- Ken Prentice, C.Tech
Are You Getting the Best DJ Or Is The Job Being Subcontracted To The Cheapest DJ?
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
If getting a good quality DJ at your wedding matters to you here’s a few helpful tips to make that happen. If you want to avoid someone that simply subcontracts work or matches you with a DJ continue reading. Many DJ companies will make recommendations on why you should book them, but only a few let you meet and deal directly with a DJ(s). Even fewer will name the DJ and the backup in a written contract. There are some companies really care about their clients and definitely have your best interests in mind on your wedding day. Hopefully this gives brides some added insight when trying to find those companies.
There’s a lot of companies that promote having the "best" in the wedding industry as means to appeal to brides. Although making reference to being the best is common unfortunately it’s fairly subjective. In fact most of the time it’s more than a little suspect particularly when they also claim to have the best pricing. This combination would be a rare find and honestly I’ve never encountered it locally (KW area), over the last 5 years. In truth I think some might offer the best or great value, but that’s never the lowest priced service. When price becomes the primary focus, the supplier often does the same and sources the cheapest solution without saying anything.
Unbeknownst to many brides some of these companies that claim to have the best DJs and low pricing frequently subcontract the work. The bride and groom are not meeting a DJ or their DJ instead they’re meeting someone that will act as an agent and source a DJ, for a price. These are companies that have no DJs on their roster and try to find freelance DJs to fill those dates. The agent contacts DJs that might be available that fit an even further reduced price because they’re now taking a portion of that money. This is one of the reasons this methodology can fail to deliver the desired results. While the company (agent), profits from the booking, only a small amounts are used towards a DJ.
Personally I’ve never agreed with this type of practice and couples being given a mystery DJ on their wedding day. The talent of the DJ varies substantially with some being good while others are not or simply very inexperienced. The amount offered to the DJ will largely determine which DJ will take the job, and quite often the amounts are often too low to get consideration from better DJs. To give some perspective if you had to rent our equipment for the day it would generally exceed that amount being offered. Now we do invest heavily in high end equipment and training, but that should still give you an indication as what those prices will and won’t attract.
Frequently many of these types of companies spend the majority of their efforts attracting new clients vs. improving the quality of the service they offer. The budget for marketing for promotions and advertising is enormous when compared to any training because the workers (DJs), are really subcontracted or temp workers and not actual employees. The DJs in this case are only valued as a commodity necessary to perform a required function and nothing more. This whole process creates some added instability and just common sense would seem to show the better DJs easily take the better paying jobs or stability of working for the more reputable companies. This is also the reason there are so many DJs that are here today and gone tomorrow, furthermore, why many businesses that operate in this manner fail on service aspects and ultimately some end up closing up.
In our area of Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas we’ve seen a lot of brides impacted by the sudden closing of some DJ services, as well as, numerous DJs canceling on brides. There’s even more added stress due to the finical aspect and the lack of availability. Many brides are very quickly realizing that a lot of the professional DJ service providers are booked and honestly have a higher price point. Unfortunately there’s little to no barriers to entry and the customer (brides), have to be very aware that some businesses have very poor business practices. We’ve designed our DJ service to have not only the equipment backed up, but more importantly the DJ is too. So we don’t book our whole team ever and we don’t miss or cancel dates. The best thing any bride or groom can do is ask about backups. Ask to meet with the actually DJ and have their name written into the contract, as well as, their backup. Tell them you want to meet the DJ so you can avoid getting a mystery DJ or even worse having no DJ at your wedding. This isn’t going to be the lowest cost solution, however, this should help save you from tremendous stress and heartache in the future.
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