Tips for your next event, what we've learned from 2018/2019
The last year has gone pretty fast for ‘Jake & Ian’, we’ve achieved a lot in a short space of time, covering primarily Cheshire, Derbyshire, Oxfordshire and the West Midlands leading venues with 35 performances in total, and 30 of them being weddings.
Having seen what has been happening at the places we’ve played, we thought we could offer some value to our future clients and events planners looking to ensure that their entertainment is the best it can be. All we want, is your day and evening to be perfect, so these are the things that we consistently see that need to be triple-checked.
1) THE DJ
This is an area that is well documented and can make or break a wedding or corporate event, it became so apparent that this is a high risk area for our clients, that we decided offer this service ourselves and do it well. We’ve seen some real shockers that we’ve had to perform along side at some of the most prestigious venues. Most of these DJ’s were actually recommended by the venue! Key issues we find:
2) THE PA
The quality of the PA’s DJ’s are using is consistently poor, because the technology is old and they’ve basically been gigged to death. We were performing alongside one hotel’s recommended DJ who came on after our first set in June 2019, he spun Billie Jean and the speakers were cracking and clearly worth no more than £50 each. (Recommended by the venue)
3) THE DJ’S WIFE
The DJ’s wife. Now this is something we’ve seen twice and it doesn’t look great and shouldn’t happen. A recent DJ had his wife with him, who sat on a high chair, scowled at guests during the first dance and hammered the guests buffet before it was announced. Shocking! (Recommended by the venue)
4) ‘EXPERIENCED’ DJs
Next up is the experience. Many ‘Resident DJ’s’ that have enjoyed a long term residency contract (e.g. 25 years) get stale. They rely on songs that have kept them in business, but times change and so do people’s tastes. The guests faces when Oops up side your head comes on is a picture, but even worse when they are encouraged to sit and pat the floor! (Recommended by the venue)
5) CD GUY
The CD guy. The CD guy is again a nightmare, if your guests have any songs that they would like to hear, then be sure that none of them will ever be played as he hasn’t bought the CD (but has the entire shelves of HMV in front of him).
There has to be an ability to utilise Spotify, Tidal or Apple Music live during your event, have a knowledge of music and undertsand what each of the audience’s attending may be listening too. Otherwise what’s the point? Every single venue has WI-FI, so ensure your DJ can use it and has the ability to play anything your guests want. As long as it’s a great song! :) (Recommended by the venue)
6) SHY GUY
Confidence with a mic. During your evening reception, there are usually some key points where the DJ or your entertainment will need to announce certain things. This could be the cutting of the cake, announcing the first dance, introducing the bride and groom to say a few words thanking evening guests, the buffet and the list goes on. We were recently announced on by a DJ to the wrong band name, again this was someone we’d fully briefed before the event, and on the evening with our marketing literature and business card shortly before. (Recommended by the venue)
7) MR BIG STUFF
This also applies to those who are over-confident with a mic. One of the nicest wedding venues in Birmingham has an owner of the location that DJ’s for all events, and constantly talks over every song, making the corporate party or wedding reception about him. Always specify how much you want to hear from a DJ in terms of keeping the crowd enthused and on the dance-floor. (Owns the venue)
8) THE CEREMONY
This for ‘Jake & Ian’ is where the pressure is. It’s the bit everyone is filming, proud parents, guests and a wedding party in anticipation of the day and wants to share and view a magical ceremony between the closest friends and family. When performing live for your ceremony, signing of the register and for the recession, the work that goes in to this is phenomenal, from rehearsing to production of the actual tracks and demos for the bride of groom. It has to be perfect.
If you’re having an original song played at your event, do ensure that your entrance music, for the bride walking down the aisle is managed by the right person, who is well briefed, knows the technology they are using and how and where to trigger it on the day.
Again, at a recent wedding we were informed that the wrong song was played during the ceremony, and the wedding party had to go through the entrance again. Whilst this is life and everyone gets on with it, turning such an important moment that people have been planning for two years in to a YouTube fail in a matter of seconds isn’t a great feeling. It should not happen, get someone to manage the music properly. Using a CD is not ideal, as the person can’t see what song is being played. Use a phone and have the song downloaded to it, or via Spotify offline. Nothing can go wrong then. (Apart from battery life!)
9) THE MICS FOR THE WEDDING BREAKFAST
We recently saved the day with this one, but our client was lucky. The venue had forgotten to add batteries to their radio mics, and during the speech the mic went. No-one could hear, so we quickly assembled a PA next to them and a mic for the speeches. We carry a spare PA for this reason, and if guests want to be outside and need music, this happens a lot in the summer.
Ensure during the set-up on the day that the batteries for radio mic’s are set-up. Again seems a small thing, but with a photographer, videographer waiting to get the perfect speeches (and guests that can’t hear), it really dampens the experience for just a simple task.