What is a DJ?

September 5th, 2016 pulsedj

When you think of a Disc Jockey (DJ) what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Is it simply a person behind a turntable booth wearing large headphones playing music?

While that picture has some truth to it, there is actually much more to the services a professional DJ can provide to your event.  I recently performed at a Karaoke event at a private residence in Clayton, NC which was scheduled to end at 10:00 PM.  While it is fairly common for events to be scheduled until 10:00 or 11:00 PM how many of these events do you think actually extend the services beyond that?  Most do.  Why?  Because they know that once the DJ leaves the party will be over.  Do parties that incorporate live entertainment offer that much more for your guests?  Yes they do!

The primary job of a DJ is indeed to select songs to play, of course.  Sometimes these are pre-selected as a set, sometimes they’re chosen on the fly based on the crowd and the music played at similar events prior.  For the better DJs it is usually a combination of the two.  This is the main objective and focus of most events as described above.  However, more experienced DJs can provide an array of services some of which are advertised, but most you may never even know took place!

Making sure nothing goes wrong is always on a DJs mind and for good reason. A photographer can have a bad photo but there are literally hundreds of great shots to choose from, a florist can have a wilted flower or two but it may be overlooked by the remaining stunning assortments, a caterer can have a bad plate of food, but the hundred or more other plates are exquisite; but if something fails with with the DJ especially at those critical moments all bets are off.  A Disc Jockey does not always get a second chance and they must react at a moment’s notice. If a microphone cuts out a backup is at the ready.  A song fails to play and another copy of it is a click away.  A tremendous amount of care for your event is given by the DJ to ensure that your entertainment goes as flawlessly as possible.  While each and every event is unique here is a short list of items you may not have even thought about in regarding to the responsibilities a DJ can have to assure a flawless event.

  • Discussions with you to help determine your needs before and during your party or event and to always offer planning suggestions.
  • Assistance with timelines for your activities while planning your party or event.
  • Sound checks to make sure everyone can hear, and the music is not overly loud.
  • Coordinate with other vendors to ensure all timelines are coordinated.  The DJ has the microphone and is the one in communication with your guests.  It is the DJ that must assure everyone’s timelines are always in sync.
  • Playing the right music, at the right time, for the right event.  This is key and almost impossible to achieve providing your own music at your event.
  • Making professional announcements.
  • Interacting professionally with your guests.  Especially towards the end of many events when guests have been drinking and can begin to get rowdy and rude.  It is critical for the DJ to have the experience in managing a variety of situations that parties can present.
  • Taking requests and blend them seamlessly throughout the evening and cordially explain to guests why certain “requests” just cannot be honored.
  • Provides wireless microphones for toasts, etc.
  • Assists the photographer in staging photos.
  • Assists you/instruct you cutting your cake.
  • Many times the DJ covers for other issues that arise during the evening.
  • Lets you know what’s going on and what needs to happen next.  Especially if the timelines get out of sync during your event.  Many times the DJ becomes the pseudo event planner and coordinator.

Unlike other professionals you may hire, (the florist or cake designer who drops off their wares and leaves long before anyone arrives; the caterer who is in and out of the kitchen who’s sole focus is the food; the photographer and videographer who is often working directly with the couple managing a long punch list of shots to capture; the officiant who performs the ceremony and leaves right afterwards; the hotel sales or catering manger who stays until the “important people” get food then leaves; etc.). Who is the one constant (and visual) professional your guests connect to, look for acceptance, information, direction, guidance and closure in a day packed with formalities?

The right North Carolina DJ is critical to ensuring everything happens on time, the way you want it, and that every guest leaves having enjoyed an unforgettable event. Nobody is more responsible for making sure your script goes off without a hitch, than your DJ.  I hope this can give you a greater level of appreciation of how involved the Disc Jockey is at your corporate or private party or event.

Further reading on hiring a Professional DJ can be found by reading the blog:  What to Expect from a “Professional” Disc Jockey

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