In this day of technology anyone can put together a collection of music, plug in a i-pod with some speakers and play DJ. Is this what you want at your wedding? Probably not! Your entertainment should be provided by a professional. Your MC/DJ is an integral part of your event. An experienced, professional DJ will play several roles before and during the event to ensure that it will be a fun and memorable celebration
First, your MC/DJ is responsible for delivering a Digital concert series sound system to the site of your event. He or she will assemble the sound system, conduct a sound check of the area and make sure everything is working and sounding great before your first guest arrives. This represents a lot of time, energy and work on the part of your DJ that very few people will see during the course of your event. In fact, this process may take several hours depending on travel time and the physical layout of the venue. In this sense, you have hired your MC/DJ to be a delivery person and a sound technician.
Only through experience can one really understand the challenges and nuances of setting up electrical sound equipment in a safe manner that is out of the way of your guests, and making adjustments to provide the clearest possible sound. An experienced MC/DJ will be able to do this in rooms of various shapes and sizes, inside or outside, making necessary adjustments throughout the event as people come and go (people in the room coming and going can change the way sound will travel). Your MC/DJ will continually adjust the sound throughout the event so that your guests won’t be made uncomfortable by feedback, sound that is too high pitched or that may have too much bass, or is simply not well balanced. This is what many in the industry have traditionally called “sound mixing”, although the term now has several different interpretations. The proper sound level is crucial to the comfort of your guests. If its too loud they will leave your reception. We use very high end sound systems that are louder on the dance floor and provide a more “short throw” sound that allows your guests in the sitting area to enjoy nice conversation without screaming.
Announcements and Coordination
Second, your MC/DJ is responsible for making all necessary announcements throughout the event so that your guests and other vendors know what is going to happen. Photographers, for example, don’t appreciate when a MC/DJ goes ahead with an unannounced portion of the event that might cause them to miss meaningful photos. Your DJ acts as the emcee of your party making sure that everything you want to happen, happens in an orderly way. Often your DJ will be playing and mixing pre-selected music while at the same time making announcements or facilitating festivities. This means that your MC/DJ needs to be comfortable multi-tasking while coming off smooth, calm and collected. A DJ who effectively fulfills the role of coordinator and announcer will create a flow to the celebration and avoid a choppy, haphazard feel to the event. This will ensure that your guests will not be bored and adding in a great variety of fun music, surely will keep your guests dancing all night long.
A professional MC/DJ will be prepared. Preparation is the key to making announcements at the appropriate time and ensuring that all that you want to happen, happens in smooth order. Preparation time is time well spent. Your DJ should communicate with you before your event to get from you the information necessary to act as emcee. There are various ways to go about planning. Some DJ services have online planning tools, many have planning documents that are completed by the client and returned to the DJ. Often a DJ will meet personally with their client to go over the details of the event. Your DJ will also be communicating with other vendors during the event to be sure everyone is on the same page for each planned festivity.
Music Selection and Engaging the Crowd
The third role is what most people think of when they imagine their MC/DJ at work. He or she will be selecting music that reflects your musical tastes and will produce a fun and active celebration. Your MC/DJ also needs to gauge the extent to which your guests need to be engaged and encouraged to get up and dance! Your MC/DJ should be first and foremost concerned with the type of music you and your guests want to hear and dance to. Too many DJs show up with their own prescribed notion of what will be a fun time without consulting their clients. A professional MC/DJ knows how to engage guests and encourage an active dance floor but without being obnoxious or too overwhelming. A pro will always remember that the celebration is not about the DJ but about you, your family and guests and will be more than willing to respect your choice of music.
Your MC/DJ will, with your guidance, create the musical atmosphere you wish to have at your event. An experienced MC/DJ knows that music has a powerful affect on the psychology of the group and therefore can influence the flow of the celebration. He or she needs to be able to “read the crowd” as quickly as possible and gain insight into what motivates guests to have fun. Your DJ will constantly monitor the energy level in the room and speed things up or slow things down when necessary. A pro will be sensitive to the diversity represented in the crowd (age differences, ethnic differences, etc.) and be sure to play music during the event that will be enjoyed by everyone. Be sure to ask your MC/DJ how he or she prepares for the music selection of the event. Ask about the process that allows you to give input, song selections and how your DJ will incorporate requests from your guests. Be sure to mention, too, which types of music or specific song selections are NOT to be played.
A professionally operated MC/DJ service will enable (and encourage) you to get to know your DJ and how he or she operates before the event. Don’t hesitate to communicate with your DJ by phone, website planning tools, email or a personal meeting. Your MC/DJ will be glad to answer all of your questions because this type of communication leads to the effective fulfillment of the three roles discussed in this article. Remember, your MC/DJ is your partner in planning and wants, more than anything, to give you a celebration that you will fondly remember forever.