5 Questions Your DJ Should Ask YOU Before They Perform
When planning an event and booking a DJ performance, you will have a lot of questions to ask your DJ. These go from the basic vetting questions and requesting references to making sure you have the right match for music and mood. We’ve written before about what you should ask your DJ, because it’s key for event success. And we’ve also dropped some tips about what to look for when evaluating a DJ to ensure they are a professional.
But what about the other way around — should your DJ be asking YOU any questions?
A DJ who comes to you with questions is a sign that you’ve found a pro– someone concerned about the quality of their performance and making sure they know the room and how to play to it.
If your DJ doesn’t ask you any questions, that can be a sign you may not get the level of performance you expect.
But what kind of questions should you expect?
Who they will be playing for AKA the crowd
A good DJ will always know their audience before they step into the booth. To get the mix right, they need to have a concept of what the crowd will probably want to hear — and that can vary a lot between types of crowds and demographics.
For example, an office party event with a more formal corporate audience will mean keeping the musical selection within a safer, more limited line of genres than an outdoor marketing activation aimed at young Millennials. This is a DJ must-know.
When they can get their deposit
A professional DJ will ALWAYS require an up-front deposit before taking on a new client. If they don’t ask for a downpayment, this is a warning sign that they may not be as experienced or accomplished as they let on.
What kind of event or party it is
There’s a literal world of difference when it comes to shaping sound for an office party versus an in-store promotion versus a brand launch and similar marketing activations.
This is THE key thing a DJ must ask about beforehand.
Knowing the type of event even goes beyond informing the choice of musical genres to helping the DJ know how to dress or choose the right style or aesthetic for the event — even how “out there” their personality will be. All these things can and must be aligned with the type of event and the expectations around it. This is ESPECIALLY true for marketing events that have a specific brand style in mind. Read more on that here.
What the sound setup is
Your DJ should ask you what the plans are for the sound system — namely, whether you are bringing in dedicated sound technicians, which a professional DJ will always request.
Why? Because knowing the speakers and rest of the sound setup is being handled by a pro means one less thing for the DJ to worry about.
If you don’t have a dedicated sound tech team, you should seriously consider hiring one — do NOT take venue management at their word when they say their sound system “always works.” Look into renting a sound system if possible.
How the DJ booth is laid out and its size
Do you have a dedicated DJ booth? Does it meet the industry minimum standard for size (That’s four-feet-by-four-feet if you were wondering).
A good DJ will want to know the logistics of the booth beforehand, for the simple reason that the space will be their working environment for X number of hours and they will want to make sure they can comfortably fit inside that space alongside their gear.
Trust us, if your DJ spends the night hunched over and uncomfortable it will be bad for them and also bad for your event — improper ergonomics is not something you want to distract your DJ with; you want their focus to be on the crowd and not the DJ booth space.
The takeaway here that event planners and DJ bookers need to know is that a true professional DJ will absolutely have need-to-know questions before the event doors open and the crowd starts filing in.
If you are about to offer a DJ a contract for your event and they have not asked you any questions, take that moment to pause and think twice about who you are hiring — if you give them a chance to query you about the event and they have nothing to ask, that is a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.
Here at LUXELIFE we will ALWAYS have questions about your event well before the start date, and you should expect nothing less from a best-in-class DJ or DJ service. And if you have any questions about what your event needs, don’t sweat and drop us a line.