One or Two Staffers?

June 30, 2016 by Joe Bunn

Whenever I meet DJs from across the country (currently I’m writing this while attending ARM DJs in Tennessee), I often ask them, “Do you guys run or two people per show?” I’m always curious about what other companies or other markets do. At Bunn DJ Company, we have always run a one-man show. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both. Let’s dig in deeper.

I have always done the one-man show thing in North Carolina at my company because from day one, as a 13 year old DJ, that’s what I did. I loaded in the gear, I set it up, I rocked the party, and I loaded it out. If there was an announcement that needed to be made, I made it. When I train my guys, I train them on everything. We start with the basics like how to set up the gear to look its best. Next, we work on music history, what to play when, and some basic mixing. Once that area is covered, we work on one of the hardest parts, MCing. We often take weeks to practice things such as the introductions, how to word the first dance or parent dances, etc. I make them go out and shadow (for no pay) my top veteran DJs. What they see there is that even though each DJ has his own personality, they say very similar things to what I’ve been teaching them. The reality is you can do it all, the whole show, all of it. As a business owner, I also like it because I only have to pay one person per show. The DJs like it because they make all the money!

Let’s look at the other side, the two-man show. In this instance, it’s usually a DJ and an MC. The DJ is pretty much in charge of the technical aspect of things, playing the music, maybe even setting up the gear and striking it at the end of the night. The MC is the “showman”, the focus of the party, the real entertainer. In my neck of the woods, that’s not really the style of show that we do, quite frankly, we are rarely asked to do it. In fact, we are more often asked to NOT do that type of show. However, my friend Mike Walter of Elite Entertainment in New Jersey runs two guys (DJ and MC), does an insane amount of shows, is highly successful and that’s EXACTLY what many of his clients want! I think with this type of show, it is important to have two people there.Joe Bunn

I can also see doing a two-man show for production reasons. We usually take a very basic rig to our shows. Most of our audiences are around 150 people and are mostly weddings or corporate events. The whole show can fit in a Prius. But what if the client adds in ceremony audio (way away from the reception area), uplights, dance floor lights, etc.? You could definitely use a second person on that job as well.

So I don’t really have an answer as to whether you should run one or two folks on your shows, but I would say base it on the particular event or what the client wants in terms of interaction. Regardless, Rock it!

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Joe Bunn Joe Bunn (11 Posts)

Joe Bunn started his DJ career at the age of 14 in eastern North Carolina. He did shows all throughout high school, college at UNC-Chapel Hill, and eventually Raleigh, NC where he started Bunn DJ Company. The company rapidly grew from a couple of DJs to a multi-op DJ company. With offices in Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA and Charleston, SC, the company performs at over 600 weddings a year and another 300+ private, corporate and charity events. Joe has been on the board of both ILEA (International Live Events Association) and NACE (National Association of Catering & Events). In addition, he is a writer for many DJ publications such as Disc Jockey News, Mobile Beat Magazine and DJ Times.. Joe still DJs almost every weekend, but has begun helping other DJs across the country grow their businesses. In addition to doing consulting, he has given seminars at Mobile Beat Las Vegas, Wedding MBA, DJ Times Expo, LDI, and UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2016, he released his first educational DVD entitled “Marketing the Music”. For more information about Joe visit djjoebunn.com or bunndjcompany.com.


Filed Under: Business, Performing, Weddings