Private party gigs are the best ways to get referrals, and the key to more successful gigs is better communication. The ability to fully understand the wants and needs of the person throwing the party is essential to the success of the party. When you fail to understand and accomplish the goals of the organizer, not only do you risk an unhappy event organizer, but also the party could be a flop.
I recommend to keep an open line of communication throughout the planning and event stages to ensure that you are fully prepared and able to do your best to help the party be a hit. Here are some ways to do that.
This is where you will first introduce yourself to the event organizer. Depending on the type of event, you can either have the initial conversation in person or on the phone.
There are a few main things to accomplish in this interaction.
- Introduce yourself and tell them a little about yourself and your experience.
- Find out about them and the reason for the party.
- Get the important details of the party. i.e. Time, Date, Location, etc.
- Try to get a feel for the expectations of the event and the expectations of you.
- Manage those expectations.
- Exchange contact information.
Below is a little information about each mode of contact.
If you have the time and are able to meet with the person in charge of the event, this is the best way to go. Not only, do you immediately create a relationship with them, but it also shows that this event is very important to you as well.
You can decide on a case by case basis on who to meet with, but with weddings it is imperative. Weddings are typically the most costly and high pressure type of private event, and you want to make sure that the couple is having their needs met.
Trust me, you do not want an unhappy bride!
For the in person meeting, make sure that you are groomed and dressed well. Not only does it create a great first impression, but it shows that you are a professional. Also, either bring a piece of paper to take notes or have a form for them to fill out with the important details.
If you are unable to meet with the organizer in person, at least speak to them on the phone before the event. A willingness to pick up the phone shows a level of confidence. It also conveys that you can be trusted.
Have a pen and paper handy in order to take down notes and write down relevant details. Also, use it to write down their email at the end of the conversation in order to follow up with them.
Follow Up Email
The follow up email is important to confirm all the information you have previously gathered from the initial interaction. Not only is it important to have everything in writing that you both can see, but there are a few extra details you would like to get. A successful email will contain the following:
- Thank them for taking the time out of their day for your initial interaction.
- Confirm the date, time, and location.
- Go over the expectations.
- Confirm all the details regarding your payment for your services.
- Ask them to assemble a list of “must play” songs.
- Also, see if there are any “don’t play” songs.
- Let them know about your space requirements for your DJ setup as well as electricity.
- Thank them for choosing you as their DJ and let them know that you look forward to helping make their event a success.
- Let them know that if anything changes to contact you.
Final Pre-Event Contact
Personally, I like to update them via email throughout the time leading up to the event. But if it has been a while since you previously had spoken with the event planner, you may want to contact them again before the event.
Whether it is by email or by telephone, just make sure that everything is going as planned. A lot of times event planners are really busy and details can slip their mind. So just make sure that nothing has changed since you last spoke.
Day of the Party
If you have done everything above, this party should be a breeze. When you show up to the event, immediately find the person in charge. If you haven’t met in person yet, don’t be shy to ask around. There are a few things left to go over.
- Introduce yourself if you have not met yet.
- Find out where you will be setting up.
- Ask if there are any last minute changes.
- Let them know to tell you if they need any adjustments such as volume, etc.
- Make sure everything went well at the end of the party and they are happy.
- Get paid.
- Thank them for everthing.
Communication is key to the success for private party gigs, and as the DJ it is your job to initiate it and maintain it. Event planners are usually very busy. Between the food, venue, guests, photographers, and everything else there is a lot for them to deal with. It is easy for them to overlook details.
So make their job as easy as possible and you will be rewarded with the same.
If you do a great job at a private party and are easy to work with, there are many benefits. Not only does the event go smoother for you, but everyone is happy. And when everyone is happy, they are more likely to refer you to other people. More referrals means more gigs. And more gigs means you are off to an awesome career!