One of easiest ways to bring life to your next Corporate or Promotional Event is to add a live DJ! In the last article, I discussed ways to use a DJ to take your live event to the next level. (Click Here to check out that article)
And while adding a DJ is one of the most versatile and cost effective ways to kick your event up a notch,
it’s important to understand when selecting your entertainment, that playing for a party and playing a promotional event are two very different things. To be most effective, you’ll want to book a DJ who understands the 4 factors that impact standard song selection at Corporate and Promotional events.
I’ve played several corporate and promotional events ranging from Retail Grand Openings for H&M and Tommy Hilfiger to and Beauty Trend Shows for Nordstrom, to trade shows for Florida Diversity Business Council, Rapid 3d Print, and SalesForce, to even 5k events for Life Link Florida and promotional give aways for GTE Financial. One thing that all of these events have in common is that there are 4 additional factors to take into consideration when choosing the songs you’ll play for the event.
1. What is the purpose of the event? The difference between a good Dj and a GREAT Dj is that they take this into consideration for every show. What is the client’s goal? That should be one of the top priorities on the mind of your DJ, most especially when playing for a promotional corporate event.
Here’s an example. When I walk in the door for my monthly spot at Salty’s in Gulfport, I know the client’s intention for me is to keep people dancing and circulating to the bar for drinks. Drink sales are their primary concern. So my song selection will be such that I play to my crowd to keep them there, and then rotate through longer periods of high energy music with short periods of lower energy music intended to send people back to the bar for another drink.
When I walk into Nordstrom for a Beauty Trend Show, their primary interest is that I keep people in the store and buying things. And that I highlight different brands to help boost sales. My song selection will be very different from that of Salty’s in these cases because Nordstrom’s customers aren’t there to dance. Instead, the music should be an enjoyable background addition, not as loud or high energy as a night club.
Each brand and event will have a different purpose. The DJ should be fully aware of the purpose, taking it into full consideration when playing the event.
2. What Is The Brand Image? This is an extremely important factor when playing for a brand, be it for a promotional or corporate event. A skilled DJ will be crystal clear on the brand image while preparing for and playing for one of these events. They will understand that it’s the difference between music that represents a young and hip brand vs. an alternative and edgy one.
An example would be for you to think of walking through the mall and going in and out of the different stores. The music that is playing in Foot Locker is probably not the same as the music that you’d hear playing in Neiman Marcus, which is likely to be different than the music that you hear playing in Hot Topic. Very different. And Imagine how equally confused you’d be if you were to switch the music between them. Imagine the impact of the Hot Topic music playing in Neiman Marcus. Or the Neiman
Marcus music playing in Hot Topic. Are you envisioning an empty store? A skilled promotional events DJ knows that playing music that isn’t on brand will ultimately have a negative impact on the event.
When I play in PINK by Victoria Secret, I choose very young and top 40 music. When I play for Hitachi, it tends to be more rock and throw backs, and for Saks 5th Avenue, more downtempo lounge music. Understanding the target audience and image of the brand is key for a strong promotional event DJ, as it will have a dramatic impact on the music selection.
3. Who is attending the event? The people who are actually physically there add another area of criteria to consider when choosing music. Is it a younger room? Are there more older people? Is there are large number of any specific nationality? While reading a room is an essential skill in a good Dj, being able to read a room and still consider the parameters of brand and purpose in selection of music makes a corporate events DJ truly great.
An excellent example of this is when I play fundraisers for Water Smart Tot’s Muslim female audience. While this particular brand wants to keep music upbeat and top 40 at their events, when playing for events that are primarily serving their Muslim American audience, I make a point to play a few traditional songs popular among those specific nationalities.
Another example is when I play with Nordstrom for their Beauty Trend Events. While I’m very clear on the music that is appropriate to the Nordstrom brand, I’ll slide along the spectrum of songs based on who I actually see in the store at the time. If I see an older audience, I’ll play songs that are on brand for Nordstrom but also appeal to an older audience. If I see more younger people, I’ll play songs that are still on brand for Nordstrom, but will have more appeal with a younger audience. And of course, if it’s a mixed audience, then so is my song selection. A strong events DJ will understand how to play to the audience in the room while still staying true to the brand’s image.
4. What is the flow of the event? It’s equally important to understand the flow of the event when considering song selection. A skilled DJ will take the event timeline into consideration as another parameter when choosing the appropriate songs for each event.
An example is the Live. Love. Give 5k Race that I play annually for Lifelink of Florida. Being a 5k race, it begins early. When I first start playing it’s at the beginning of the event, as the race is just starting. I play a lot of really high energy and upbeat music here. As the race is coming to an end I play celebratory and victory music. And as we are honoring the donors and those no longer with us, I play inspiring music. The entire flow of the music is based on what’s going on at that point in the event. Many corporate events and trade shows will have specific time line events happening, which a good events DJ will consider when selecting music.
Remember that while bringing a DJ in for your next event can be an impactful and low-cost way to take your event to the next level, it is imperative that you hire a DJ who understands the 4 factors that impact song selection at promotional and corporate events. Sensing the fragile dynamic changes is one of the skills that differentiates between events Djs who are good and events Djs who are great!
Pro Tip: Remember that taking the time to screen before booking can be your greatest asset in ensuring the quality of your event, especially because the success of your event will be greatly impacted by the entertainment that you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to help you make an informed decision!
Finally – if you’re still a little lost in the planning process for your event, CLICK HERE to become a Shannon C insider and download the DJ Hiring and Event Planning Workbook for free! This workbook will help you with sourcing and interviewing leads, collecting information to make sure you get an accurate quote, and planning out your events timeline and music selection for your DJ. Make sure your next event goes super smooth and download it today!