May 2, 2017
DJing is perhaps one of the most unpredictable jobs in the marketplace. For many, the element of surprise is what makes the career so appealing. Every event is different and will require different planning. Things get especially interesting if you’re a DJ who can operate in various arenas: clubs, weddings, etc. These events are sometimes worlds apart on the scale of demands, and that can increase the risk of surprise turning quickly into despair if you aren’t prepared. Scheduling a consultation is key in the preparation for any event, as it provides an opportunity to tie up any loose ends and ensure the happiness of your client. Here is why maximizing your client consultation is so important.
Consultations are more than cordial sit-downs with your client. They function on a number of levels designed to put both parties, both you and your client, at ease. Some DJs find that one consultation is sufficient, and from that one meeting they’re able to get all the information they need. Other DJs opt for two: an initial date to get general information (times, dates) and official contract review, and another much closer to the event to solidify things. Your method depends on what feels comfortable to you. In-person consultations are probably the most preferred, but circumstances like distance or scheduling conflicts can require alternate options. In situations where in-person consultations aren’t possible, consider video calling programs like Skype or Facetime or traditional phone calls. With either option, always be prepared to take notes and ask about anything you’re unsure of.
When the general questions are out of the way, a smart DJ knows that there are more ingredients to guaranteeing a successful event and content client. This is where maximizing your consultation becomes key.
One of the most important ways to get the most out of your consultation is to inquire about the audience. This is major, no matter what kind of gig you’ll be DJing. You’ll want to ask about size of the event–not just so you know the magnitude of the crowd, but so that you can determine what equipment will provide the most effective outcome. Some DJs invest in their own systems and assume that it will suffice in every situation, but that’s a huge mistake. Will your speakers project without sacrificing sound quality? Can your amp accommodate the venue?
Asking about the details regarding the audience will also lead to additional helpful questions, like whether you need clean edits or not. You’ll want to ask about the social climate. Are some of the chosen songs riddled with suggestive lyrics? What about profanity? If you’re DJing a wedding and conservative grandparents will be present, they might be uncomfortable with explicit lyrics blasting from your speakers. When DJing religious events such as a bat mitzvah, it’s probably safe to assume your audience would appreciate censored music, but it is always wiser to inquire specifically about it during your consultation.
This works for a club scene, as well. Assuming you know exactly what to play because you’ve been in the game for awhile isn’t wisdom. Doing your research and taking advantage of your consultation can shed light on aspects like how broad you can go with music selection, or if the club wants to promote a certain artist or not. Some club owners expect a wide range of genres but prefer some to only be played after a certain time. Others will want you to show cultural and local musical intelligence by playing songs that may only be popular to that distinct area. A DJ worth his salt will have done enough analysis to be able to go from some of the larger top 40 hits right into the biggest local star’s song and send the crowd running to the dance floor! These are the particulars you’ll learn when you pry a little further during your consultation.
Going the extra mile is always a great way to win over even the fussiest of clients. To truly maximize your consultation, focus on special touches and requests. If your client is getting married, learning a bit about the couple can help you customize their experience. Ask about unique circumstances so that their memories of the day keep smiles lingering long after you’ve left. If an uncle or friend will be making speeches, find out if there is a special song to play as a backdrop that conjures up good memories for the bride or groom. If you’ll be responsible for announcing (entrance of the wedding party, speeches, dances, etc), ask if the bride refers to anyone by a different name. Inquire about things that may be sensitive topics for any of the important guests. For example, does the bride dislike the term “stepfather” and wish to refer to her dad as her “bonus dad” instead? All of these factors contribute to your preparedness and help your client feel like their DJ has invested in their day. It’s a win-win.
Lastly, have a candid conversation about the client’s goal for the event. This may strike you as a no-brainer, but at events like company banquets and benefits, organizers are usually operating under strict orders from their superiors who have a specific goal and environment in mind. To underestimate your job simply as a human jukebox is to do yourself a huge disservice. Does the groom want the reception to feel more like a concert with the DJ and band working in tandem? Has the bride given you the impression that she wants less sentimental music and more of a party vibe? These details will affect how you do your job as the DJ.
Companies are almost always promoting something or bringing awareness to a certain cause. Is it the desire of the client that you take on a slight MC role as you DJ, every so often interjecting to highlight the reason for the evening to the guests? Discussing the true motivation and goal of your client’s event can help you help them reach it efficiently. It may even grant you an opportunity to present your JammText software to add a different dimension to their event.
Consultations are usually pretty standard. You meet with a client and find out what they need, discuss costs, etc. Taking your consultation to the next level is what separates the newbies from the pros. It’s also how you get the next callback when your client needs DJ expertise. Maximize your consultation and DJ in excellence!//php comments_template(); ?>