Below are some of the basic questions you should ask any disc jockey company before hiring their services.

Who will be entertaining at my event?

Hiring an entertainer is a very personal choice, so make sure that it is a person you choose, not just a company name. Be sure that you meet the disc jockey prior to signing a contract. You should also be guaranteed in writing that the person promised will be the same person who will entertain at your event. 

How much experience does my entertainer have?

Experience can be measured in years or by number of events. Keep in mind that you should be hiring a specific entertainer, and that the entertainer’s experience is what counts, not the years of experience that the company has.

Will you play the music I want at my event?

Any reputable disc jockey company will not only let you make a list of music that you wish to have played, but you should also be allowed to make a list of songs that you do not want to be played. In many cases, people know what they do not like more than what they do. You should also be able to provide any specialty music that you wish played that the company does not own and cannot locate; this is particularly important when dealing with ethnic music. 

Do you use commercial grade equipment, and do you carry back-up equipment?

Most disc jockey companies use equipment that was designed to handle the everyday wear that mobile disc jockey equipment is subjected to. There should be some sort of backup or ability to continue in the event any major components fail at an event; what happens if a speaker, mixing board, or amplifier fails? If your disc jockey is using a computer to present music at your event, a backup computer or a music collection that can be played from another source is paramount; computers crash, the question is when. You should also ask what bit rate your entertainer's library is recorded at; anything less that 192 kbps (kilo bits per second) is considered low quality by most in the industry. Back-up equipment is a must; any disc jockey who does not carry back-up equipment is putting your event at risk. 

Can you provide me with references?

There are two kinds of references that you should look for: the first kind is references from recent satisfied customers; the second source is from industry professionals; photographers, videographers, and venue personnel are all very good sources for references as well as referrals. 

Do you carry liability insurance?

This sounds like a strange question, but not only is liability insurance good business practice, it is good common sense. Consider these two situations: If a speaker fell and injured one of your guests, who would be responsible; If the disc jockey causes any damage to the venue while working for me, who is responsible. You might think, things like these never happen. Both are actual incidents; luckily both companies had liability insurance to cover the damages.

This information is provided as an aid to buyers, and is based on what industry professionals from throughout the United States believe is important. These questions are only a starting point; all of your questions should be answered to your satisfaction before you sign a contract with any company.