It's the never ending question, how much is a fair price for a Disc Jockey and how much is TOO much to pay? It all comes down to personal preference, what kind of event, how comfortable you are with your Disc Jockey, his or her business practices, marketing materials etc.
Based on a standard 4 hour event you could be charged anywhere between $250 & $700 dollars. What does let's say $250 dollars get you? Depending on the DJ, about the same as $700 dollars will get you. One key difference in pricing simply comes down to this; small Disc Jockey Service vs. Large Disc Jockey service. Typically a smaller company will not have all the bells and whistles as the larger company in the areas of specialty lighting (lasers for instance), big fancy vans or trailers with the company name on it, and in some cases the Disc Jockey's themselves in regards to dress, vocal mic ability etc. That is not to say that small company DJ's are un-professional or lack talent, but simply that the overall presentation of the event may be different.
Smaller companies tend to have much lower overhead costs so those savings are past on to the consumer, whereas larger companies have larger overhead costs so they must charge more for their services. When searching for a Mobile Entertainment company ask the following questions of whom you contact:
1) Is your equipment professional? (ask for brands they use and look them up online)
2) Do you carry extra equipment in case of equipment failure? (answer should be yes)
3) Can you provide references?
4) Can I meet or see a bio on the Disc Jockey that will be performing at my event?
5) Do you charge for set up and breakdown of your equipment as part of my total hours?
6) Do you have and provide a contract for services? (protects both the consumer and the company)
7) Can you tailor my event to mine and my guests musical preferences?
A bit more on the last question of tailoring the event to musical preferences, I have had many conversations with prospective and booked clients telling me that they were at an event where a disc jockey was performing (including wedding receptions), and that the DJ was not playing the music that was requested, or was ignoring guests requests, or seemed perferctly happy playing what he or she wanted to play despite repeated requests from the client to tailor more towards a particular crowd of guests. This sort of performance not only can ruin an event, but can cause un-needed tension during the event. So make sure you are hiring a company that can or will tailor to your likes. Keep in mind that most if not all DJ's try to play music that will get the crowd engaged and dancing, and that for the most part the DJ can and will tailor to what is being responded to by the guests...but there are those few...enough said!
Back to the original question of what your Disc Jockey should cost. Just keep in mind less expensive in most cases does not mean less talented or un-professional equipment, just be sure and ask the questions above to qualify your selection(s). At the same time, the more expensive does not nessessarily mean better Disc Jockeys will better equipment. All mobile disc jockeys should be able to answer the questions above with no problem if they are professional and worth whatever amount of money you care to spend on their services.
Until next time take care and I hope this blog has helped or answered any questions you may have had.
Sunburst Sound & Entertainment