Hiring the right DJ is an important decision for any event as it can dramatically affect the experience your guests will have. Examining their references, website, viewing their equipment and having a consultation are all important steps in determining if you have found a good DJ service. Be sure to meet with a DJ face to face if at all possible. This will give you a chance to assess his or her professionalism, knowledge, and people skills.
You should assess a musician just the same as any professional, by checking out their credentials and samples of their work. With a musician you should evaluate their background, and most musicians can provide you with a sample recording. Do they have a music degree or professional playing experience?
Live entertainment is an area of specialization for us as our company is run by a University of Calgary music graduate. All of our musicians are professionals (with formal music credentials or extensive performance experience) and we provide sample recordings or a meeting so you can hear your performer before making a decision.
Several things make 1st in Entertainment your best choice:
1st in Entertainment does not blindly subcontract business to other companies, unlike many of the larger DJ operations who will fill up and subcontract the extra business out. Having worked subcontractor gigs ourselves, we know that it is more difficult to manage expectations and produce consistent results when a third party handles most of the planning. The DJ that is actually working your gig is a crucial aspect, therefore all of our events are worked by the company owners (Sean Goebel and Nolan Sontag) or by a small group of handpicked DJs. We maintain a consistent and accountable staff team screened to produce reliable and effective results.
We have been operating in the Calgary area for over ten years. We have a high rate of customer satisfaction and specialize in weddings and corporate events. There is a reason why we are the first choice for high end wedding planners. We pay our DJs a premium rate to make sure we have the best available.
Our belief at 1st in Entertainment is that every event starts with the client. We insist that all of our DJs talk to their clients prior to an event to go over final details and get a feel for who they will be working with. We encourage all of our DJs to exhibit strong communication skills and to always keep our clients' interests at heart.
That depends on what the situation requires. An interactive DJ can be a wonderful thing in the right circumstance, however interactive DJs can also be obnoxious in the wrong setting. Not everyone wants their DJ constantly working guests who might be more interested in visiting and catching up. Many of our clients do not want us to try and work the microphone, but instead focus on playing great music that will get people dancing. This should be discussed during the planning stages of your event. Our DJs can work your crowd and conduct all kinds of fun activities, here are some examples….
Absolutely! Taking requests is part of our job. Most guests simply approach the DJ table to make requests, song checks take seconds with a computer system. However we still put out a request sheet and song book, if it is in our library of 7, 000 songs we can play it. Any advance request can be guaranteed.
We are able to perform MC services, but generally we are only asked to handle small announcements – your own MC is almost always more personal.
That decision is entirely up to you, our DJ will adjust the volume to your guests' preference – we start with average levels that work at most events and adjust accordingly.
We have our clients fill out a questionnaire that rates music style preferences along with a 'must play' and 'please do not play' list. From this we tend to read your crowd and use the strongest dance music in each selected genre. It’s up to you how much control you want; you can select every song or leave most of it to us. We can guarantee any advance request that is available from major music retailers online.
Yes, we carry backup equipment including a backup music system for our laptops. Backup DJs are usually on standby. We have never had an equipment problem that couldn’t be rapidly fixed in over ten years of operation.
Our DJs are always equipped with a wired microphone available for use at no charge. We also have high quality wireless microphones available at addiional cost. We recommend only using high end wireless microphones, as mid to low price range microphones tend to suffer from interference issues.
You are not required to feed your DJ; however, we certainly appreciate it for events over six hours. It is not always possible for us to bring food to the venue and we can be at an event for up to ten hours including set up and tear down.
As a matter of professionalism we have strict rules for alcohol consumption. In terms of minimal social drinking we allow you to set the policy with a yes or no box on our questionnaire sheet. Many clients will offer our DJs a glass of wine or beverage at the end of the night, but we will only accept these offers with your prior consent.
We require an entertainment contract and a $200 deposit to confirm a booking on any event. Payments to 1st in Entertainment are made by cash, cheque, money order, or paypal. A deposit payment can be made during an in person consultation, with paypal, or by mailing a cheque and signed contract to our address. Once your booking is confirmed, you will receive notification and a receipt. Your deposit is deducted off the total cost of service; it is not an additional fee.
Consultations are free with 1st in Entertainment - this will help you decide if we are the right DJ/live music company and plan your event. Consultations can be done in person or over the phone; we leave this choice up to you. Whenever possible we have you meet with your actual DJ during the consultation, this way you can feel comfortable with your entertainer. At minimum, we require your DJ to phone you at least two weeks prior to an event to confirm details.
A contract should always be signed before a performance as it guarantees service expectations and costs. It outlines a clear course of action in the event of a cancellation or unforeseen circumstance (by either party). It should reassure you to know that we have never cancelled a performance in over ten years of operation. Professional entertainment companies always use a contract, as it protects both the client and the entertainer.
No. We pride ourselves in being up front and honest in our pricing, so all our quotes will include setup, tear down, sound equipment and lighting.
No, our DJs are well paid for their services so a gratuity is not expected and never obligated. However, gratuities are a common way of showing your appreciation for an exceptional job or for services that are above and beyond the job description.
The deposit is due whenever you would like to confirm a booking; we advise booking sooner rather than later as most of our clients book well in advance. The final payment is due prior to the beginning of your event.