best thing to do is tell the company what you want, then let them schedule the DJ best suited for you - after all, they know all the strengths and weaknesses of their own DJs. Then talk to your assigned DJ as your special day gets closer. Watch out for words like "fun" and "good"- these are very subjective. Always be as specific as possible regarding what you want.

Some companies will boast of having hundreds of DJs!  This is misleading because NO DJ company has that many employees (however, they may subcontract a large number).   You may not get much personal attention since there is little to no quality control.  These huge companies do not formerly train their DJs or training usually consists of the trainee memorizing a script, then asking him to play music for one hour to see how he interacts to an empty room.  Their focus is so much on quantity, that they are more concerned about hiring DJs to fill the slots even if they are not qualified.

What if your DJ is sick or is involved in an accident? Is that a gamble you want to take on your special day? Independent DJs and small companies with less than 3 DJs on staff are the highest risks since they will usually book all their DJs, leaving you without a backup! TIP: If there is no backup, a common response you may get is: "We have NEVER had a problem," or "I work with several DJs (network of DJs) that will be on backup for me."   Both of these answers means they do NOT have backup!  In addition, make sure that your DJ will be using professional grade equipment, including compact discs and wireless microphones. 

Do your DJs drink alcohol on the job?  This can be a legitimate concern.  A professional DJ will not drink on the job.  Make sure to ask about the drinking policies of the DJ services you are considering.  

"We are having a sale that ends this Friday."  What you won’t be told is that there will be another "sale" within a week.  A sale is not a sale if they have it weekly!  "...but for just a few dollars more, we will upgrade you."  Most intelligent people would never try to save money on the lower end service on such an important day.  These unethical tactics are used to pressure you into a quick, uninformed decision. This tactic leads you to believe that you are getting the same service as everyone else for less, which is NOT true.  Discounted rates mean inexperienced DJs who are the lowest paid in the industry, and the lowest in demand.

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 Serving The
Inland Empire, Riverside, San Diego,
San Bernardino, Palm Springs and Los Angeles Areas

Southern Cali DJ's at your service
Consultant DJ/MC
(951) 775-1059
Bilingual Consultant DJ/MC
(951) 536-2384
Southern Cali DJs
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