I have written before in previous blogs on my website about DJ Planning advice and other considerations when booking a DJ for your wedding or function, but this time I would like to also focus on making you, the client aware of a few pitfalls that can occur. For example, I am proud to work as a DJ under my own name, Steve Briers and as such, when you book me, you book ‘Steve Briers Disco Roadshow’ and I will be the DJ for your wedding or function or event in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or indeed anywhere that you would like me to perform.
Now, this is really important, because if I am unable to undertake your booking if I am booked elsewhere for example, I will then offer to put you in touch with another reputable DJ who I am happy to recommend and who I know will provide the same professional, reliable and experienced service that I would expect and I am confident to pass on those details at no charge to you or the DJ. My motivation is simple and three-fold. Firstly, I am happy to offer you any planning advice for your wedding or function simply because I am happy to help you out as I have a wealth of experience, contacts and advice, for no charge. Secondly, I appreciate that you have contacted me in the first place and if I can offer you a good service, even if I cannot play for you this time, then I like to think that the next time you need a DJ, then you will contact me again and next time I may be available and therefore I can secure a booking. Thirdly, although all the DJ’s in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire & Ceredigion are, by the very nature of the business, in ‘competition’ with each other as we all want to keep busy, there is still a good friendship and camaraderie between many of us and we all believe in fair competition. Therefore, I am happy to pass on the details of a select few as a personal recommendation as, quite simply, they will do the same for me if they get an enquiry for a date when they are already booked.
However and this is important, if I pass on a recommendation, it is not done with a view to making any gain either financial or otherwise, or even for a return booking. I am genuinely happy to help out both the client and the DJ too, because why not? In life, I believe ‘what goes around comes around’ and it never hurts to help people out or go the extra mile for someone with no expectation of getting anything back. I have built my business and reputation on honesty and professionalism with a guarantee of being a versatile DJ who knows his music and knows how to use it for any wedding, event, function or audience and I always work hard to give my clients the best night possible.
It is this experience and the awareness of keeping current with music and trends that is crucial to the success of your wedding or party. Now, to go back to my point in the first paragraph, if you consider booking a DJ from an ‘entertainment website’, or through someone who provides DJ’s and I don’t mean proper entertainment agencies, but just a general DJ website that has a generic name like, for example, ‘XYZ Entertainments’, or ‘DJ’s R Us’, (made up names for the purpose of this blog), then be careful. Many people can create the most wonderful websites promising the world, but the quality of what they can ultimately offer may not necessarily match your expectations by a long shot. They may provide a DJ with very little experience, or a DJ who is still learning his craft and whilst that’s fair enough, why should it be at the expense of your wedding or function? They may offer you a cut price deal, they may offer to be the cheapest around and that is why. Because you only get what you pay for. Everyone knows this and you cannot compromise quality and experience for your important event, whether it be a Children’s Party in Tenby, a Wedding in Haverfordwest, or a Corporate event in Swansea.
So, quite clearly if companies are not happy to put their name to their business or, that may not be fair to some one man band DJ’s who just happen to have a Disco name not incorporating their own name and that is fine, but I mean generic ‘entertainment companies’, then quite simply, you could contact them, book a DJ, but not necessarily get the best available and if, for example, that company allocates, let’s call him, DJ Mickey Mouse to your Wedding, and DJ Mickey Mouse suddenly becomes unavailable, then that company may then send DJ Daffy Duck, who was the second choice anyway, but they don’t care as you, the client won’t know anyway, as you have only booked a DJ. It gets worse! Say, DJ Daffy Duck cries out on the preceding night, guess what? DJ Muppet, last chance saloon, then turns up to DJ at your wedding and you won’t know any different, until, halfway through the night when it dawns on you and your guests that this guy hasn’t got a clue what he is doing! You may have negotiated a cheap deal for this DJ and you have therefore got what you paid for so no problem if you are happy with this, but if you have paid a decent fee, you certainly haven’t got your value for money as there is a middle man to pay and if, for example, you have paid £300 for your DJ to the company, you may still end up with a DJ who is only worth, say, £50. Yes, some are that bad. So, be careful and be aware.
