Never Ask Price First!
Ask Entertainers the right questions
Specific Price is the last question you should ask. No "professional" entertainer can answer that without knowing your basic event details first. (Location, no guests, event type, duration of services, lighting and sound requirements etc.). It's like buying a car, there are basic priced models with no frills or luxury makes with more unique options at an added cost. Price tells you nothing about services, ask questions. However, You should have a maximum "fee range" in mind so you don't waste each others time. Before you even start inquiring about price, at least know how many guests are coming and the event location and type of venue. Nothing upsets an entertainer more than when someone asks them, How much does it cost, without first understanding what specific services and extras their looking for. Unless you have seen a specific Disc Jockey, Band or Live Performer at a function that has impressed you, finding the right Performer and presentation for your event takes a little research. It's not always the "best price" that does the job properly. Individuals are an intangible product, it's not like buying a cake in a store that you can easily view the quality in advance, and it will either be what you want, or you can continue to search.
Full time professional, higher end "entertainers" will have real promo kits that include great photos, bios, customer testimonials phone number and branded email. A great sign that this person has survived in the entertainment business for a reason, they care about customer service. They usually contact you in a timely manor, provided a service contract agreement to protect themselves as well as you, the customer. They can be counted on to communicate with you, explain in detail what services you will receive for your budget, actually arrive on the day of your event, dress and conduct themselves in a professional manner, (on or off the stage). Provide quality (new looking) equipment and a setup that works with and compliments your event decor. Unbelievably cheap part time dj's, bands & performers are usually not committed "entertainers" in that there is not enough money involved to take you or your event seriously. It's a lot of work, time and expense to be available for your calls at anytime, trained in their craft, insured, provide transportation for equipment, load their gear and get to your event earlier than the guests arrive, and be excited to put on a wow factor presentation.
It cost money, serious commitment & passion to provide a high end entertainment service and guest experience! Expect to pay for that premium piece of mind, or just go with the cheapest price and hope for the best. Be realistic to yourself. If you want quality entertainment for your event, research, communicate, feel a connection before you confirm with a contract.
Once you confirm your Live Entertainer, DJ, or Band, make sure you support their stage requirements on the day of the event, or what's the point. What do they require at the event location for space, stage area, hydro, audience placement and stage lighting. How can you support your entertainment to make sure they can do what hired them for. For instance if you hire a comedy stage hypnotist, they require a very specific stage space, for example, usually 24' x 12' minimum area with enough space for 20 comfortable armless chairs for the audience volunteers to sit on. You can't provide a 8'x10' space and hope for the best. It won't work. You agreed to provide the stage requirements requested by this entertainer, then droped the ball expecting the entertainer to still perform a great show in a environment that doesnt support their act space requirements. Research stage, lighting and space requirements before you hire any live entertainer, and make sure your venue can accomodate their unique needs.
Lets Book A DJ
The best bet in hiring a DJ is to hire one you have viewed or enjoyed at a previous function. Next, a referral from a friend or relative will give you some excellent candidates as well. If neither of these options are available to you, then turn to our Professional DJ pages and look for profiles that are rich in content, quality photos, videos and testimonials.
- Speak with a DJ, You should "feel" a connection or "FIT" for your personality, your quests and venue.
- Are they liability insured? Professional event DJ's carry insurance & License to play music in public, very important?
- How many years of Experience to they have and how many events to they perform each year.
- Ask if you can see a recent example of a wedding or event playlist.
- Will their sound system be adequet for room size and number of guests attending?
- Is their equipment new looking? will it compliment the decor? How much space does it take up?
- Do they have back-up equipment, music backup and extra staff available in the event of a problem?
- Do they know the proper etiquette terms and procedures for your type of wedding.
- Will they take music requests from your guests? Can they provide a wide selection of music tastes?
- Can they double as a Master of Ceremonies during the Dinner party portion of the function? Is this an extra cost?
- Do they display client references and or testimonials on their profile page?
- If it is a multy opp DJ service, can you meet your particular DJ in advance?
