The Three Primary Roles Of Your DJ!
Your DJ is an integral part of your event. An experienced, professional DJ will play several roles before and during the event to ensure that it will be a fun and memorable celebration.
First, your DJ is responsible for delivering a sound system to the site of your event. He or she will assemble the sound system, conduct a sound check of the area and make sure everything is working and sounding great before your first guest arrives. This represents a lot of time, energy and work on the part of your DJ that very few people will see during the course of the event. In fact, this process may take several hours depending on travel time and the physical layout of the venue. In this sense, you have hired your DJ to be a delivery person and a sound technician.
Only through experience can one really understand the challenges and nuances of setting up electrical sound equipment in a safe manner, out of the way of your guests, and making adjustments to provide the clearest possible sound. An experienced DJ will be able to do this in rooms of various shapes and sizes, inside or outside, making necessary adjustments throughout the event.
Announcements and Coordination
Second, your DJ is responsible for making all necessary announcements throughout the event so that your guests and other vendors know what is going to happen. Photographers, for example, don’t appreciate when a DJ goes ahead with an unannounced portion of the event that might cause them to miss meaningful photos. Your DJ acts as the emcee of your party making sure that everything you want to happen, happens in an orderly way. Often your DJ will be playing and mixing pre-selected music while at the same time making announcements or facilitating festivities. This means that your DJ needs to be comfortable multi-tasking while coming off smooth, calm and collected. A DJ who effectively fulfills the role of coordinator and announcer will create a flow to the celebration and avoid a choppy, haphazard feel to the event.
A professional DJ will be prepared. Your DJ should communicate with you before your event to get from you the information necessary to act as emcee. There are various ways to go about planning. Some DJ services have online planning tools, many have planning documents that are completed by the client and returned to the DJ. Often a DJ will meet personally with their client to go over the details of the event. Your DJ will also be communicating with other vendors during the event to be sure everyone is on the same page for each planned festivity. The important thing here is to make sure that your DJ has a process in place that will help him or her be a great coordinator and emcee for your event.
Music Selection and Engaging the Crowd
The third role is what most people think of when they imagine their DJ at work. He or she will be selecting music that reflects your musical tastes and will produce a fun and active celebration. Your DJ also needs to gauge the extent to which your guests need to be engaged and encouraged to get up and dance! Your DJ should be first and foremost concerned with the type of music you and your guests want to hear and dance to. A professional DJ knows how to engage guests and encourage an active dance floor but without being obnoxious or too overwhelming. A pro will always remember that the celebration is not about the DJ but about you, your family and guests and will be more than willing to respect your choice of music.
Your DJ will, with your guidance, create the musical atmosphere you wish to have at your event. An experienced DJ knows that music has a powerful affect on the psychology of the group and therefore can influence the flow of the celebration. He or she needs to be able to “read the crowd” as quickly as possible and gain insight into what motivates guests to have fun. Your DJ will constantly monitor the energy level in the room and speed things up or slow things down when necessary. A pro will be sensitive to the diversity represented in the crowd (age differences, ethnic differences, etc.) and be sure to play music during the event that will be enjoyed by your guests. Be sure to ask your DJ how he or she prepares for the music selection of the event. Ask about the process that allows you to give input, song selections and how your DJ will incorporate requests from your guests. Be sure to mention, too, which types of music or specific song selections are NOT to be played.
A professionally operated DJ service will enable (and encourage) you to get to know your DJ and how he or she operates before the event. Don’t hesitate to communicate with your DJ by phone, website planning tools, email or a personal meeting. Your DJ will be glad to answer all of your questions because this type of communication leads to the effective fulfillment of the three roles discussed in this article. Remember, your DJ is your partner in planning and wants, more than anything, to give you a celebration that you will fondly remember forever.