You may be asking, how do these ‘companies’ start up? Well, it’s simple, and many years ago I considered doing it, but for me, it was impossible to do without ruining a good reputation long-term. It’s possibly OK for short term gain, but is a definite recipe for long term loss for everyone. My good name and the ability to work off references and recommendations has always meant everything to me and still does. It is by far the best way to stay busy, personal recommendations and word of mouth, which ensures that you need to provide a top dollar service for every gig.
So, your DJ, let’s call him DJ Disney, gets an enquiry for a date that he is already booked for, or maybe he has a Friday or Saturday residency somewhere which means that he is unavailable for most wedding or party enquiries, so he has a eureka moment! He has a mate down the pub who has always fancied being a DJ, so DJ Disney thinks, well I’ve got spare kit in my shed, I’ve got a spare laptop that I can shove some music onto and hey presto, a new ‘DJ’ is born. This mate from down the pub, we have to call him DJ Muppet, is happy to earn a bit of beer money on a Saturday night and DJ Disney makes a bit more money, with no regard or respect for the client about the quality or experience of DJ Muppet, who will almost inevitably embark on a car crash of music and programming totally unsuitable for your wedding or event and quite simply spoil what has been a truly amazing day, until now. So, DJ Disney likes what is happening, earning a bit of extra cash and sets up a website proclaiming himself as an ‘Entertainment Agency’ providing bands, magicians, cabaret acts etc. So, this works for a while and DJ Disney does quite well, but in the end, he gets exposed as the quality of the acts that he is’ providing’ is clearly below standard. In the meantime, all the nice brides and grooms who have engaged the services of ‘DJ Disney’s Entertainment Agency’ have had mediocre entertainment provided and it’s too late to turn back the clock. In a nutshell, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This also means that he is de-valuing the excellent job that a professional DJ does for your wedding or function, likewise reputable Entertainment Agencies too. Just look out for the Stetson!!
Always check on genuine credentials, some companies will even falsify and lie about the credentials of DJ’s ‘on their books’ to gain your confidence and custom (that’s a joke, as it will just be whoever is available and whoever will work for the least money to generate more money for the ‘company’).
I am proud of the DJ service that I offer as are most of the decent DJ’s in our South Wales region, so it’s not too difficult to find a reputable, honest, good and reliable DJ, but don’t be caught out by DJ’s or companies who offer ‘price matching’ or ‘undercutting tactics’. No reputable DJ or company would do this as it’s a recipe for long-term business suicide, and it also de-values the professional DJ services available in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire , Ceredigion, Swansea, or indeed in South Wales and will ultimately kill the reputation of that company. Any reputable Agencies and DJ’s will fully endorse and agree with all I have written. Those that don’t’ agree? I rest my case.
The point of this statement is that anyone can, of course do this, ie set up an ‘Agency’, and send out any old DJ and keep the bulk of the fee, no matter how small, rather than just be fair to the client and recommend another reputable DJ, which is what I do, but no DJ in his right mind, who has worked hard to gain a good reputation, will employ the cheap tactic of price matching or undercutting. It’s never ‘like for like’, so it’s therefore not possible to get comparables. I am repeating myself, but it’s important to remember, you get what you pay for. Reputable and good DJ’s will charge a fair price based on their experience, versatility, quality of equipment (which is very much secondary and not as important as the stature, skill, musical knowledge and experience of the DJ) Likewise, if ‘XYZ Entertainments’ are happy to send anyone to DJ at your wedding or function, then ultimately, if the service is not of the standard that you should expect, which I can almost guarantee it will be, then long term, that business will suffer. It’s too late for you though, because your wedding or function has already been wrecked by DJ Muppet!!