Well let’s start from the beginning…
You have picked a venue for your party, your venue may tell you that the “resident DJ” is in with the cost, or must be used.
At this point most people just accept that this is a good deal and it may well be as there are some excellent resident DJ outfits, but you should make sure that what you are getting, is value for your hard earned money and not just a venue supplying music and a few lights for your event.
If you have a preferred mobile disco then insist that you want your own, but make sure they are fully accredited with…
• In date public liability insurance
• In date PAT test certificate
There is nothing worse than on the day of the party the venue asks for these from a DJ and they do not have them – Party over before it starts and believe me this happens.
If your party is in your own venue then you have all the control and you can pick the disco YOU want based on your criteria, but as above you really MUST ensure that your disco is accredited with…
• Hold a P.P.L. Public Performance License (MAY be required)
• P.L.I. Public Liability Insurance, £10,000,000,
• All equipment holding a current PAT tested certificate,
Don’t forget if your disco has a problem on your property are you insured? So make sure they are fully covered.
Choosing your Disco
This is easy – hit the internet and pick a disco… WRONG this is a decision that you need to think about. You ask for quotations and you will get tones of e-mails from mobile DJs offering there service.
As an example if you are having a party in your house or at a venue from say 18:00 to 23:30, you will receive quotes from £60 to £200+ so how do you choose?
A few simple pointers to help you pick your disco….
• Do they have the correct IN DATE accreditation (you can ask to see this at any time)
• Contact details should be a private & mobile number (not just a mobile)
• Do they have a web site where you can see what you are getting? (Not just a few or a lot of pictures of people dancing).
• Ensure the DJ has equipment big enough for your party or venue…
• Ensue they pay as much attention to your event as they would to their own.
• Make sure you get a booking form, complete it and return it to the disco (this can protect you if something goes wrong).
• Some Discos will request a non-refundable deposit, as a rule we don’t, but there is neither a right nor wrong here.
So there are a few basics so what can go wrong?
1. Your Disco is a no show or cancels.
2. They have no accreditation.
3. The equipment is not as good as you thought.
Let’s look at this in further detail
1. The “no show” now let’s be fair like anything in life things can go wrong, emergencies, accidents (god forbid) but it pains me to say that the “double booked” or “I am sick” is common place for no shows. So why and how can this happen – well again it pains me to say that some people will do this, but you have booked you “£60 – £80” disco and do not have all the quotations and paperwork along with accreditation and they get a booking for more £££ on that date! SOME people will just let you down for a quick earner so use a DJ who you can reference (See references).
2. If they say they are accredited and you have reason to doubt it ask to see there certificates.
3. If you have a venue that is for 100 to 150 people you want to fill the room with music and light not necessarily thumping but quality sound at a nice level – check out what you are getting for the cost and let’s not forget the aesthetics, not only should your DJ look smart but the set up should be (you don’t want to see wires all over the place or a tatty setup).
You book your disco and your party is from 18:00 to 23:30 so you would think that lets say £100 is fare… Things to take into account from a quality larger set mobile disco…
• Pre event planning.
• Test & load equipment 30 to 60 min.
• Travel Time.
• Set up time & sound check. (We can do ours in about an hour, 90 min is better).
• Pack up time (30 to 45 min).
• Travel time & unload
So when you add this up the show is not from 18:00, but from 16:30; and will not end at 23:30, but more like 02:00.
Something to think about when you book a cheap disco, get the best you can afford.
Ok so you have narrowed down your options and want to know more… You will visit their web site and they will have a few well-chosen references or comments on their page and why not… most companies do that, but let’s be fare these are good but don’t count for a lot unless they are willing to back this up with actual references if you request them. Don’t be afraid to ask after all it’s your party.
Good providers should ask all our clients the chance to give honest feedback after all their events. This is good for the operator and good for the client, as the event starts when it’s booked and ends when the feedback is received. Be honest with your feedback.
There are mobile and resident disco operators out there that just want to play the tunes and take your money, so remember the cheapest are not necessarily the worst and the most expensive are not necessarily the best. When you book you want a disco that gives you “light and sound” to fill your room; with equipment that looks and sounds good; with a DJ that you can talk to; who plans for your event and is customer focused.
An Article by Four Js Entertainment – a Mobile Disco company based in Lancashire