8 Questions to consider when choosing a DJ

The following are a few questions to help you determine if the D.J. you are considering is right for you and your event.

Is the disc jockey a member of any professional organizations?

Members of organizations such as the Canadian Disc Jockey Association (C.D.J.A.) must meet the high standards of quality in performance and business ethics which are required for membership. Members are investing time and money in their profession, demonstrating that they are serious professionals dedicated to improving their companies and the D.J. industry. Association members also have access to important benefits such as insurance coverage and emergency back up networking.

Are they properly licensed and is their business registered?

In Canada, a disc jockey cannot use cassettes, mini-discs or compilation CD's unless they are licensed by the Audio Video Licensing Agency (A.V.L.A.). A dj that is not licensed risks having their equipment seized right in the middle of your party!

Can the disc jockey supply you with written references from previous clients and properties at which they have worked?

A recommendation from another person is a great way to find out if a D.J. is right for your function. A person, especially an industry professional, is a lot more believable than a slick brochure sent in the mail. When you ask for references make sure you get previous clients and properties at which the D.J. has performed.

Will I receive written confirmation of our agreement?

A verbal agreement is as good as the paper it is written on! Many a time a customer gets dumped because the dj got a better paying party then yours. Or gets the flu all of a sudden, while he is holding on to your deposit. What course of action can you take? If it is not written down , none! C.D.J.A. members provide a contract to all their customers.

Can we discuss music selections and function procedures?

It is YOUR evening, not the dj's . Don't be told what to expect. Deal with a company that will work with you. Some Companies such as Ottawa Valley Disc Jockeys Inc. actually provides wedding schedules to all their customers, so we can plan with you, on how the evening will go!

Will the disc jockey use professional equipment?

Make sure that the D.J. uses only professional audio equipment. Pro audio equipment is made to handle the demanding conditions that are required of a mobile sound system. A system comprised of only pro equipment is far less likely to fail and will look and sound better than a home built system.

Does the disc jockey carry back up equipment and have emergency personnel available?

Even with the best equipment and planning, unforeseen circumstances sometimes occur. It is important to know that the D.J. has a backup plan in case of illness, equipment failure, or accident. The D.J. should carry back-ups of all major equipment components to every event. The D.J. should also network with other D.J.s in the area to provide backup personnel in the unlikely event they are needed.

Do you know proper etiquette and procedure for my occasion?

Black tie for a beach party? Shorts for a ballroom wedding? We work with you and dress to your desire. The D.J. should be prepared to handle any announcements and special events throughout your event. There are many options for specialty games and crowd participation dances which can enhance any event. Whether you prefer wild or mild, you should be able to decide exactly how interactive the entertainment will be before the event takes place.

Article By:
Glenn Miller, CEO of The Canadian Online Disc Jockey Association.

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