What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I like to meet a prospective customer in person whenever possible. Sometimes that can't be done. I had a bride book my services while she was serving on board ship in the Persian Gulf. Since I had the same Persian Gulf experience, we connected. I got the job. Phone contact is the next best thing for introductions. I prefer email for negotiations. It leaves our conversations in writing.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I was a member of a band for a couple of years.
I have some formal training in music. I know the difference between a slow dance and a waltz. I enjoy Meeting new people on a new project.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
Sold my communications company and semi-retired. I still maintain 2 servers and 80 client websites. A friend opened a nightclub and offered me a job as the DJ. I found that I have a knack for reading a crowd and know what to play and when to play it. That was in the 80s and I haven't been off many weekends since. I think a lot of DJs make the mistake of playing songs they like. Usually good songs, but they fail to connect with the audience. Professional systems with lights, haze, and powerful amps are only the finishing touch to the right song at the right time.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Wedding receptions, Christmas parties, Valentine dances, birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions. Corporate events and special occasions.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I've enjoyed all my gigs. Lots of fun memories. I haven't cancelled or missed one over 20 years of doing this. I did a "surprise wedding". I was glad to know the bride and groom were in on it. I've also heard things like "Hold everything, I don't know what I've done with it".
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
A DJ should offer a written agreement, provide references upon request, and require a deposit to reserve the DJ services for the date of your event. It is also good to meet your DJ in person before making a decision. If you have special requests make them a part of a written agreement. Have a friend or someone help you plan out what you want done and have them co-ordinate with the DJ through out your event. A strict schedule is fine but, I've announced that it is time to cut the cake only to find the bride is having her makeup touched-up. Not devastating. Just awkward.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
A professional DJ cares as much about having a successful event as his customer does. You will likely get several quotes from various DJs and they may be several hundred dollars difference in price. Written references are helpful but may or may not be dependable. You should contact past customers directly.
Don't be hesitant to ask why a DJ is priced so low or high. The cheapest may not be a bad DJ and the most expensive may not be a good one.
Read and understand the contract before you make a decision.
Be sure the DJ has redundant equipment. You don't want everything to come to a halt because something essential breaks down.