I Like That, I Want That… By: Jim Papa

July 9, 2013 by Aaron Burger

Like most professionals I enjoy learning as much as I can about my business. To keep up with the newest trends I read articles, attend conferences, go to networking events, browse online and visit local DJ equipment stores. When I hear or read about new technology or equipment, my first instinct is to ask myself, Could I use that?

If it is something that makes my business more efficient or makes my work a bit easier, I tend to convince myself that I need one. I may not go ahead and buy it but I keep it in mind, at least until the next cool item replaces it on my wish list. Like everyone, I have bought equipment on impulse—and have learned that it’s not the best way to get my gear.

I’m not suggesting that you not buy anything new; I just want to point out that you should be careful. When you don’t do any research or have a well thought out plan, you have to live with the results, good or bad. You have to think before you buy.

great. The fog was everywhere and the guests loved the look. The music was loud and everyone was dancing.

But after a few minutes, the homeowner came running into the room and yelled at me to shut off the fog machine. It seems that it triggered the smoke alarm. He called the alarm company to report that everyone was ok and that it was a false alarm. Afterwards the homeowner told me that he was not angry at all and everything was cool. In fact, he really liked the fog effect. He said that he had settled things with the alarm company and he was going to solve the problem by shutting off the alarm for the night.

After a while, his positive outlook made me assume that I could try the fog machine again. Wrong. Suddenly, guests began to notice lights and alarms from two big red fire trucks driving down the street coming straight to the house. The firemen came into the dark and crowded house, axes in hand and inspected the entire home. They refused to leave until they questioned everyone and determined the exact source of the alarm: me!

Some of the people were so into the party that they thought the firemen were actual guests. Meanwhile, I was so embarrassed that I apologized over and over, feeling that the false alarm was my entire fault. However, the homeowner later apologized to me when he realized that due to having a bit too much to drink, he forgot to shut the alarm off.

So, it turned out that the party was a big hit and the home- owners got exactly what they wanted: an event like no other, one that people did enjoy and one that people would talk about for many years to come. Yet a lot of confusion and embarrassment could have been avoided if I had just taken the time to consider what throwing a fog machine into the mix might actually do. If I had done my research ahead of time, I might have known to check with the host about any fire detection systems that might be in use.

Buying on impulse rarely works out. As they say, you should never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. Most likely you will and spend more than you plan to and buy what you don’t need. In the same vein, never go shopping for new equipment on the day you absolutely need it. Now, with many years of experi- ence under my belt, when it comes time to purchase some new piece of technology, I first do some research, make sure it is in the budget, and determine if I really, really need it. Doing so helps prevent me from falling into that trap of “I like that, I want that… Why in the world did I buy that?”

The last thing that you want to do is to find yourself saying, “I like that, I want that…” followed a few weeks later by “Why in the world did I buy that?”

NIGHTMARE ON PARTY STREET

Years ago I was hired to DJ a Halloween Party at a home in an affluent suburb of New York City. Speaking with the clients before the party, it was clear that they wanted to host an event like no other; one that people would not only enjoy but would talk about for many years to come. They went all out, fully decorating their house for Halloween. All of the guests arrived in costume and there was plenty of food and drink. A few days before the party I was thinking about the gig. Without any permission I decided that a fog machine would really help set the mood. I didn’t have one so I visited the local DJ equipment store and purchased what they had in stock. As the house filled with guests and the drinks started to flow the music and lights created the perfect Halloween atmosphere. There was just one thing left to do. It was the perfect time to “blow some smoke”. It worked great. The fog was everywhere and the guests loved the look. The music was loud and everyone was dancing.

But after a few minutes, the homeowner came running into the room and yelled at me to shut off the fog machine. It seems that it triggered the smoke alarm. He called the alarm company to report that everyone was ok and that it was a false alarm. Afterwards the homeowner told me that he was not angry at all and everything was cool. In fact, he really liked the fog effect. He said that he had settled things with the alarm company and he was going to solve the problem by shutting off the alarm for the night.

After a while, his positive outlook made me assume that I could try the fog machine again. Wrong. Suddenly, guests began to notice lights and alarms from two big red fire trucks driving down the street coming straight to the house. The firemen came into the dark and crowded house, axes in hand and inspected the entire home. They refused to leave until they questioned everyone and determined the exact source of the alarm: me! Some of the people were so into the party that they thought the firemen were actual guests. Meanwhile, I was so embarrassed that I apologized over and over, feeling that the false alarm was my entire fault. However, the homeowner later apologized to me when he realized that due to having a bit too much to drink, he forgot to shut the alarm off.

So, it turned out that the party was a big hit and the homeowners got exactly what they wanted: an event like no other, one that people did enjoy and one that people would talk about for many years to come. Yet a lot of confusion and embarrassment could have been avoided if I had just taken the time to consider what throwing a fog machine into the mix might actually do. If I had done my research ahead of time, I might have known to check with the host about any fire detection systems that might be in use.

Buying on impulse rarely works out. As they say, you should never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. Most likely you will and spend more than you plan to and buy what you don’t need. In the same vein, never go shopping for new equipment on the day you absolutely need it. Now, with many years of experience under my belt, when it comes time to purchase some new piece of technology, I first do some research, make sure it is in the budget, and determine if I really, really need it. Doing so helps prevent me from falling into that trap of “I like that, I want that… Why in the world did I buy that?”

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Aaron Burger (38 Posts)


Filed Under: Issue #150