How to Hire a Great DJ

Planning for a big party means making sure that your guests are having a great time. Besides having plenty of good food and drink, they'll also need plenty of entertainment. That's why Disk Jockeys are in such high demand for both public and private events. But how do you know what makes one DJ better than another?

Some of the best DJs come recommended by word of mouth. Consulting with friends, family members, and coworkers can give you an idea of how effective an entertainer their DJ was. We tend to remember a DJ who was either really great or really bad, so learn what you can from the people you know.

You might also want to research top-rated DJs in your area. Try using DJ search engines like Disk Jockey Online and

A good DJ--whether he's a solo act or one who works for an event planning company--should have his own website. This is useful for learning about a DJ's hourly rates, equipment needs, and music list.

When you're interviewing a DJ for the job, find out if they can guarantee they'll be able to perform at your event at the date and location specified. You should also get a sense for the disk jockey's personality. Do they like to grab the microphone and chat with the crowd all night, sit quietly and play songs, and or something in between? This can go a long way to making your event memorable and putting your guests in a good mood.

Once you've chosen the DJ for your party, it's time to get everything in place. This includes writing up a contract or other agreement between you and your DJ; a simple verbal agreement won't protect you in the event something goes wrong. You'll need to set up your playlist and other instructions ahead of the event; this includes when to start and finish playing music. You should also confirm with your DJ about a week before the event, going over the layout of the event site (for loading and unloading equipment) and how much the DJ is owed for his work.

As the person hosting an event, you have the right to ask the DJ you hire to change anything you don't like or that your guests aren't comfortable with. If they're professional, then it's their job to adjust their style to keep your guests entertained and make your party a success.

Image by Bryan Sereny on Flickr