Hiring a DJ for your special event?
These are very important questions you should ask?
We are Starz Entertainment in the Phoenix, AZ Metro area! Starz has conducted over 10,000 events in Arizona. This is what we feel you should ask your DJ prior to hiring them! Our answers have been added between each question!
We strongly recommend that you ask the following questions?
1. Do you take requests and will you discuss and help us plan out our special songs ahead of time?
Any entertainer who is a professional understands your needs to have the music you desire at your event. They also realize there will be a great cross section of people in attendance and that they will have requests as well. A professional DJ will sit with you ahead of time and discuss your preferences, give you feedback, and help you in planning to make your event special but also in making it your own and not just like every one else’s events. They will also allow you to choose songs or artists that they do not want played!
We provide each client with numerous lists and access to their own personalized planner where they can listen to music clips and choose all of their requests and prioritize them. We always take requests at events and read the crowd, choosing the appropriate songs.
2. Can We meet Our actual DJ first and will we meet again prior to our Event?
He’s going to run the most important day of your life… you might want to meet him in person to make sure you are comfortable with his style, demeanor, and knowledge of your event type? We always prefer an in person final meeting 2 to 4 weeks prior to your event, however we can do them over the phone if your schedule does not allow time for an in person meeting.
We always allow you to meet your DJ and lock them in for your event.. Of course in event of illness or act of god we have to reserve the right to substitution. For a typical wedding you might meet with your DJ 2 or 3 times prior to your event date!
3. Will you provide a contract for our event?
Unfortunately in today’s world a written contract is an absolute necessity! Insurance requires written contracts and contracts make sure all issues are addressed before any questions can arise. ALWAYS GET A WRITTEN CONTRACT! If you are expecting a specific entertainer, make sure you get it in writing as well.
From the time pricing is put in our system you can print out and review a contract from your planner at any time. Most of our contract is to tell you what to expect from us and what we expect from you.. We are always open to questions and to pinpoint what you need! We always allow you to meet your DJ and lock them in as best we can… Of course in event of illness or act of god we have to reserve the right to substitution.
4. Is My DJ a specialist in my event type (i.e. weddings, mitzvahs, company events) or are they a jack of all trades who do whatever event comes up?
It is always best to have a specialist perform an event. For events like Weddings, or Mitzvahs, you need someone trained and familiar with those events. For school dances you need someone who knows today’s music extremely well. Always ask your DJ what types of events they are doing?
We have several divisions to our company and enough employees that we can send out a specialist on almost every event. We have numerous people who specialize and do weddings almost exclusively, we have many Karaoke specialists, and we have lots of company party and school event specialists as well!
5. Do you do this full time or is it a side job or a hobby??
Someone who is full time will take your event more seriously and be more committed to making sure it goes well or their livelihood will be hurt! Who has more to lose; the guy who does this for fun and could decide at any time his weekend off is more important than your wedding or the person who makes his living doing this, dedicates every day to making himself a better DJ and risks his professional reputation if your event is not as you would wish!
Our entire management and office staff works full time as DJ’s. Most of the DJ’s on our staff are also full time, though a few work day jobs. They have earned our respect over the years and we know they take this business seriously or they do not stay on our staff!
6. an you Demonstrate how professional your company is by providing me with proof of liability insurance for your business, Registered Trade Name and proof of obtaining legal Radio edit music?
Responsible business owners carry liability insurance both to protect themselves and their clients and fellow vendors. Many facilities require such insurance. Ask your DJ or entertainment company for their insurance certificate to verify they have coverage. Any business that truly values their name will register that name to protect themselves. Doing business legally requires purchase of musical content. Are they doing this?
We carry insurance through Commercial Brokerage Coverage. We will provide a copy of our insurance policy to anyone booking an event with us. We subscribe to music via TMStudios.com and several internet based services. Our trade name has been registered in Arizona since 1999.
7. Are you a member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau? Have you Ever had a complaint? What is your procedure for dealing with an upset customer?
Check your local Better Business Bureau for complaints and to see how they have been handled. Is the company you are considering a member of the Bureau? Companies that are members have agreed to having a 3rd party professional mediator become involved to settle your dispute!
