November and December are two months of the year that are absolutely chaotic. Chaotic in this context is used in every single way the dictionary defines it. This is because DJ enquiries come in by the truckload. A few things drive this, including the warmer weather and end of year events like Christmas parties and formals. This week, I share tips that have come directly from our team which can be very helpful to other DJs and people working within the events industry to give you a headstart before the busy season hits us.
1. Leave Early
We cannot stress this point enough. If you normally leave one hour early, leave an hour and a half or more before start time. People are on holidays, school is finished/almost finished for the year and the weather is warmer. This all leads to more Sydneysiders on the road, resulting in longer travel times. The worst thing that can happen to you is for you to start on the wrong foot – before you’ve even started!
2. Reconfirm Details
Even if you’ve already spoken to the customer previously, there’s absolutely no harm in reconfirming details. See, there’s a difference between asking for the details again and reconfirming. If you blatantly ask for the details again, this could position you as someone who is unorganised and doesn’t listen.
However, reading back the details to the customer and just checking in with them is something we’ve found works well. And even just a quick call sounding something like:
“Hi Jonathan, this is Justin, your DJ for this weekend. Just checking in for the event this weekend, how are you?”
“The details I have are (details), is there anything else I need to know?”
“Perfect, looking forward to seeing you soon!”
3. Obtain Venue Name and Contact
One lesson we’ve learned from experience is to ensure that you as a DJ, or DJ agency, have a venue name and contact with number noted for all bookings – I’ll explain why. A few years ago we had a situation where a customer provided a venue address only (in this example we’ll say 123 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000). A DJ arrived but could not find the entry or a loading zone.
As this was in the CBD, it was surrounded by other buildings and multiple floors. They called the contact number, only to be answered by a voicemail (it was later realised that this was the team assistant’s business hours phone) – not a good place to be. They were stuck and ran the risk of being late. In the end, the DJ had explored his emails and found a business name with previous correspondence (thank God for outside of the box thinking here!), informing security and eventually finding the place he had to be.
The moral of the story is that you should always confirm the venue name, as there are numerous places within the CBD (and outside) where multiple businesses and venues are at the same address. Further to this, the person you deal with originally may not be the contact on the night, especially if you’re dealing with a business’ personal assistant. For this reason, find out who will be available to assist you should you need help getting to the loading dock/into the venue.
4. Clarify Special Performances/Music
This is one we haven’t had to face consequences for as we’ve been able to get out of trouble with some good contingency plans (knock on wood), but boy have they come close! With technology ever-changing, you don’t want to be left short when your guests provide a CD and your Macbook doesn’t have a CD port.
A lot of corporate events will have third-party companies provide entertainment, and they tend to bring their own backing tracks. You can imagine the disarray when the song/s required cannot be played. We’ll leave this point at that.
The Busy Season is Fast Approaching!
Yes, the end of the year is amazing because the best parties and celebrations in Sydney take place here! Everyone stays busy and has a whole bunch of fun doing so. However, sometimes we can get caught up in the hype and excitement. It can take the smallest thing to sidetrack the momentum of a well-planned event.
What can help with this is a small checklist of the things that need to be asked and confirmed. Remember that when you’re hired in Sydney, your DJ brand is always being observed, so it’s important to stay on top of this. To the labelled as one of ‘Sydney’s best DJs’, you’ve got to stay on top of the game. Our advice is simple – always pay attention to detail. Have fun for the remainder of the year and in preparation for what lies ahead!
Until next week,