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It's all in the presentation
By Mike Fernino 

Ever go to a fine restaurant and be totally impressed? A fine dining experience doesn't stop with just great tasting food. Chances are that the overall presentation of the meal was exceptional as well? A dinner well presented and garnished with care will make you remember a dining experience, as opposed to the slop shops that just throw your entree on the plate with no thought, what so ever.  The analogy I'm trying to create here pertains to the way DJs present themselves at performances and how the public perceives them.  A professional entertainer has to look the part. This does not stop with your tux and how neat your hair is. How is your system looking these days? Do you set up every piece with attention to detail, or do you believe that entertainment is all that matters?

Do you think that equipment and how it is displayed makes no difference!  I have to disagree totally! 

Here are a few tips and ideas to consider...... 

First, all of your equipment should have a road case that not only transports your system, but houses it. The system should be set up and every wire neatly taped down, or at least a rug placed over the offending cables. This is not just for neat appearance as it is for safety!

Next, do you use a facade or front banner? The debate will forever go on whether or not a banner is tacky advertising, but I truly believe that if you have a great name, get it out there and be proud of it!   A classy banner affixed to your facade with just your company logo is a class way to represent yourself at an event. It lets the guests know who you are. For the record, I don't advocate phone numbers or even web sites being posted on the banner. Just the name of the company or company logo.  OK, now we're looking better. Lets continue. A Business card display is also very important. If a guest comes up in the middle of your performance to get a card, there should be cards available and accessible. What if you're out on the floor entertaining and someone goes up to your system?   No cards, no future business!

The attention span of a wedding guest is the same length of the life span of a mosquito.  Very short! 

Have a card holder, and take it one step further. Integrate the holder with Velcro to your facade. Now the cards are neatly displayed discretely on the front of your display. The event guest can have access to it whether or not your on the floor entertaining. It's good business. Never just leave your cards, thrown haphazardly on your speakers. Display them neatly.  Never count on the caterer!  The caterers in my area have grown increasingly difficult when it comes to getting a table to put equipment and CDs on. Get support stands for your system and CDs. Be independent of any caterer and work your cases into a system of order that includes keyboard stands and speaker stands.

The day of the DJ just throwing his/her equipment down on a table with wires hanging all over the place should be over folks! We are industry professionals here, right?

That's why we read " The Zone! " 

OK, so we are at the gig. The DJ system is in a road case, up on a keyboard stand, with facade neatly arranged around it. The CDs cases are on stands and speakers up on stands. The banner is affixed to the front and cards displayed in a holder!

Looking sharp! There's more though..... 

What did you pull up in? Did you pull up in a 1970's milk truck, beat up old station wagon, or do you have a brand new company van? Guess what? I don't care what you drive to get to the gig,  just get there. Remember though, that when you pull up to your gig, and people see you, that is you first impression you make. I have a full size van, with company logo on the truck.  It is kept neat, clean, and in dent free status.

Laugh all you want DJs, but I book dozens of gigs per year because people remember my name. I have a billboard on 4 wheels that advertises my company everywhere I go. I have clients tell me time and time again, that they saw my vans out on the road and felt I was professional. Wow, they never even saw me perform, and they think I'm professional. At least, I created a professional image!

Marketing 101. Get your name out there in a professional manner!  You can have a sport utility, car or tank for that matter. If you don't want to paint or decal, just get a magnetic sign. It may go a long way into increased marketing and sales. It works for me in a big way!  How were you dressed when you brought your equipment into the gig? Did you have on your tux or good clothes. Chances are no.  So you came in with a Metallica tee shirt. Great promotion for Metallica, bad first impression for you!

Might I suggest a polo shirt with embroidered company logo!  Guests that show up early see you as a professional. The caterer sees you as a professional, the photographer sees you as a professional, and you feel professional. I have this belief that " You are on the clock, not from the event start time, but from the minute you leave the house!"  You are the ambassador for you company. Whether you are a solo effort, or employ 50 DJs, look the part at all times!

There are many things you can do to look like a professional. These are a few ideas that I believe in and apply to my business practices. They work, trust me!

There is a difference between a professional and a professional image! Some DJs may be very professional, but don't portray a professional image. You can have both.

Remember...... It's all in the presentation! 

Mike Fernino 

Music In Motion DJ Entertainment of New England


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