What to ask when hiring a DJ (Weddings Sweet 16s and more)

Planning a large scale party is not an easy process, especially if you've never planned one before. There are many different aspects of the engagement that must be taken care of such as which caterer to use, which venue to use, and of course choosing an entertainment company. Don't let all of this scare you though! Planning and executing successful party is a rewarding endeavor and the planning process can be made much easier with the help of qualified entertainment professionals. The professionals at Hurricane Productions DJ Entertainment, in New Jersey, hosts over one hundred events and parties per year and part of what makes them stand out for other DJ companies is dedication they have to their clients. Planning and entertaining such a large variety of events makes the DJ one of the most knowledgeable party-planning resources you have at your disposal.

So ask your DJ for help! It is their job to make your party run smoothly and they can offer great advice on ALL aspects of your engagement. Just remember one thing, not all DJs are created equally. The term "qualified entertainment professional" is an important one when picking a great DJ for your event. So how do you go about picking your qualified entertainment professionals? Well if you're in New Jersey, check out Hurricane Productions LLC for starters otherwise the following Q & A might be good to take a look at. Asking your DJ the right questions shows the dj company that you are serious and knowledgeable about the event you are planning while also weeding out the less-qualified entertainment options.

What to ask when hiring a DJ:

Is your DJ insured?
This is one of the most important questions to ask your potential DJ. Most upscale venues require the entertainment company to provide them with an insurance certificate or proof of insurance. This a is a particularly volatile situation because many venues will wait to ask the DJ for proof of insurance until there is only one week left (or less) before the event. That's right, after you've signed all your contracts and sent out all your deposits your venue could easily deny your DJ access to your hall at the last minute so make sure you ask this question. Hurricane Productions is fully insured.

Does your entertainment company use clean music / music edited for

radio?
Make sure you know where your DJ is getting his/her music from. There are many companies that offer legal, professional grade music (such as PromoOnly) that supply DJs with songs suitable for public radio and songs that are totally censored for unacceptable language. The last thing you want to do is offend your guests with dirty lyrics. Hurricane Productions LLC is 100% clean.

Who are the DJ's that show up to our event?
If possible, request to meet with (or at least speak to) the ACTUAL DJs that will be at your specific event. Details will often get lost if there is a middle-man between you and your DJ such as a sales associate. Hurricane Productions will always put you in direct contact with the DJ(s) supplied for your event. For the majority of Hurricane parties, the person you deal with throughout the entire planning process IS your actual DJ.

How many entertainers are included in the service?
It is highly recommended that you have at least two people at your event responsible for entertainment. This usually implies one person on the microphone motivating guests and organizing the flow of the party (master of ceremonies) and a person in charge of the music / sound system (disc jockey). Hurricane Productions sends a 2-man crew minimum to all events and will be as interactive as you want them to be.

Does your DJ use professional equipment, with multiple amplifiers and sub-woofer(s)?

There is a difference between the audio equipment you have at home and the equipment a professional DJ uses. Professional audio equipment is built to handle the abuse of taking the equipment on the road each weekend. Make sure your prospective choices use only professional equipment to ensure the music sounds as good as possible for your guests' enjoyment. There are a multitude of professional audio brands out there but a few of the popular high-quality companies include: QSC, JBL, Cerwin Vega!, Mackie. A strong sound system should include at least two satellite speakers (tripod speakers) and one sub woofer each having their own separate amplifier. The audio professionals at Hurricane Productions adjust their sound system differently for each hall and venue to ensure peak acoustic performance.

Can your DJ provide backup equipment and personal in case of emergency?
Even professional equipment can fail on occasion, so it is important to know whether your DJ has spare equipment available to them, ON SITE. Any number of circumstances may arise between the time you book your DJ and the date of your event. It is important to know if your DJ company has a backup plan in case of a problem, no matter how unlikely it is to occur. Hurricane Productions brings backup equipment to each and every event and has NEVER experienced a problem they could not fix on site, EVER.

What happens if it rains for our outdoor party?
Always coordinate a rain-date with your DJs so you don't find yourself without entertainment once the sun comes back out. Also, read your DJ contract thoroughly for any hidden fees. Some DJ companies will charge you extra for rain cancellations even after deciding on a suitable rain-date.

Can your DJ provide a written contract?
It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. All terms of the agreement should be in writing to avoid any complications at a later date. Typical retainer (deposit) should be at least 10-20% and no more than 50% of the total contract rate.

What do I as the client need to physically provide the DJ with?
It is important to make sure that you know what to provide. Most DJs request the following:

* One Sturdy Table for Equipment (6 Ft Preferred).

* Tablecloth / Table Skirt.

* Access to Two Electrical Outlets.

How long does it take you to set up?
This time will vary greatly on the size of the package you choose but generally most packages should take between 1 and 3 hours to set up. Hurricane Productions offers four main packages to choose from. Hurricane's smallest package (simple package) can be set up in 45 minutes where as their largest package (Hurricane Productions package) can take closer to 3 hours to set up.

Is your DJ willing to discuss musical selections ahead of time, and is he or she willing to play requests, particularly if they are suitable for dancing?
Professional DJs cannot possibly know everything there is to know about your specific musical preferences and entertainment needs without discussion. Your DJ should be willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions. They should make themselves available prior to your engagement (either by telephone or in person) to discuss music selections and other aspects of entertainment planning. Special requests should never be a problem and your DJ should be willing to play them for you. Hurricane Productions meets with all clients in-person and most of the time it will be with the actual DJ whom will be performing at that party. Click here to see Hurricane Productions' entire entertainment staff.

Do I really need a lighting package?

The need for a lighting package will depend on what your event is, and especially what time of day your event is taking place. If you event is during the day with a lot of windows a lighting package will make no difference. If this is not the case we suggest purchasing at least a simple lighting package. Many guests often do not like to be seen in full lighting while dancing. The DJ lighting will allow you to bring down the house lights while also motivating people to dance simply because the lighting enhances the entire party experience. Hurricane Productions uses professional intelligent DJ lighting which responds to the beat of the music.

Take your time when picking a DJ entertainment company to work with. Chances are you are planning a very special day so do it right. Remember, all DJs are not created equally; the more questions you ask the more confident you can be that you are making the right choice. It's up to you to make sure you get the entertainment quality you deserve.

Check out HurricaneProductions.com for more information about a great DJ entertainment company in Monmouth County New Jersey.

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