Many would say that no event is complete without some great music, so entertainment is often a top priority for hosts. When they come to you for recommendations, it’s important to be prepared to make an educated decision on what is the best fit. Seeing as an iPod playlist isn’t a doable option for larger events, you’ll need to determine whether or not a band or a DJ is the best choice for your clients. Here are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind:
1. The Budget
Most event decisions are made with the budget in mind, and the entertainment choice is no different. Choosing between a DJ or a band will depend greatly on how large of a portion your client plans to allocate towards the music. While a DJ can be booked for less than $1,000, a reputable band can cost upwards of $4,000 for the full event. In addition, DJs tend to come fully equipped, whereas a band might require renting a larger stage or additional sound equipment.
2. The Venue
The way the venue is set up can have a major effect on the chosen entertainment, as bands need a good amount of space in order to accommodate instruments and other equipment. DJs, on the other hand, take up minimal space – just be sure to let them know of the constraints so that they can prepare accordingly.
3. The Music Choice
Your client’s taste in music is, of course, a major priority when booking entertainment. Get a feel for what their favorite types of music are--do they love Top 40 or are they a fan of the oldies? Who are their favorite artists? Would they like to hear their favorite songs at the event, or do they prefer to hear original works? Bands excel at playing their own style of music, so they are perfect for themed events and for clients who want consistent music throughout the night. DJs, on the other hand, can play an assortment of tunes including any requested hits.
4. The Details
First off, whether your client chooses a DJ or a band, it’s important to confirm that their choice serves as an emcee as well. Keep in mind that all of the event team members will need to take breaks throughout the night to use the restroom and eat dinner. This could either mean one small meal break for the DJ or multiple breaks for the band members. DJs can often continue their playlist while away from the table, whereas a band will require you to have a backup playlist for their breaks.
Of course, both DJs and bands come with their benefits and it’s important to keep all of these considerations in mind when planning the event. With that said, be sure that you are following your client’s wishes so that it truly reflects their personality and the vision they have for the big day.
Kim Sayatovic is founder and chief creative officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans.