4 Things to Know Before Booking a Marketing Event DJ

Posted by | · · · · | DJs · Events

Event managers have one ultimate goal in mind with any event: having it go off without any major hitch — from talent not showing on time, product displays not being ready, the whole gamut.

For those running corporate events who need a musical component to their event, party or marketing activation, there is a whole other set of requirements to manage, from booking the right artist or DJ to the sound system itself.

While the LUXELIFE crew of course happily recommends any event manager needing music book a talent and professional event DJ, there are some questions you need to figure out before scheduling a DJ for your marketing event.

Make sure they know how to play for a corporate event

We’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but it bears repeating as it is the most important point: make sure your DJ has experience playing for a corporate crowd.

A lot of DJs have backgrounds in the entertainment world: clubs and parties. But these are much more casual events and have entirely different requirements, both in the DJ’s own style or mannerism and the music they play… and it’s not the professional approach you will want for your marketing activation or other corporate event — we’re talking disrespectful and boorish behaviour on-stage, playing music with every offensive word, and more.

That level of unprofessionalism doesn’t fly for the much more accessible and big-picture minded world of corporate events, so make sure your event DJ has experience in the corporate space — if not with marketing activations, look for a background playing office parties.

Put the sound system high up your priority list, ideally hiring pros to handle it

The single biggest point of failure for an event with a live DJ is the sound system. If you’ve booked a venue or space with built-in sound, don’t assume it will be in good working condition. If the venue doesn’t provide a sound technician that is a big red warning sign the equipment may be a problem waiting to happen.

One time a LUXELIFE DJ was booked at an event that had an “in-house” sound system and when the DJ got there, the system was staticky and didn’t work properly — we are talking absolutely ATROCIOUS sound. We ended up sending in our sound team at the last minute, which was thankfully possible, and they brought in our own tried and tested sound system  on a rush-job basis. Moral of this story is that these surprises can cause stress and extra budget impact, but can be avoided entirely by hiring a professional sound team from day 1.

Fact is that really getting the sound right means hiring on a sound tech to make sure everything is connected and will work properly when the right time arrives. And because this is probably the last thing you want to handle for your event, we recommend hiring DJ agency that will provide its own sound tech (and if necessary sound equipment) as part of your contract.

It’s highly advisable to NOT use what the venue provides or and definitely don’t try and DIY it.

Make sure your DJ understands your brand and audience

At the risk of generalizing, let me generalize: not every DJ is a good match for every branded event, or more specifically the type of crowd the brand is trying to attract. For example, if you’re managing an event for a fashion or cosmetics brand, you will want to find a DJ that has the right look for your brand’s aesthetic and your target customers. (BTW check out our new page showcasing our awesome LUXELIFE DJs.)

At marketing activations especially, where literally every inch of space in the event venue is arranged to the specifics of that brand, having a DJ that does not “look the part” of the brand will stand out tremendously. If you’re launching a new eyelash brand, you’ll want a DJ (male or female) who is very conscious of their personal style; if you’re launching a new line of athletic underwear, your ideal DJ (male or female) will be more sporty.

This goes beyond the visual of course — you’ll want a DJ who knows how to play the genres and styles of music that match your brand. Make sure they have experience with the right music — whether it’s top 40, boy-band, EDM or hip-hop — and your event will hit all the right notes.

Make sure your DJ can actually mix music

AKA can your DJ actually DJ? Or are their DJ talents limited to hitting the ‘play’ button on a pre-recorded mix? The latter happens WAY more often than you’d think, as there are a lot of “model DJs” out there who look good but don’t know their way around the turntables at all, especially in the world of fashion/beauty corporate events.

This is a big problem because DJ talent and skills really do matter for the success of an event. If a marketing activation has a live music component, that is the sound that everyone in the venue will be hearing from the moment they enter to the moment they leave. And if you have a DJ who is just hitting play then coasting, there is a huge risk of losing the crowd.

Why? Because as a live DJ plays, they are constantly watching the crowd’s reaction to the music and making adjustments big and small to keep them feeling the vibe and engaged. A 70-minute premade set can’t be adjusted, and if the vibe starts to fade and the crowd begins thinking of other things, pulling out their phones to check Instagram or heading for the door, it can be very difficult to pull them back in.

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