This past weekend, as I was putting away my sound gear at the end of a reception, the bride’s brother, who is a musician, came up to talk to me. He mentioned that many times, he is setting up his gear long before guests arrive, and seeing that I was the last vendor there, he pointed out that many people don’t realize how much time goes into providing entertainment for an event.
It made me realize that if I did charge an hourly rate, my fee would be higher than my flat fee.
Peter Merry, who spoke at a one of the Mobile Beat DJ Conventions in Las Vegas I attended, discussed this same topic. Many of us reflected on our own dedication to our clients and the time we invest.
For one single event, consider the following time commitment from the DJ you hire:
* Visiting the venue site to discuss your expectations and sound support needs.
* Your first appointment to answer your questions and get to know each other’s personalities.
* A second appointment to really get into the details of the event and spend time discussing several options for personalizing your party.
* Your DJ may dedicate time researching music that is needed for the reception, and in my case, sometimes making special edits of songs or doing additional production that requires having the client meet with me at my studio.
* Also, your DJ should be in contact with you, and will spend time emailing, texting and/or calling you to update your event file details.
* The week of and the day before the event, your DJ should be reviewing final details, going over notes and putting everything in order for the event that weekend. Gear must be checked, loaded and sometimes modified to accommodate the sound support requirements.
* The day of the event, your DJ should arrive long before your guests. In addition to allowing extra time for any unexpected challenges, he or she will be setting up one, two or more sound systems, wireless mic(s) and lighting. Plus, coordinating with the venue manager on duty, coordinator, photographer and/or videographer.
* After all that, the actual time now begins for performance. Five or six hours later, your DJ will be breaking down the sound gear, loading it, transporting it back to home base and unloading.
Total time: Anywhere from 14 to 25 hours!
Something to consider when asking your potential DJ, “What is your hourly rate?”