3 Key Differences That Professional DJs Have Over Amateur DJs

Posted by | · · · | DJs · Events · Weddings

You’ve got an event coming up — say it’s a company meeting or office party, an invite-only industry event or a wedding — and it needs music. You’re busy doing 1,000 other things to get the event ready and successful, but there’s one question you don’t know your answer to yet.

Who do I pick to be the DJ? Do I find someone in-house (a coworker or close friend who can put on music) or book a professional?

You have room in your budget, and as you weigh your options the question remains: What is the difference between an amateur DJ and a pro?

There are some big differentiators between a casual DJ and a dedicated DJ hired for the job — differences that can literally mean your event being a big success or not (music at an event is THAT important, no joke).

Here’s what you need to know before making your decision.

A professional DJ knows how to read the room (and keep them happy)

Knowing how to build and maintain the interest and excitement of a crowd is probably the most important skill a professional DJ brings to your event. This means hitting the right songs, playing the genres that get a reaction, and above all keeping people moving through the event and adjusting the music on the fly to match the energy level.

At a wedding, for example, this can mean the wedding DJ plays just the right balance of dancefloor-filling wedding anthems (“Happy,” “Uptown Funk,” other contemporary and classic standards) and love songs, reading the room and making the music reflect the energy and vibe of the newlyweds and guests.

Knowing what music to play for your audience is key — if the bride/groom are old school hip-hop fans, you don’t want to hear Elvis Presley played for the first dance (one client narrowly avoided this with another DJ before a last-minute switch to LUXELIFE).

This ability is kind of a sixth-sense that a dedicated DJ will develop over years of playing; it’s this experience that lets the DJ hone her talent, and not something a casual DJ will have mastered.

Knows how to match the music to the theme and tone of your event

This extends from a professional DJ’s room-reading skills. Finding the right genres and styles of music to suit the nature of the event — whether it’s a more formal office affair, or a lively party or marketing activation.

For example, at a beauty event where people are going around booths or receiving product demonstrations, a professional DJ knows the priority is for the crowd to hear what someone is saying to them. So they make that experience easy by carefully controlling the style of music, maybe focusing on more ambient background-music kind of songs rather than dance anthems or pop hits.

Similarly, at an office party, you’ll want the song selection to be less risky — expletives kept out or to a very bare minimum, for example — and more easy to digest for a crowd that will vary in ages and backgrounds.

This level of knowledge is ingrained in every pro DJ, but won’t necessarily be there for someone who has DJed an event only a few times before.

A professional DJ will dress on-point and act professionally

This point may be last on this list but it’s not because it’s unimportant. The appearance and behaviour of your DJ can seriously impact your event. This is ESPECIALLY true for corporate events and office parties. What this boils down to is that when you book a professional event DJ, you know you will get a DJ who acts 100% professional.

This means more than just that they show up early for the soundcheck.

It means:

  • they’ll dress formally (or as formal as your event is)
  • if your event is a promotion, like a product or brand launch or marketing activation, they’ll dress and do hair/make-up to match your brand
  • They treat DJing like a performance, and will behave appropriately and with proper etiquette in the DJ booth (or on the mic if they are MCing). This means they won’t be rude or make jokes or inappropriate remarks

Unlike an amateur DJ, a professional DJ brings their A-game for the DJ performance because, for a committed DJ, their reputation is what their DJing career is built on, and is something they take EXTREMELY seriously.

Meanwhile, a one-off or extremely part-time amateur DJ will be less concerned with his or her rep, and may cross the line and feel like they’re one of the guests — which can result in a drunk DJ who is making bad jokes or inappropriate callouts to guests. This will IMMEDIATELY kill the vibe, both musical and otherwise, and is the last thing you want to happen at, say, your wedding.

One of the many reasons that DJ agencies like LUXELIFE exist is because of the difference a professional DJ makes. There are a lot of horror stories about what can go wrong with casual DJs (especially when they’re brought in last-minute) and how this can seriously drag down an event.

If you have an event coming up and want to find out more about what difference a pro DJ will make for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and we’ll walk you through what you need for your event and answer any questions you have.

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