FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers!
How far in advance should I book a DJ?
Planning an event is all about having a system complete with checklists of everything that you need to do before the big day. The most popular venues, photographers, and DJs will all book faster than some of the less popular companies and options. We always refer to these as “the big three”. Once you select and hire these three vendors, the rest will more easily fall into place. A popular, reputable DJ company will generally book between 8 and 16 months in advance, but it’s not uncommon for the more popular months (May/June/September/October) to start booking even more in advance.
What about insurance? Our venue asked us if our vendors are insured?
There is no mandate that says DJs have to be insured, but most venues will require that any vendor working onsite maintain proper liability insurance, just in case something happens. Any reputable and professional DJ company will have insurance, frequently equal to, or exceeding a one million dollar liability policy. Liability insurance is to protect all parties involved including the venue, the client, and the DJ. We are happy to email, fax, or mail a copy of our certificate to whoever needs verification.
How far in advance of the event should the DJ arrive at the event?
Our philosophy is that we never like to rush. We always give extra time not just to set up, but also for travel time to the venue. The amount of time a DJ needs to set up is directly related to two things. First, how much equipment is being used for that specific event. Is it just DJ service? What about lighting or a photo booth? These things can take extra time to setup properly, professionally, and test prior to any guest arrivals. Secondly, how challenging is load-in going to be with regard to things like elevators, stairs, loading docks, parking, etc. Each DJ knows how long it takes to set up for the event at hand. One to two hours in advance is the most common time frame a DJ would arrive before the first guests arrive. That way there is plenty of time to set up, change into professional attire, and review all of our notes one last time before the celebration kicks off!
Are there any setup or breakdown fees that the couple is required to pay?
Companies in our category know what it takes to get the job done. It is our opinion that there should never be any fees for setting up or breaking down. The only fees that are customary to have added (and they would be made clear prior to any commitments being made) are things like travel fees. For instance, there are some venues that require you to take a vehicle transport ferry to a small island off the coast, or in some rare cases, the venue is hundreds of miles away. The costs of getting to the venue in a situation like this would be added into the event cost in these rare scenarios.
Can someone typically request specific songs they’d like the DJ to play?
Of course! We encourage all of our clients to use our online music database to let us know a bit about their taste in music and their musical desires for the event ahead. The online tool allows someone to search our music library and make their list from categories of: ‘songs they have to hear’, ‘songs they would like to hear, if there is time’, and the very popular, ‘under no circumstances is this song to be played at my event’! We try to encourage folks to select 10-15 songs in each category. We always want input from our clients to help make the party special to them!
Do DJs usually play requests made by the guests? How is this typically done?
Some DJs take requests, and some don’t. We actually leave this one up to our clients. We’ll talk to our clients prior to the event, and ask them what they prefer. Even when we do take requests, we are always very careful never to play something similar to a song that might have been listed on the ‘do not play list’. We also use our judgment when it comes to requests. If it’s a great song, we’re happy to play it. If it’s a song we know will clear the dance floor, we’ll stay away from it. The DJs goal is generally the same as the person that hired them. Creating an exciting, and all-inclusive dance floor filled with as many people as possible!
Can we see one of your DJs “in action” at an event, before deciding to hire them?
Unfortunately, no. We wouldn’t want a stranger peeking into your event to check us out, so we don’t allow you to peek into someone else’s. Our goal at each event is to focus on you and your guests, not sell ourselves to someone watching. There’s plenty of other great ways to get to know us though. We’ve got online reviews, word of mouth and/or vendor recommendations, online videos & photos, and most importantly, old fashioned meetings and conversations in person or over the phone. Chat with a DJ you are interested in and find out about our company and philosophy. Make sure they spend a lot of time asking about you and your event and not just about themselves. Make sure you are talking to the ACTUAL DJ that will be celebrating with you that day. Take the time to get to know them, to ensure they’re a good fit.
If the event needs to be cancelled or re-scheduled what happens?
Sometimes, things happen which unfortunately cannot be avoided, and you’ll need to cancel, or reschedule your event. The first step is making sure to notify all your contracted vendors as soon as possible so that they (and you) can take the appropriate steps based on the terms of the agreement you both signed at the beginning of your working relationship. Most companies are fine moving the date (assuming the new date is still available) but cancellations can be a bit trickier. Usually company policies change based on how close the event date is to the date of cancellation. Read your contract carefully, and if you’re not sure about something, never be afraid to ask!
Is it extra money for the DJ to also act as the MC/Master of Ceremonies?
No. All of our event DJs are experienced MCs, and work with an entertainment assistant. The DJ you hire is comfortable and qualified to communicate with you, your guests, and work with other vendors in a professional manner, throughout the entire event. The entertainment assistant with them aids with setup and breakdown, and allows the DJ to ability to move about the event and not be “stuck in the booth”. We find that frequent communication and coordination with function managers and other vendors like photographers and videographers ensures a smoothly running, on time event!
How does someone let the DJ/MC know what needs to be said at their event?
We’ll take as much guidance as you want to give us. If there’s something you’d like us to say, just let us know. We’re also happy to help in areas where you might not know what needs to be done or said. When we receive little or no guidance, we generally work with the “less is more” mindset using simple, concise, professional announcements, that don’t annoy guests, or detract from the event. We’re always about less talking and more dancing!
