How to Choose a Mobile Disco for your Wedding or Event
This article is intended to give anybody looking to book a mobile disco, some ideas of what questions to ask, and what areas to look for, when choosing a Mobile Dj for their Wedding. Although written to advise a client looking to book a Mobile Disco for a Wedding Reception, the various points made within, may also be suitable for many other family functions where the services of a Mobile Disco may also be employed.
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One of the first things you should look for when choosing a Mobile Disco, is the information which is given in the Brochure / Website. Has the Dj taken time to provide pictures of his / her roadshow, have they written in detail about the services that they provide and taken the time to publicise how long they have been in business, what music they play, and any testimonials or professional affiliations they have. What are your first impressions of the DJ and the business they run?. Even at this early stage you should trust your instincts.
Another area, you should look for is the availability of information, does the DJ clearly advertise their contact information. DJ’s who conduct business purely through a hotmail or yahoo address, or those who choose only give a throw away mobile phone number as a sole point of contact, should perhaps be avoided.
The next is to contact the Mobile Disco by email or phone, to assess their suitability for your fuction. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions which you feel are important to you, and it is often a good idea to either email these, or have them written down when you make the call. The DJ is a service provider, and will have allowed plenty of time to address any questions or concerns which their clients may have. Look for descrepencies in areas where the information provided by the Dj doesn’t quite match up with that given on the website!.
When considering booking a Mobile Disco, you should expect the DJ to play a mixed music selection suitable for all of the age groups attending. At most Wedding Receptions, with family present this usually means a wide and varied evening of music suitable for young and old tastes alike. Avoid booking any DJ who seems only interested in playing one type of music, or who will play music which may be unsuitable for the age groups in attendance. Ensure that the DJ has a comprehensive music collection, and seems knowledgable and confident on all eras of music. Again, any Dj who askes you to describe what Motown or 70’s music sounds like, is not really experienced enough and should perhaps be best avoided for this type of function.
If required, your DJ should be able to incorporate a playlist, containing your favourite requests into the evening disco. However don’t make this list too long or specialised, since a lot of DJ’s work by “reading” the dancefloor reaction and ensuring continuity of music depending on which types of music the audience are responiding to. Since all people and audiences are different, and all individuals have different musical tastes, it is impossible to create a playlist of music before the actual function with a guarantee that running order will work with your guests.
Most DJ’s like to also invite and include the requests of the Wedding Guests too, as well as those requested in advance by the Bride and Groom. Remember, when booking a DJ, you are also paying for his / her experience as an enertainer, so please be prepared to allow a little flexibility and continuity in your personal music choices, and any request list which you may choose to provide your DJ with.
At most Weddings it is often a custom for the Bride and Groom to choose the first dance, and this signals the start of the actual Evening Function. At some Weddings the Bride and Groom may also choose a second track too, and this can be used to invite other guests onto the dancefloor to join the happy couple, or for the Bride and her Father to share a dance. Occasionally a third track for another key family member could also be incorporate as well, if required. Remember to ensure that this information and any request list is sent to the DJ, well ahead of the actual function date.
When choosing a Mobile Disco, don’t just base your requirements and expectations on price alone. At many Wedding Receptions, large amounts of money have usually already been spent on the venue, the venue decor, flowers, food, and of course the Wedding Cake and other services such as a photographer, and some may think nothing of spending hundreds on extras such as a chocolate fountain whilst skimping on the entertainment!. Whilst these areas are important, many clients do make the mistake of booking a cheaper disco as a way of saving money and are then disappointed with the results.
Realistically, it is false economy to just book the Mobile Dj who comes in with the lowest quote. Don’t forget that the evenings entertainment, will play a big role in the success of any Wedding Reception, and an inexperienced DJ, or one who doesn’t turn up at all, may ruin an otherwise pefect day. Equally a Dj who plays too loudly or who plays unsuitable music may chase away your guests early and ruin the enjoyment of those who do remain until the end. When bookng a DJ, you are paying for the difference between a jukebox in the corner and a professional entertainer, and the latter will of course expect a professional fee for their services.
A Good Dj will be able to create a positive atmosphere and have the experience to make the function work. Remember that it is the Dj’s experience you are paying for, and not just the flashing lights.
When booking a Mobile Disco also ask them if they have public liability insurance. This is important, should any accidents occur between the Disco Equipment and your guests, which is at the liability of the DJ you have the reassurance that they are covered. Just as importantly, a lot of venues and hotels will not allow a Mobile Disco to enter their premises unless this certificate can be produced. Therefore it is in your own interests to make sure that the DJ who you book, has this minimum requirement, otherwise you may see your disco being refused entry and be unable to carry out his obligations, leaving you without a dj, on the evening of your function. In the UK, Mobile DJ’s are also required at some venues to produce PAT (Electrcal Safety) certificates and so, if you live in the UK or other countries which require this, then make sure that your mobile disco has the level of requirements expected by your hotel or Wedding venue.
Most DJ’s will dress accordingly depending on the formality of the event, at Wedding Receptions the usual dress for a function would be a Tux or a suit. If you have any special requirements for attire, such as black tie or if the function has a theme or fancy dress, then any DJ worth their reputation will dress suitably for the function or theme if instructed.
This is YOUR function and YOUR special day, so any mobile disco should be flexible as to the arrangements and your music requirements, so it is important to discuss these requirements prior to making a confirmed booking. Most DJ’s structure their fee according to how many hours they work, so give some serious considerations to the timescale of the event. Remember that the Evening Function and its start time is reliant not only on other earlier activites such as the ceremony and the wedding breakfast running to schedule, but also the arrival of any guests for the Evening function who may be running late. So don’t book your disco to start too early in order to allow for some inevitable over running and late arriving guests.
When considering the finishing time for your disco, also consider how long most of the guests have been in attendance, will they have the energy to dance until 1AM, if they have been at the ceremony since 1PM?. Do you have a function with a lot of young children or elderly relations who may leave the venue early? have any relatives travelled a long distance to be there, and who may too need to leave early in order to return home?. All these are important considerations which decide whether your Wedding Disco finishes at Midnight or runs on well into the early hours!, and again the duration of the function will reflect in your DJ’s fee.
Also remember to mention to the DJ any special requirements. Do you want the use of the Microphone and P,A system for the speeches?, Do you want background music during any meal or buffet breaks?, is the DJ sharing the reception with a band?. Is the Dj expected to set up in a marquee?, is there limited space at the venue or limited access to set up?
Above all, always trust your insticts when contacting Mobile Discos, consider how much interest the DJ showed in your function, did they ask any questions?, did they appear professional and courteous?, how long did it take them to respond to your enquiry?, did they answer your questions in detail?.
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Remember that how long a Mobile Disco has been in business is an important factor, if in doubt you should always remember to ask the DJ if they can provide references from clients who have booked them for similar events. Please remember that is not always practical to see a Mobile DJ working, especially if that DJ only provides mobile discos for weddings, and of course in this situation it would not be ethical or professional for a working Dj to invite potential clients to other peoples private functions for viewing purposes.
When you choose your Disco and book the event, then expect to pay a small deposit in order to secure the date of the function. It’s also very important that your booking details and terms are sent to you in writing, and that you have some form of contract with the DJ.
I hope that this article has proved useful in giving some basic information on what questions to ask, what to look out for, and the various areas of planning which should be considered when booking a mobile disco for your event.