tips from the pros :: what to look for in a dj

courtesy of Bob Brichmann, DJ / Emcee at Artistic Productions

The adage that the right DJ can make or break your event is completely accurate. DJs come with so many skill levels, levels of experience and do so many different things. Yes, they play music, but there’s an art to mixing your tastes with those of your friends & families coupled with timing (not to mention dealing with spontaneous requests). The emcee aspect, including introductions & announcements are all key tasks for the modern DJ. DJs monitor and manage the flow of events as the evening unfolds. They mini-crisis manage. They interact with the other professionals to make sure all are on the same page.

DJs also help with ceremony music & microphones. DJs are production specialists these days, too. They can do multiple sets both on-property and at two different locations and even set remote speakers for outdoor patio areas. Various A/V aspects are often a part of their repertoire, including DVD/slide show projection, monograms, uplighting, pin-spotting and various lighting décor.

Brides & grooms should look 1st for someone that does weddings. They are different than high school dances, bars/clubs, bar mitzvahs, karaoke parties and backyard BBQ’s. Find the personality you “click” with. Discuss your dream and seek their advice. You’ve probably never been married. Many of the good DJs do upwards of 100 weddings a year. That says something for experience. It’ll give you peace of mind, but, more importantly, it’ll lead to a stress free, memorable wedding experience.

news :: november’s meeting at the loft at ucsd

photos courtesy of abi photography

Our last meeting for 2011 was a lot of fun. Elizabeth Bradshaw from The Loft and Michelle Koenig, Projects Manager for Zanzibar Café, Inc., treated us to a great venue and lunch experience at UC San Diego.  Our guests were Brent Clifford, Studio Carre, and Joe Park with Disc Go Round DJ & Video Services. We also welcomed our newest member, Jen from Pink Star Design!  And our thanks to Paula for the great centerpieces.

Andy Hagenah was our showcaser.  He talked about Disc Go Round DJ & Video Services and Starlight Photo Booth (yep, we got to take fun pictures in it too).  Andy, Tim and sometimes a third guy handle the DJ end of the business.  We all know Andy is professional, classy and does a great job for his clients!  Joe Park, one of the videographers, does a lot of video for DGR and showed us a sample video of his work ~ professional, sharp and a great overview of the event.  Andy offers a lot of value and entertainment with the photo booth, including video, props and pictures ~~ prices vary so check with on availability and options.

The Loft is a great location for all kinds of events, including weddings.  They can seat 120-150 for weddings and 223 standing room.  The space rents for $1500 and offers an impressive variety of packages.   They have a wine and beer license, lots of tables/chairs custom menus and an over-the-top sound system.  In addition to the delicious lunch, we all were given welcome bags (including cool T-shirts)!   They really did a great job hosting us ~~ special thanks to Krista and Karen for setting this one up.  It’s a “hidden jewel” and they would love our support.

After raffle prizes were drawn, we all headed off campus to enjoy the rest of our afternoon.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our Ugly Sweater Bowling Party with Secret Santa gift exchange next month.  Our new Board will be announced then too!

Happy Holidays All!!

news :: october’s meeting at the hilton del mar

This month we went with a different meeting format and had our first open, frank, solution based discussions through a Vendor Panel to promote communication and consideration for other vendors. it was a very productive and informative meeting with some crucial points of discussion:

1.                   Be considerate of other vendors ~~ their point of view, their contribution to the event. In other words, be a Team Player!

2.                   Communication

3.                   Share timelines ~~~ keep everyone in the loop (but don’t overdue the amount of emails)

4.                   Communication

5.                   Photographers need the timeline early so they can schedule the photography shoot correctly. 

6.                   Venues and coordinators, please share room layouts, especially power outlets, room direction, decor.

7.                   Venues and coordinators, please share room layout with the entertainment people and consult them on where they should be set up.

8.                   Communication

9.                   Photographers & Entertainment need to eat when the guests eat ~~

10.               Open lines of communication between florists, photographers and brides ~~ share that timeline!

11.               Sense of Urgency should be limited to week of……better planning = less stress

12.               rather than relying totally on your web site, get the client to the studio, office, coffeehouse, anywhere you can meet and talk in person

13.               Educate your brides to hire professional vendors and eliminate the “disasters” and “unprofessional vendors” from ruining the event

                  and creating unnecessary stress

14.               Refer WoD members to strengthen not only the group’s dynamics but to create highly successful events on all levels.

15.               Be respectful of the venue, hall, other vendors.  Talk with them, not at them.  Bury the Diva attitude!

16.               Find out what the bride really needs ~~ then work at referring people that will fit her needs and personality.

17.               Did we mention Communication and Timelines?!!

18.               Blog to help educate.  Write magazine articles. 

19.             Tweet and Facebook ~~ use the technology to stay in touch with the brides.

Thank you to Carly McVay for hosting us at the beautiful Hilton Del Mar!