How does someone know lighting options are right for them?
Ask, and research. Being informed is never a bad thing. Ask your DJ, your venue, even your photographer/videographer what they think lighting might bring to the space. Some places can really benefit from the addition of lights, while others don’t need them, or there’s not much of an added benefit. Lighting can definitely add a “WOW-Factor” to an event, but it’s certainly not required to have a great party either.
Photo Booths are fun. Are there other options besides a traditional booth?
Absolutely. In fact, there are several! Some people love a traditional photo booth, while others want something less traditional, and maybe more modern and unique. Ask us about our “Red-Carpet Style, Step & Repeat Backdrops and Open Air Photo Stations”. They can be custom made, and a great keepsake after the event too. Guests can get an amazing photo novelty, one of several different ways besides a standard photo booth.
What makes you different from your competitors?
One thing that sets our Boston DJs apart from our competition is that we’d rather hear about you, than tell you about us. Most companies are quick to explain what they will do at your event. For example, how they will introduce your guest of honor, how they will help arrange the timing, and why they are the best choice for your event. Our question is, how can we do those things well unless they have taken the time to learn about you, to understand what YOUR vision the perfect event.
Can we select the DJ for our event?When you first contact The Beantown Sound, our event planning experts will take the time to go over all of the details for your special event. Once we have all of the details, we will then let you know the availability of our DJs and advise you on who we think would be the best fit for your event based on your personality and preferences. You will have the option of interviewing our DJs to find one that you will feel the most comfortable with. That DJs name will also be specified on your contract. Some of our customers choose not to interview a DJ. In these cases, we’ll assign who we think will be the best fit for your event. There’s no need to worry though, all of our DJs are great!
Do you provide a written agreement?
Absolutely! A written legal Beantown Sound contract secures the DJs obligation to the client and lists exactly what is required and expected for the events success. It will explain the entertainment setup requirements and other factors related to the company’s performance. This document will also clearly state the fee structure for payment of the services provided, the name of the entertainer, and any additional services being provided by the company.
What type of music does The Beantown Sound have in their collection?
Our music library is massive and spans just about every decade, genre, and nationality. We subscribe to a music pool, where we’re able to legally obtain, licensed radio edited (no profanity) versions of the latest and greatest hits, often even before they’re on the radio. If by rare chance we don’t already have a song you request in advance, we’ll get it. You’d only hear from us regarding music if we don’t have it, and we can’t find it.
What does The Beantown Sound require for set-up at my venue?
Believe it or not, our DJs needs are pretty basic. We simply need a single 6-foot or 8-foot table with linens that match the rest of the room’s décor. Our power requirements are: (one) 15/20 amp outlet for Sound only; (two) 15/20 amp outlets for Sound and Multimedia Equipment/ Intelligent Dance Floor Lighting. Photo Booths and other services that are not right next to the DJ booth require additional single 15/20 amp outlets in those locations.
When is our entertainment balance due, and should we tip our DJ?
Your entertainment balance is due and must be received no later than 14 days (including the weekend) prior to your event, and can be in the form of personal or certified check, money order, or cash. Unfortunately, we do not accept credit cards for the payment of balances. Tipping The Beantown Sound staff is never necessary, but is always appreciated if you feel that they exceeded your expectations.
How long will you hold our date for us after we contact you?
We will hold your date for a two week grace period after your initial information request, to give you stress-free time to decide before making any commitment. Beware that some DJs may use tactics to try to get you to commit to them at your first meeting, offering a special sale that ends that day, or claiming that someone else is inquiring for the same day. At The Beantown Sound, our DJs know you already have enough on your shoulders planning an event like this. The whole purpose of our approach is to help and guide you, making your life easier, not harder.
Have you played at our venue before?
It’s nearly impossible for every DJ to have played at every venue. If we haven’t had the pleasure of playing at your venue – we will spend time studying the room layout and communicating with the onsite staff to make sure the event goes absolutely perfect from the minute we load in our equipment to the last second of your last dance.
Will our DJ and your staff require a meal and do you take breaks?Absolutely not, and absolutely not! We understand that some vendors require that you provide them with a meal during the event, but we do not. We believe that one of the reasons for hiring a DJ over a live band is that there is never any downtime or a “break” in the music. Should there happen to be extra food or a vendor meal provided in your venue banquet contract, we will happily eat, but it is never required, and the music won’t stop!
What if we need to reach you the day of the event?Every client has access to a telephone number where you can contact us 24 hours a day. In addition, in the weeks leading up to your event you will also receive the personal cell phone number and e-mail address of your DJ. Feel free to reach out to them if should something happen on the day of your event that we should know about. Please keep in mind our DJs work most weekends (Fridays through Sundays) and may not be available to answer a telephone call the day before your event. Shoot them an e-mail or leave a message, and they’ll get back to you within 24 hours (usually less).
Will you bring backup equipment with you to my event?
Yes. We bring everything from back up speakers, laptops, controllers, microphones, and every cable and connector we might need to keep all of our equipment running and sounding perfect for your entire event. Needless to say, our equipment is laid out in such a way that we have automatic backup built right in to our standard setups. If something were to fail at the event, our entertainment team will get that piece of equipment up and running in a timely manor.