Updated: Jan 7, 2019
#Entertainment is the key to setting the tone for any event and getting everyone in the right mood whether that is #dancing or getting ready to raise funds for a #charity. Unfortunately, there is no accreditation, certification or qualification process to separate good entertainment from bad and there are no "do overs" during a live event!
To help with this dilemma, I've created
my Top Tips to prepare yourself for booking Entertainment and getting the best value for your money.
Here they are, I hope this helps and let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Be Prepared
These are the questions any agent, band or DJ will ask you when you contact them.
a. What is the date?
b. Where is the event?
c. What are the load-in times and are there any restrictions on the loading/out process?
d. How many people are attending this event?
Having these questions answered before you start making calls will help get you an accurate quote for what you need.
2. Meet your DJ or Band Leader
Entertainment is not a line item on a contract, it's a personal service from someone that will either really click with your vision or not. No personality is the same. The best way to get a good feel for your entertainment is to meet them. There is no shame in asking your DJ or Band leader to meet you for coffee or a poke bowl to see sample videos and talk about their music sets and stage presence...remember they are working for you and if they are professional, they will always meet with you and discuss their show.
3. Check Online Reviews
Every vendor knows that in a service industry, online reviews are what separates the pros from the fakers. It's easy to put a #DJ profile together but it's another thing to have worked in the field and done it enough times to have people post about your services. Here is a great resources to verify #DJs and Bands with a sample from my personal reviews on weddingwire.com and GREAT free source of vendors and reviews . . .
4. Look for an Established Social Media Presence
If your DJ and Band is out there working, it should be chronicled online so you can see what they do and how they do it.
5. Communications is KEY to a good event
I will repeat that, communication is the key to the success of any event.
So much can go wrong when everyone is not on the same page. Does your Band or DJ offer an online portal for you to communicate with them after you book?
Do they have an established company email? Hotline? Text line?
This is important for booking questions, timeline submission & music lists, emcee announcements & run of show....all of these things will come into play at your next event and you want your entertainment to be prepared and ready...not looking
through their phone at the last minute to download an email you sent him 2 months ago!
6. Get Equipment Profiles and Itemized Quotes
Beware of vendors saying that, "you are in good hands" and send you a word
document with 1 line item which says "package price" and a number. Know what you are getting, what the final setup will look like and get it in writing with photos!
All equipment is not the same and the gear your band or DJ uses will dictate how the toasts, announcements and music sounds...
Many DJs do not provide more than their DJ board. I've provided audio and lighting for many local DJs and bands. Having a local AV company in your pocket is not a bad idea
to fill in any "missing parts" for your event.
Now in the days where everyone Ubers, make sure whomever is supplying your #entertainment, #audio, #video and #lighting has reliable transportation and a plan if something happens during delivery which leads me to my next important tip...
8. Event General Liability Insurance
Most reputable venues require your #band or #DJ to hold at least $1 million dollars in event general liability #insurance to load in and operate in their event space. Read your vendor's contract carefully and look for the #liability clause. No one wants to plan for the worst case scenario, but it's important to know if something happens at your event, you are covered and so is your entertainment!
9. Music Subscription Services and Requests
Professional #DJs with registered #DJ companies can sign up for a variety of music services that keep them current with everything from #Top40 hits and #remixes to radio edited #rap! Ask your #DJ about his #music, how often it's updated.
10. Pricing and Budget
Pricing is the thing everyone wants and know one wants to talk about! Discuss it upfront. Use the 9 tips above as factors in determining a #DJ or your entertainment's worth. Professional #Wedding or #Event #DJs, who do this full time, supply the audio and lighting and who are available to work with you to book and plan your event, should range between $1295.00 and $2500.00 for you reception, BUT REMEMBER....YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR and there are no do-overs, so choose wisely...the success of your event depends on it!