10 questions to ask before hiring your DJ
Below are questions the American Disc Jockey Association recommends you ask, and they are followed by our answers.
- Have you committed yourself to follow the ADJA Code of Professional Conduct?
Yes! Any responsible business owner will be committed to living by the ADJA code of Professional Conduct. This is just one of the commitments that legitimate entertainment companies will make to you. Colonial DJ’s are encouraged to become members of the ADJA and attended local and national conventions and seminars to improve their professionalism and ultimately the service they will provide to you!
- Are you insured? Can you supply me with proof of liability?
Yes! Many responsible business owners carry liability insurance to protect their businesses and the consumer. Many locations are beginning to require proof of liability. Ask for proof of liability insurance. Disc Jockey’s receive a Certificate of Liability which can be used as proof. Colonial DJ’s carry $1 Million commercial general liability with $2 million aggregate coverage.
- Will you be willing to play requests and discuss music ahead of time?
Yes! A versatile Disc Jockey is willing to listen to your suggestions, give you feedback and play from your desired song list. A professional Disc Jockey will also accept the fact you may not want certain songs played. A professional Disc Jockey cannot know everything about your musical preferences and entertainment needs without communication. Colonial DJ’s gives you the option of creating your music preference list on our interactive website prior to the event or your guests can make “on the spot” requests as long as it does not conflict with your musical preferences.
- Do you use Professional Equipment?
Yes! Ask whether your prospective Disc Jockey works with professional audio equipment. If you are not sure, ask for their equipment list and check with a local music dealer or the A.D.J.A. to verify they are using professional-grade sound gear. Remember that professional gear does not guarantee an entertainer’s talent or service level, but is simply a tool for building an exceptional event. Colonial DJ’s only use professional grade equipment!
- Do you provide backup equipment at my event?
Yes!Colonial DJ’s are required to provide backup equipment in the event of failure. Although equipment failure is rare, do you really want your special occasion ruined because your Disc Jockey did not come prepared? It is also important to know if your Disc Jockey has a back-up plan in case of illness or an accident. Booking a reliable Disc Jockey service is a very important decision for the success of your party.
- Does the Disc Jockey know the proper etiquette for your type of party?
Yes! A professional Disc Jockey will assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. Ask if they have experience with your type of event. Colonial DJ’s are assigned to events for which they have been trained. We never place a DJ in a situation that he or she would not be able to perform!
- How much time do you allow for set-up?
Punctuality is a necessity. Colonial DJ’s are expected to arrive at least one hour prior to the start time you’ve given them and should ideally be setup and in-place before your first guest walks through the door. Set-up depends on the type of function and equipment required. Larger parties usually require more equipment, load-in and set-up time.
- Do you provide a written contract?
Yes! It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial retainer. Colonial DJ’s always provides a written agreement for each function. We require a signed agreement and retainer fee to secure your date. If you are expecting a specific entertainer, make sure you get it in writing as well. The DJ is assigned based on package, name request and availability. The DJ name normally appears on the agreement under “Assigned Entertainer.”
- Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
Yes! Specify the type of apparel that your Disc Jockey is expected to wear for your occasion on your event planning form. Formal attire or coat & tie are the most popular forms of attire. If you are having a “themed” event, make sure your entertainer is informed. Colonial DJ’s will dress based on the type of function and the requirements of the customer. The DJ will ask you what is appropriate for your function.
- Do you belong to a professional organization or trade group?
Yes! Although belonging to an organization or trade group does not guarantee the talent or professionalism of a disc jockey, it may indicate the companies willingness to network, learn and grow. Disc jockeys can learn through local chapter meetings, national DJ conventions and seminars geared toward the entertainment professional.
Other Items to Note
Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality.
Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,200.00 for a 4 hour booking. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight.
A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for “4 hours”. Consultations, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion.