- Ken Prentice, C.Tech
Choosing a DJ – Try Comparing Them to Fast-food, Family Pub, and Fine Dining
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of DJs market themselves in many different ways all in an effort to appeal to brides. This includes the budget, high-end, or experienced are all terms commonly used depending on what matters to the couples. Personally I’ve had people tell me that a DJ is a DJ so it doesn’t really matter who you get. In most of those cases the DJs they’ve seen were all very similar both in terms of skill and price. So yes in many ways a DJ is just that, a DJ. However, I’ve seen very bad DJs and very good DJs or very skilled DJs and very unskilled DJs. Unfortunately the vast number of unskilled or inexperienced DJs out weights skilled ones and that directly contributes to many people thinking they’re all the same. When I explain we’re a little different, as in we’re trained and professionally schooled vs. self-taught or in-house training. Sometimes people will still think it’s the same. Many brides believe that every professional DJ has training. Unfortunately that’s far from the truth, the vast majority don’t have any formal training. That’s still not enough in terms of being relatable or scalable to allow for an easy comparison. So instead I compare DJs to a burger and fries regardless where you buy it at the end of the day it’s still a burger and fries. The fast food comb, the family style pub, or steak house all offer the same burger and fries, right?
Fast food is simple and quick, but your choices are limited in terms of doing anything unique. The people working there are relatively inexperienced and have not been to culinary school, but the price is great. Are they passionate about their work? Probably not, but they get food out to you quickly. Let me introduce you to the Junior DJ, they may not have the experience but the price is great. They’ve just started DJing and in most cases they don’t own equipment or it’s very low end. There’s very few, if any personal touches, instead it’s more formulated and rigid. This year I had a bride book us that had seen a well-known DJ company at a wedding, but the DJ was playing music that didn’t make sense and nobody was on the dance floor. It’s most likely she saw a Junior DJ that was told what to play and when to play it. This bride didn’t want that to be her wedding so she was looking for different options.
The family style pub is going to offer a different experience starting with the actual restaurant, to the quality of the food. The level of service you’re getting is going to be higher and the price you pay is more for this. You’re still not getting fine dining, but you’ve significantly changed the environment and the people that prepare the food. This is the comparable to what an intermediate DJ offers at a wedding. It’s not the best of the best, but they have some experience. They’re far more likely to personalize your reception and have an ability to read crowds, so the dance floor doesn’t stay empty all night. They don’t normally have formal training, and unfortunately they rarely have back-ups should something fail or go wrong. However, providing everything is functioning smoothly they offer a much higher value just in terms of service.
The steak-house offers premium service and food at price that is normally reserved for special occasions. It’s not an everyday experience, but it’s something unique and different from the moment you walk in the doors. The food should be custom and cooked by a trained professional in a state-of-the-art kitchen. This would be comparable to an experienced DJ with professional training and high end equipment. These are DJs that will ultimately make you day easier, taking care of all the minor details that help make your day special. These are people that understand that at the reception the DJ is going to be the one that helps coordinate everything. They will know the importance of your day so they’ll have back-ups just in case of a problem. This is where you’ll find talented DJs with experience that offers more than just playing music, they offer more service.
The majority of people wouldn’t describe their burger being the same at each type of restaurant, but some might still try to argue it’s not a huge difference. Maybe for the price they don’t see enough value. Would I go there again, would I recommend it, did I enjoy my meal or did it feel rushed? These are secondary factors which extend beyond just the price that could change your opinion of the restaurant. Closer to home which for us is the KW area which encompasses Kitchener, Waterloo, even Stratford and surrounding areas the prices are $7.00, $14.00 and $24.00 respectively depending on where you go. Each of these exist for a reason and service certain preferences. While some people might have disdain for fast food others might love it. Similarly, weddings are unique, some will be high end while others might focus on keeping it very simple. Every wedding should offer the bride & groom plus their guests an experience, part of that is deciding what you what it to be. A Junior DJ might offer great a price, but will they provide the experience you want for your wedding? An experienced DJ might offer a great experience, but did you factor that into your budget? A budget price for DJ isn’t going to get an experienced DJ with good equipment, even if the company is claiming the opposite of this. It’s always best to determine what you value and compare to what is being offered. Furthermore, you should always try meet directly with the DJ that will be at the wedding. The key to having a day that reflects your vision is taking the time to understand your choices and finding good value for your wedding day.
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