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  • Ken Prentice, C.Tech

Price vs. Quality With DJs

Relating to the value of a DJ isn’t easy to understand without some exposure to the industry for the majority of couples. Having years of experience DJing and a diploma as an Electronics Engineering Technician lends itself well to business, but is not my best asset for explaining the true value of a DJ. Admittedly I have a strong disposition for factual and technical data with checkable proofs. However, I realize this doesn’t always appeal or translate well particularly if the subject matter is sensitive. Telling a bride a discount price generally means a discounted service with DJs is not a conversation I want to have. Still, the truth in Kitchener, Waterloo, Stratford and surrounding areas is that quality DJs are not found for a low price. The value in terms of the DJ and the level of service they provide is dramatically different especially between the bottom and median price. A simple comparison would be bargain cuts vs. a salon.

If I were to compare DJs in terms of stylists (hair), I would classify budget DJs as bargain cuts and quality DJs as your salon. Most brides wouldn’t consider having their hair done at bargain cuts for their wedding even knowing the price is much better. Given the choice the majority of brides would prefer having and paying for the salon experience. Brides are willing accept the additional cost because they value the atmosphere, staff, products, and equipment more. Yes both of these provide a similar service at a very basic level, but they are definitely not the same. This same argument can be applied to DJs, if you’re seeking out the absolute best price you can find the bargain cuts of DJs. The experience you get from bargain cuts will be vastly different than the experience a bride has with a salon quality DJ.

The perception that low prices are realistic for quality DJ services frequently stems from the belief that DJs are over charging or overpriced. One reason might be the fact that you can rent speakers, a mixer, a wireless mic for a couple hundred, no question. However, this is not the equivalent to what a quality DJ brings even in terms of equipment and here’s why. Beyond those pieces you’ll need a controller, speaker stands, and cabling. Furthermore, if the DJ is truly professional then double that price for back-ups and add in licensing which is required legally. Then don’t forget about insurance which may or may not be required by the venue. That new cost is just under five hundred before taxes and does not include music, DJ or any lighting. This is assuming the guest count for the wedding will not exceed 125 guests, otherwise more equipment is required.

A budget DJ cannot afford to deliver a level of service that eliminates potential risks. The cost of owning or renting high-grade equipment is just too high, no matter what claims are made. The constraints that accompany a low price mean that backups and owning higher end equipment is not an option without additional costs. Emergency backups for the DJ are virtually non-existent, otherwise, no DJ companies, brides, or planners would be contacting us last minute if these measures were in place. The topic of backups will likely never enter into discussion during any consultation since these DJs are marketing based on a brides principle interest of price. If you make getting a low price the main priority then you’ll find it comes with some associated cost in quality and risk.

There’s a compromise that exists between price and quality. Throughout this blog I’ve continually referenced equipment because that information can be easily verified. However, the quality of the DJ will factor into this equation just as much or more. There’s no reason to believe DJ’s with relevant wedding experience and expertise work for a budget price tag. The quality of the DJ is essential to any wedding, but much harder to gauge on paper or through a glossy website. The answer to this question is to ask about the DJs experience. Meet directly with the DJ and never allow an owner to match you with a DJ solely based on a questionnaire. We encourage brides to use this information with the hope of finding an acceptable balance between quality, value and price. Give yourself and your guests the salon treatment your special day deserves.

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