Name brand recognition is an important marketing tool. But don't let the name brand fool you. Ask yourself are you buying a quality service or signing a contract with a flashy name marketed all over town? Make sure, no matter WHO or WHAT company you hire, you check their references, meet them, meet the entertainers doing the affair and stop by an affair (stop by before the affair starts) to see what their equipment looks like if you are unsure about the quality.
Few entertainment companies are/were household names. The question may arise one day, who should I get for my Wedding? Or my son's Bar Mitzvah or my daughter's Sweet 16? A good place to start isn't the yellow pages or online, it's with you, your family and friends.
Think if you ever saw a company you liked, then ask around. Finally go check the yellow pages and search online.
If you have a great company that you use all the time and they treat you right, then you are very lucky and treat your entertainers well! But, for those of you who don't have a favorite company or friends and family that can guide you successfully, this article is for you.
If you want the biggest and the best affair ever, be careful about who you hire. The biggest price-
tag doesn't mean the best quality. Before you book any company, always remember to get reference and meet with the company!
Small weekend companies are chancy to say the least, be careful, some of these companies operate after normal business hours after the owner gets home from his/her regular job to return calls.
These companies are ideal for small parties, backyard pool parties where precision timing and key are not necessary. Sometimes companies of this size don't use contracts, use verbal agreements, don't carry insurance, etc. and could potentially forget about your affair, not have proper equipment/backup equipment or could ruin your affair should they not be skilled enough.
There is a certain amount of skill that is required beyond picking up a home amplifier and strapping some turntables to it, pressing play is not the hardest part of the job. Your entertainment is the heart of your affair, regardless of what anyone would like to believe, most people do not speak of the food six months later, but, they will remember how the introductions were botched, how the music was horrible and how late the DJ arrived, or didn't arrive. Typically the price is lower, equipment is inferior, as is the music selection.
Larger companies that operate daily during business hours and that you can pretty much always call and get assistance with any questions is where we will go next. Companies of this size will typically carry backup equipment, use professional grade equipment, offer more options should you need and use contracts. The realm of companies is extremely large with a lot of price-wars being fought as you push higher and higher in price. These companies will have a nice list of references, possibly videos to view and most times the owner will always answer the phone and they'll know exactly what you discussed.
Hiring a company where the owner is at your affair is important if you want personal attention, this is good for high-end Sweet 16s, weddings and small Mitzvahs. Some of these companies can be cross-overs into the "brand name" companies, and are able to offer you the services of the "brand name" companies.
"Brand name" companies are those that have been in the business for years, some 20 or more, and have done thousands of parties. You've probably heard them on the radio or even TV, and they'll probably do hundreds of affairs this year! This sounds extremely promising, but guess what, it's not always...if you're trying to hire a company like this to play in your backyard, it might not happen, most prices would begin at or above $1000. Not ideal for a 3 hour pool party, nor would you need it. If you are planning a large affair where you will need many different services, companies like this would surely be able to hire out all the different types of entertainment and services you'll need and be able to coordinate it. Be wary though, should you just be having an affair that requires a DJ and maybe an MC, you might be thinking that for the $1,600 you're spending, you're getting the top of the line company at your affair.
In one sense you are, but in another you're not. Sure this company will be at the top of the contract, but you might want to stop and think about, you might not be Mr. and Mrs. Smith's wedding, you might be simply Wedding #20 at the Country Club, and your entertainers got the paperwork the Thursday before your affair. It happens, and it happens routinely. You might also want to think about how long the entertainer that will be at your affair has been working, have they been with the company long? Or where they sub-contracted for a few hundred dollars the week before because the company was over-booked, so they give it to a lower priced DJ. Once again, this happens, and it happens, routinely.
Be careful most of all, this article isn't to take jabs at any company in particular, nor am I recommending any company, just make sure you COMPLETELY understand what you need, if you need a small party with some nice tunes and don't want to pay a lot, hire a small company, they'll be appreciative and it will be mutually benefiting if you trust in them. Larger affairs between $500 and $3000 will need a full-time company the higher in price you go, assuming they are giving you higher quality and better serviced party. Some affairs will run as high as $600,000 and some will go as high as over $1 million, obvious it's not just a DJ spinning tunes at this point, but make sure you're getting what you paid for, and make sure the company you're hiring isn't doing a bunch of $10,000 affairs on the same day you are having you're wedding if you want the owner to be there for you on your special day.
This is a small reality in the entertainment world, most people will underestimate the entertainment and find out only too late, how much the entertainment means, and that when companies drop their price from $2000 to $1500 just to compete with other companies, think briefly, will the company dropping their price really want to do such a great job at a discounted price? Remember, your child isn't going to be turning 13 or 16 ever again and you can't return your wedding day.