- Will they dress appropriately for the occasion?
- Do they drink alcohol or smoke while on the job?
- Can they setup before quests arrive? Could be a problem with part time DJ as they have a day job.
- Professional DJ's "always" provide you with a written agreement "contract" for their services.
- If they request a deposit for services, the deposit generally usually does not exceed one half of the agreed service fee.
- The balance is usually due on or 30 days before the date of the function.
- Are they a member of a Professional Disc Jockey Association. DJ Associations are concerned with maintaining a high standard of quality in performance and business ethics in order to ensure that you the customer, receive the best possible music service for their function.
- View profiles carefully, a little homework and pre-planning can save a lot of disappointment. Shopping price only is very risky.
- Shop DJ's by Music Knowledge, Entertainment Value, Experience!!!
- Do they provide dance floor & venue uplighting if needed? Type? Cost? Requirements? Hydro Requirements?
- Do they use a smoke machine? Does venue allow this? Do you need a permit? Fire Alarm considerations
- Stage power requirements? 220 V? Separate 110 v circuits needed? Location of outlets?
- Price is the last question you should ask. Price tells you nothing about services, ask questions!!!.
Interviewing LIVE BANDS
- Read profiles carefully, best to hire bands that provide video and or audio samples.
- What type of music do you want? Theme, Variety, Classic Rock, Dance, Country etc.
- Are they liability insured? It's probably required at your venue? Accidents can happen.
- Can you expect the band to play at a reasonable volume? Will they turn down volume if requested by you.
- Years of Experience and or number of events performed is the number one thing you are looking for.
- Ask if you can see a recent example of a wedding or party playlist they might use at your event.
- Remember, Bands have a more limited song selection than DJ's
- How long are their sets? How many sets? How Long are breaks?
- Do they provide filler music in their breaks? Do you have a say in whats played in the breaks?
- Do they have a "Socan" music License?
- Do they have a "Connect Music" licence (Canada) to play dj music in the breaks.
- Does band have a sound system or are you required to provide one? Cost? Who pays?
- Is an elevated stage needed? (Size and height) Steps, Backdrop or Curtain?
- What are the hydro requirements? Can your venue provide?
- How much loadin and setup time needed? Can they setup before guests arrive?
- How many people in the band? Extra crew?
- Do you need to provide meals for band and crew? What type of meals?
- Do you have to provide overnight accomodations? Travel Expenses?
- Does the band have an event RYDER? ( Lists all the stage, meal, beverage, changeroom & equipment requirements etc.)
- Does the band take requests or just use their playlist?
- Does the band require stage lighting? Who provides and pays for that?
- What is included in the band fee? Is production included?
- Will they dress appropriately for the occasion?
- Do they drink alcohol or smoke while on the job?
- Review photos, testimonials and preferably a video of a recent performance
- Price is the last question you should ask. Price tells you nothing about services, ask questions.
Quote Request Issues
I haven’t heard anything back from my Request a Quote. What should I do?
Oh no! Try sending a follow-up message. Sometimes life gets in the way and entertainers are slow responding. Typically, you should receive a response back within 48 hours if the person is interested in getting your business. If you still don’t hear back in a reasonable 48 hours, it’s time to let go and move on to another search, (if entertainers snooze they lose). There’s lots of talent that is eager to make your event a success, were growing every day.
PERFORMER / EVENT SERVICES QUESTIONS
"HOW DO I GET AN ACCURATE QUOTE?
- It's important to supply your entertainer or Vendor with as many details as possible or they cannot provide a quote without more details.
- "Contact Us" button: Is a general request form with minimum details (Best to followup with a phone call if your serious about booking)
- "Request a Quote" Button: If this button is visible, click it to fill out all the real details of your event. This tells the entertainer your serious about considering them for your event. The first time you request a quote you'll be prompted to setup a "free" customer account. Then you can login to interact with entertainers to receive quote forms, contracts that you can esign, message and add vendors to your favorites list.
- Call: This is usually the quickest and most efficient communication method to make the first initial connection.