So You Need to Hire A DJ, But Don’t Know Where To Start

So You Need to Hire A DJ, But Don’t Know Where To Start

With October steadily approaching, it’s a good bet that you’ve got a halloween party, birthday party, holiday party, or even New Years Eve party that you’re already planning for. The last quarter of the year tends to be filled with festivities and events, and likewise it is affectionately
referred to as “in season” by Djs, Event Planners, Photographers, and other professionals in the Events industry.

I’m mentioning this to you in case you’re putting off planning until the last moment. As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to booking professional Djs in season, best get a move on or all the good ones will have gone!

I know for myself personally, I often put off things that I’m not really sure how to start. And while I’m sure that almost everyone my age and younger knows someone through at least 2 degrees of separation that is a DJ, it’s also possible that your friend’s boyfriend who plays once a month at a local night club isn’t really the person with whom you want to trust the success of your party. So where do you start?

Don’t worry. Take a deep breath. I got you!

1. Finalize your event date, time, and location.

This seems SUPER obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people contact me without having fully committed to a date, timeframe, location, or some/all of the above. While it is AWESOME to get an early start on event planning, in order for a DJ or any service provider in the industry to write you a quote, they will at the very least need to know the date, timeframe, and location of your event. So first thing is first. Make sure you’ve made decisions to get those details in order. Then and only then is it time to move forward with your hiring process.

2. Gather a list of DJ Leads.

This can be done in many ways. Here are a few that I recommend.

  • Ask Friends, Family, and Network for referrals. Usually the best leads are referred by word of mouth.
  • Tap Into Your Social Network. Try a facebook or Instagram post that says something like: “Looking for a DJ for an event on + Your Date. Tag your favorites!”
  • Ask Google. Try searching for phrases like “ Best Events DJ + Your Zip Code” or “ Best Corporate Events DJ + Your City” ie: Best Event DJ in Tampa
  • Try a referral website like or These sites will allow you to search for Djs in your area, see reviews, and request a quote. (Note: When requesting a quote through one of these websites, you will also usually be required to sign a contract and pay through the site as well, Similar to Upwork or Fiverr)

3. Do Some Research.

Once you’ve got your list of DJ leads, it’s time to do some research. You will want to check out these Djs for yourself to make sure that they have a musical style and personality that will work well with your event. Remember that some Djs are able to play to many types of audiences and others prefer to play only specific genres or for specific audiences. It’s totally ok to book a niche specific DJ as long as that is what will work for your event. Example: booking a Drum and Bass DJ for your company’s holiday party might not work out so well, but booking a Drum and Bass DJ for your Christmas Eve Rave might work out great! Here’s a few ways to determine if a DJ is a good fit for your event.

  • Give them a listen! Check out Mixcloud.Com,,, and of course, Google to find samples of their shows and to listen to them in action! This is a great way to preview your candidate’s musical style and mixing skills.
  • Check out their Online Presence. Google and see if they have a website. Most DJS don’t list their prices online, but some do. You may also be able to see pictures of them in action and get a better feel for their brand. You may also find customer reviews and links to their social media. All of these things can provide helpful information for the selection process.
  • Find them on Social Media. This is a great way to get a feel for their physical aesthetic, personality, and most importantly, their personal demeanor.

4. Request a Quote / Consultation

This is the last step in the initial DJ Sourcing process. While in some instances you might feel comfortable enough with one of the Djs that you’ve researched to only request a quote for the event, I personally believe that it’s always good practice to do a quick consultation, either on the phone or in person, so that there is no room for misinterpretation around the details of your event. This can be as easy as requesting a phone call via their website or social media. Either way, the right professional will be happy to make time to talk with you about your event, so reach out!

These tips should definitely get you started on your search for the best event dj for you! Remember to take your time and do your research, because the success of your event is greatly impacted by the entertainment that you choose. Also, remember that if you’re booking for the end of the year, time is running out, so get a move on!

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!

Happy Eventing!

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