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The Rise of Cheap DJs and Quick Fix Agencies

What do you look for when you hire a DJ?

It’s a very important question when making your decision for a supplier or a venue.

There are some real classic ways that people will try to save money on other areas but the last place you should be looking to go cheap is in the line of entertainment. It seems a topic brought up in many places be it for a Wedding, Birthday or Corporate Event – and I’ve dealt with many clients from all backgrounds with the attitude that either my price is right or I’m too expensive – I’ve never been told I was too cheap, which must mean I have my pricing in the right area for those willing to pay for the most crucial part of any occasion.

The word “affordability” is associated in all aspects of every day life but when you are planning an event make sure the “affordability” of top-class entertainment or DJ isn’t influenced by the fact you’ve got engraved cutlery that no-one will ever notice!

I have worked at events that have quibbled (but then paid) my fee that have then decided to hire a chocolate fountain for £300 for three hours. No-one will remember the chocolate fountain. They will remember dancing and having a good time.

I have had a call from one corporate business that spent so much hiring an elaborate venue that they were scrimping on a DJ as they had hardly any budget left!

I get hundreds of calls and emails each year asking about my services and requesting more information. A large majority of these enquiries end with the important ‘P’ word. While many of my customers see the value in my experience, knowledge and professional approach to DJing at any event, there are a small percentage who are going to make a decision based on price and price alone.

Some excuses I've heard are:

“…We’ve found someone £100 cheaper…”

“…We’re going to use an iPod and the venue’s system…”

“…I’ve found out the hotel offer a DJ as part of a package…”

"I've booked a cheap DJ..."

Every week I need to buy the latest music and fuel to get to gigs, every month I have to pay for my vehicle (insurance and car tax), my Public Liability Insurance and every year my vehicle needs an MOT, all of my equipment needs testing to gain a PAT certificate – all of my equipment, every light, every plug, every cable along with all of my back up gear and more! This doesn’t include things such as expenses on the night with a soft drink or two that aren’t free nor business trips to meet with clients or general office equipment or the upgrading of equipment to ensure my set-up remains smart and sounds good.

Could you do that on £150 a week and make a profit to live from?

"I'm using my iPod in the venue’s in-house system..."

Most venues will have some form of in-house system. However, these are normally designed for background music whilst meals are taking place and struggle when a microphone is plugged in tending to sound distorted. They are not designed to handle music played at a loud volume. You also need to be aware that not all of your guests will like the music you have made on your playlist. They will get bored very quickly.

"The venue offer a DJ in their package..."

If you work out from your £1,200 package what your DJ must be getting after the venue takes out cost of their room hire, daytime meal, evening buffet, staff costs and more – you’ll probably find yourself with a £100-£150 DJ supplied by an agency who really doesn’t care about you but is glad to have the work.

Should you avoid an agency DJ?

Some agencies have a tendency to put in their ‘favourites’ not necessarily their best DJs and won’t take on those who are priced too high for the contracts they have taken on.

I have heard examples where an agency has given the venue a cheap deal to secure a contract and then looked for DJs who will work at a low price for them. Basically the venue opting for the cheapest deal has wormed its way down to the consumer and will lead to them receiving entertainment that is not up to the standard required.

Hire a Professional DJ

What I cannot stress enough about my service is that I am with you from the start. I am there for any planning questions, you would have met me in the build-up in person and we would have put together everything you need and require for your event.

So don’t forget when you’re cutting costs that most of your guests will only remember the last 2-3 hours when everyone cuts loose and this is why you should hire quality entertainment. Don’t compromise on your event by hiring in the cheapest or, in some cases, the easiest option.

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