EYE-OPENING REVELATIONS FROM FELLOW EVENT PROS
As part of the wedding industry, or as entertainment at other events, we work with a variety of other vendors. Wedding consultants, venue managers, caterers, photographers, and videographers are all part of the group of people we work with each week to make an event successful. At times, we look at these various people and pass judgment on them in one way or another. Although the majority of these fellow vendors are quite capable and easy to work with, we have all seen the pushy venue managers, the caterers who think they know best how to run a wedding reception, or the uncaring photographer who removes the bride, groom, and other guests and family off of the dance floor so that they can create some “artistic moment” with little regard for the flow of the event. That being said, the question is, “Have you ever wondered what these vendors that we work with view our DJ industry as a whole? Do we present a positive, mediocre or even a poor image to those we work with?”
In preparing this article, I decided to make a few phone calls to some of the exceptional venues, consultants, photographers, etc. in the Denver-Boulder, Colorado area. I’m not naming names, but I was amazed at some of the stories I heard, and I was shocked to find out that their overall view of disc jockeys is one of mediocrity. In general, the feeling is that most DJs show up, make a few announcements (if any!) and just play music for dancing. They said that they seem to do their job in an average way, without really taking the lead, or doing anything exceptional to make the event memorable.
Even worse, I was informed about one disc jockey who showed up to an event drunk and had to be removed from the venue site! Now this was a one-time occurrence, but it is enough to put a black eye on our industry and how we are viewed by others.
DON’T PLAN…PLAN TO FAIL
One major complaint that I heard over and over was that, in their opinion, a large majority of disc jockeys do not do enough planning with their clients ahead of time. They said that it seems to them that, at times, things are done that the bride and groom did not want and/or had no idea what was going on. Following close to a lack of planning was the complaint that many disc jockeys displayed lack of direction and control of the event as a whole.
Most of the banquet managers and venue coordinators that I spoke to realized that one of the primary responsibilities of a DJ is to take control of and direct the evening so that everything runs smoothly for the clients. It seems like a lot of DJs do not take the time to contact the other vendors that they will be working with to provide them with a written timeline that has been approved by the client so that everyone is on the same page the night of the event. Planning the flow of events with our clients, then communicating with all of the other vendors that we will be working with should be a part of each and every event that we do. I found that many of our fellow vendors really do expect this to be done by disc jockeys, and they feel disappointed when we do not fulfill this obligation.
How are we at common courtesy? Things as simple as a courteous greeting with a smile on our face can mean a lot to the other vendors as we arrive and begin to set up. Do you like working with an unfriendly or even a rude or obnoxious person? Neither do those that are working with us. A pleasant attitude and a warm smile do a lot to create a great first impression. This should extend throughout the event so that we can build a positive rapport with our fellow professionals. It makes for a much more relaxing atmosphere for the clients and all concerned.
IS THERE AN MC IN THE HOUSE?
Are you a skilled Master of Ceremonies? Another big complaint I heard was that many of us are simply not skilled at this. As mentioned above, quite a few of us just make announcements, as opposed to being a true Master of Ceremonies who directs, informs and guides the audience through the entire event. I was informed by one wedding consultant that she worked with more than one DJ who just refused to make any announcements at all during the evening. In fact, she had to make all announcements herself!
Even if you are a great Master of Ceremonies, it won’t make any difference at all if no one can hear you. Is your equipment up to par? Another vendor told me that some DJs use sub-standard equipment that just does not work well. Microphones that hum, buzz or fail completely, speakers that sound more like a grinding machine and setups that are totally unattractive or inappropriate were some of the other complaints I heard. We should check our equipment before each event, and then take any necessary steps to correct any problems.
THE CREAM RISES TO THE TOP
Now, I would never end this article without telling you about the positive side of things that I heard! The majority of vendors I spoke to said that there are also those of us that are the exact opposite of what I have previously described. There are those who stand out as exceptional, outstanding and easy for them to work with. They are considered the “cream of the crop” and recognized as special. More than one wedding vendor I spoke with said that they thought that being a wedding disc jockey is an extraordinary talent, and that they realize the hard work and preparation that it takes for each and every event when a DJ is a true professional. They understand that it takes a unique flair to perform, engaging and directing the crowd to create a fun and unforgettable atmosphere for all attending.
Where do you fall in this range as a Disc Jockey/Master of Ceremonies? Are you mediocre or just average? Do you love your career choice—and does it show? Are you truly excellent? How do you think the vendors you work with would describe you? Most likely, those who blatantly display the negative aspects described here aren’t even reading this because they just don’t care how others view them. However, I know that the majority of you are working very hard to be the very best that you can be. There may be a few traits that we each need to work on to improve our talents, so in our next article, we will take a look at how we can make a few positive changes so that others will know that we are truly exceptional at what we do!
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