While it may appear on the surface that all DJs are the same, the reality is that this couldn't be further from the truth. DJs come in all styles and flavors, from bedroom enthusiasts and weekend hobbyists to full-time professionals and headlining acts. There are dozens of characteristics and skills that set different DJs apart from one another - so many so that we couldn't name them all in this article. However, today we're going to cover what I consider to be the top 6 things you should consider if you're looking to hire a Utah DJ for your event, party, gathering, or celebration. We'll cover everything from the obvious, like mixing style and emcee abilities, to the less obvious such as energy level and communication preferences.
At the top of mind when hiring a DJ is their personal mixing style. You'll encounter many different styles of mixing in your local DJ market. At one extreme we have the hands-off human jukeboxes who simply switch from one song to another without transitions. On the other are the club and festival DJs who are often seamlessly blending from one song to the next every minute. The space between these two extremes is a spectrum, and when choosing a Utah DJ you should consider where your preferences fall. Are you looking for someone to manage your playlist or are you after an artist who will take your favorite songs and create something that keeps the audience engaged? You can find out a potential Utah DJ's mixing style by either asking or listening to their mixes on Mixcloud or other social media platforms.
Another important aspect of choosing a DJ is his or her processes. By processes, we mean the steps that they go through for each event to make sure they are prepared and that the event goes off without a hitch. For mobile DJs and wedding DJs especially, processes are the way in which they set up planning meetings, create timelines, work with other vendors, and handle requests. It may be important for you to be able to reach your DJ day or night with questions as you plan your event - in that case, you're better off not hiring a more introverted Utah DJ who simply shows up on the day of the event to perform. Likewise, if you're hoping to collaborate with your DJ to come up with unique lighting ideas or song choices, make sure that this is a part of their process. Find a DJ who has a process and who also has a contract that spells out what is expected.
This may come as a surprise to you, but not all DJs are great emcees. In fact, some DJs really aren't emcees at all! While the stereotype for a DJ is a loud, outgoing personality who loves to talk on the microphone, the reality is that you'll encounter DJs who both love and hate the microphone. If you yourself are a more reserved, quiet person then you may opt for a DJ who focuses mainly on critical announcements but otherwise works quietly in the background. This may also be the case if you prefer for the music to be the focal point of the event, not the emceeing. On the flip side, there are those people who live for the games, singalongs, and interactive moments who would feel shortchanged without a good MC.
Price | Utah DJ
Ah, price. The one differentiator everyone knows about. There's not much to say on price other than with Utah DJs, like most things in life, you truly do "get what you pay for." It’s hard to make generalizations about price, but you’ll often find DJs separated into a few distinct categories. Around $1,000 and under will be the budget, hobbyist options. From $1,000 to $3,000 or so are the professional, full-time DJs who are out there every weekend working events. Above $3,000 you’ll find the high-end, luxury DJs who are sought after both locally and around the country. There are great DJs in each category, so when discussing price with your Utah DJ ask about what their price includes, is everything bundled together vs a la carte, and what they charge for things like overtime and upgrades.
Energy level is another important and frequently overlooked factor in choosing a Utah DJ. Like emcee abilities and personality, the energy a DJ brings to your event can have a huge impact on the outcome. Events like open houses and networking meetings may call for a more relaxed, low-key DJ style who can maintain a vibe without being overbearing. Other events like college Greek house parties and high school dances call for an energetic, high-octane DJ who keeps people engaged from doors open to last song. Checking out their social media, videos, and mixes can give you an idea of their general energy. However, your best bet is to find a DJ who has the skills to vary their energy level according to the event. Someone who can keep things silky-smooth during slower portions of an event and match their energy to the crowd as the event goes on.
Communication is the last and one of the most important things to keep in mind when hiring a Utah DJ. For many events, like weddings and significant birthdays, the DJ can be the glue that keeps a timeline together. Whether or not that timeline goes according to your vision depends largely on your DJ’s ability to communicate with you and understand your goals. There are plenty of DJs who get the logistical details of an event, have you sign a contract, and then vanish to never be heard of again until they show up at the venue on the day of the event. Others have a high attention to detail, getting together with their clients one, two, or more times to rehearse the nuts and bolts of an event. Ask yourself this – are they sending you their price via text and then just having you Venmo them? Or are they providing you with a link to more information, a contract, their process, and pricing transparency? Which you choose depends on how involved you want to be but be aware that both types exist and do amazing work.