Let’s talk about 20/20. No really, let’s.

January 29, 2013 by Arnoldo Offermann

Recently 20/20 did a “news” piece showing that vendors charge more for money? Really? The law of supply and demand coupled with capitalism is something new? WOW! Many DJs were outraged by this, but I felt otherwise. I was mostly disgusted by the poor reporting and interviewing of DJs. I felt like I was watching Piers Morgan have a gun debate (haha). Constant interruption followed by skewed “facts” about the wedding industry truly made this a horrible piece.

It didn’t hurt us any, in fact, it helped us.

First, let’s talk about the honest truth: if you are doing your job correctly, your clients will not think less of you for charging more; in fact, they expect it. I posted the following as my Facebook status:

“To all my clients (please no vendors or DJs, seriously). 20/20 recently put out a trash report on how wedding vendors charge more for weddings, and focused that on DJs, too. They went as far as calling the practice of a higher price tag “rip-off.”With all the planning that A Premier Entertainment put into your wedding, did you feel it was unjust that we do bigger discounts on birthdays and small gatherings but not weddings?”

This sparked many comments, with a few interesting pieces:


“I feel it was well worth the investment, not only did you make our wedding memorable, but you made it personal and we made a great friendship out of it. Wouldn’t have gone with anyone else, you get what you pay for.”

“There is a lot more to a wedding than a birthday party… It’s completely justified.”

“…using A Premier Entertainment was def an investment and well worth it. You took the time to couture the wedding package and were willing to go above and beyond. Weddings are more of a logistical game of strategy then a birthday party, gathering or other function. When you want to rock with the best I highly recommend A Premier Entertainment for all DJ services!”

“…your prices are purely justifiable… you and your company provide a top notch service…. I saw this said article on tv when it aired and I understand there are a few bad apples however your business is based off of providing a (supposed to be) once in a lifetime opportunity. When was the last time a dj was booked for a birthday party where you had to sit down and pick a song for each guest that walked in and then trim the song to just the appropriate part they want? How many birthday parties require soft music as guest walk in? you not only played music at our wedding but MC’d it too! you were like a wedding entertainment planner… you took care of everything!”

” If it weren’t for you, our wedding reception would have NEVER been as awesome as you made it!!! I would be happy to tell anyone out there that a wedding is completely different than a birthday party. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Weddings are far more tedious and require much more time to put together. Your prices were the best around and I felt the service was impeccable too! We have NO regrets and would recommend your business to everyone out there! Thanks!”

“Short answer, no problem you charge more. Weddings require more. You get what you pay for. We got the best wedding dj evar!!!”

” I do not feel that it is/was unjust at all. Though alot of work goes into planning a special birthday celebration or a cooperate event etc. I feel DJs have to put way more time and effort into planning a wedding not only because there is alot more tasks to complete at a wedding but most people only get married once so it’s like a once in a lifetime event. Yes you only turn 15 or 16 or 18 or whatever once but a birthday to me is nothing like a wedding celebration. I think 20/20 is out of their mind for saying that.”

“… I also think maybe the newscaster wasn’t factoring in the labor required in a wedding (pre-meetings, play list, lighting setup, gameshow setup, breakdown, etc) versus a birthday…”

“…Weddings are more elaborate, require less misinformation, and produce more MC’ing then the others you listed…”

“… A birthday party or business event , while elaborate nas neither the financial nor emotional investment as a wedding does…”

And so forth… you get the hint, right? The first thing I noticed is many of my clients don’t watch 20/20, as I had to put the link up so they would know what I was talking about. Let’s be frank, has anyone watched 20/20 since Barbra Walters left?

The second thing I noticed is my clients all said almost the same thing. They understand it takes more work to create an amazing wedding than it does the average party. Heck, they’d faint if they saw our school prices. These clients were all people I enjoyed working with and have become friends with.

Many of you know that I credit much of our company’s success to Michael Port’s book Book Yourself Solid. He talks about the Red Velvet Rope Policy where, like a night club, you must create barriers that keep undesired clients away. Don’t want to deal with weddings that want the DJ to just play background music? Don’t accept those clients. Don’t want cheap weddings? Don’t take cheap clients. Birds of a feather, folks; it’s rare to land a $5,000 wedding after playing a $300 one where “you’ll get lots of potential customers.” The same applies to 20/20– be proud that you charge more for weddings (or give a discount to non-weddings, depending on how you look at it). Be proud about the fact that you are SO confident in your wedding skillset that you are willing to turn away people and hold your services to a higher regard.

Anyone who watches 20/20 and agrees with that yellow-media piece is clearly a moron and certainly not a client. Don’t agree? Look at the comments! Those brides and grooms that disagree defend the higher cost of the DJ while those that do agree talk about how it convinced them to use iTunes or create playlists in YouTube or Spotify. The latter are a terrible waste of time and bandwidth on my email and now I know they won’t even bother trying. This means there’s less effort pre-qualifying clients. I almost feel like changing our slogan to “We charge more for weddings. Duh.”

The sad part is that DJs posted disagreeing with the article but then saying “wow, I’d never charge $795, that’s too much.” Way to go, DJs!

So relax, breathe easier, and take pride in how much more weddings cost. Take pride in the tier of service and pricing you’ve chosen and embrace it. Let 20/20 filter the tire-kickers so you deal with people who expect to charge you more.

Isn’t that great? People expect you to charge more for weddings? Why is this even an argument?
Arnoldo Offermann Arnoldo Offermann (41 Posts)

Arnoldo Offermann is the president of 4SchoolsOnly, a national phenomenon in school dances. In a market where DJs cry about $500 school DJs, 4SO sees 10-20x that price tag per event. Arnoldo is also the creator of Master School Dances, the leading educational tools for DJs wanting to get into this great market. He is a sought-after speaker, reviewer, and DJ tech-writer. You can learn more at http://MasterSchoolDances.com

Filed Under: DJing Weddings, Mobile DJ Business