Starz Entertainment has done over 10,000 events in the Phoenix Metro area and has NEVER had a complaint at the Better Business Bureau. We investigate any problems that occur and deal with them proactively before it ever needs to go any further.
8. Are you using professional grade music, sound, and lighting equipment?
A professional should not be using cheap or home grades of music and lighting equipment. Professional gear is made to be more durable and more efficient.
The main brands of gear we use our JBL, Peavey, Mackie, Crown, BOSE, Shure, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Nady. All of our equipment is professional grade gear designed for heavy usage. Please ask us if you have particular questions.
9. Do you carry backup gear at events?
Backup gear is very important to ensure you do not have a major problem. A DJ with no backup for an amplifier or no redundancy in speakers is asking for trouble. Not every piece of gear must have a backup, but common sense dictates a backup for microphone, amplifier, speaker, and either PC or CD player, depending on which you use.
Most of our DJ’s carry an extra amplifier and extra speaker to events. We are computerized and most of our DJ’s carry an extra PC as well. We have a roadie on call on Saturdays to bring emergency gear to any of our DJ’s. Starz Entertainment did 3 emergency weddings on calls day of wedding last year. We also did 4 more weddings that were booked within 14 days of the wedding date. We keep extra personnel on call on all but the busiest weekends when we actually use local professional groups to maintain a solid backup. We carry more DJ gear than we have people to use, so extra gear is not a problem.
10. Does the entertainer at my event know the proper protocol for my event?
Every event is different. A professional DJ company should have a training program for newer employees so that all get trained in different types of events, by someone with a great deal of experience
All of our DJ’s must complete a 6 session classroom training before they even go out as a DJ helper… All of our actual DJ’s have done at least 20 events as a helper… and been approved by 2 different supervisors before your event. WE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! We have specialized training programs for wedding, bar and bat mitzvahs, quinceneras, anniversaries, school events and church events.
11. Am I charged for set up time and will you arrive early enough to be done set up prior to guest arrival?
A “professional” DJ understands that any variety of things can happen to cause a problem before an event. Highway closures, bad traffic, accidents can all lower the amount of time they have to set up, so if they allotted time for this there is never a problem, At the venue, parking constraints, load in problems, dropped, gear, electrical issues can all delay set-up. All of this needs to be planned for and not a problem for your event.
We take being punctual to an entirely different level. Our smallest events require us to arrive 60 minutes in advance. We typically arrive 90 minutes to 120 minutes prior to start. Our DJ’s are required to complete sound checks 30 minutes prior to your 1st guest arriving… So if they arrive a little early… don’t worry, we’ll be ready!
12. How will the DJ- MC be dressed for my event?
Once again tastes vary greatly as so accepted dress at events. We find that typical dress at a wedding varies greatly from East to West coasts of the United States. We recommend discussing attire with your DJ at your final planning meeting to make sure they are going to be wearing what you expect.
We dress as you request us to dress. From a full tux to casual beach attire. you tell us what you want and we’ll wear it…. within reason…. no one needs to see any of our DJ’s in a Speedo!
13. Are you a member of a trade group or professional organization?
Professional trade groups and organizations are great tools for knowledge, for networking and for building a proper ideology in a company. Belonging to a trade organization is not a guarantee of quality, but it is a strong indicator of a company that is interested in doing business the right way and improving over time.
Starz Entertainment is a long standing member of the American Disc Jockey Association and our owner Jimmy davenport has served many years on the Executive Board f the Phoenix chapter as well as several years as President or Vice President of the group.
14. What makes you different from your competitors?
A professional DJ company will always take pride in telling you of their accomplishments and what makes them unique! Some DJs, however, will take this opportunity to “bash” their competition and say negative things about specific DJs or agencies. We consider this behavior unprofessional and is a poor reflection on them.
Starz Entertainment has won many awards over the years and most of this is because we listen to our customers and try to deliver them exactly what they want. If they do not know what they want, we help them to figure it out Doing this with true customer care in mind, we have become one of Arizona’s most critically acclaimed DJ services. We care about you and your event!