5 Ways DJs Can Work With Venues Better

There are many times when DJs and venues don't seem to see eye-to-eye. Sometimes it's because the DJ has an ego, and only “want it his way every time”, but there needs to be a realization that the venue is providing a service just like the DJ.  In this blog post I'm going to talk about how DJs can work with venues just a little better. We're going to be taking a look my personal top 5 ways that we as DJs, can work with venues better in making sure that the event goes off without a hitch.

5 Ways DJs Can Work With Venues Better

- Number 1 -

Don't assume that the venue knows your needs

Being in the DJ industry, we are all nerds to a certain degree when it comes to technology, audio, video, lighting,  staging, and so much.  Venues have a very different focus. Their focus isn't necessarily on the sound, or the lighting, or any number of other things that we as DJs have as one of our primary focuses. So don't assume that the venue knows exactly what you want and how you need it. Take the effort before hand, and I'm talking like weeks before hand, to reach out to the venue and make sure that they have everything that you might need. It could be a table, it could be skirting, it could be something as simple as electricity being available within a certain range of where you're going to be set up at. Making sure that you reach out to them before hand allows you to be able to 1, introduce yourself and what services you are going to be providing as well as 2, beginning to build the relationship with the venue before you ever show up.

5 Ways DJs Can Work With Venues Better

- Number 2 -

Respect their volume limits


Here in Indiana, and Indianapolis there are quite a few outdoor wedding venues. Sometimes it's a barn, and sometimes it's just a more open area type of the venue. The one thing that can turn the venue off to any DJ coming out to perform at their venue, is blasting the music so loud that not only they can't continue to work properly, but the guests also we're not enjoying it. As always, arrive early, get your system setup, and test your full system before any guests arrive. Now what I mean by doing a full system test means that you play music at the volume that you probably will be playing when the dance is in full swing, in addition to that also run your lights, so you're basically running everything like you're going to be running later in the evening. What you're going to be able to do is walk the room and see where echo spots might be, or possible dead zones are at, and just how loud it is without anybody inside. Take note of your volume limit, because later on in the night that's going to come in handy. If you test your system and it's pretty loud even for you, and you know that you're running at about 60% volume level, when you get a full room of people dancing that sounds going to absorb so you shouldn't have to go much further than that 60% volume level. Also reach out to venues and find out if they have a decibel level restriction. This is a great way to find out if there is a very specific restriction on how loud you can actually go. Regardless of who is paying you if the venue comes over and asks, keyword asks, you to turn down the volume, if you want to stay friends with them, you're going to turn the volume down.

5 Ways DJs Can Work With Venues Bette

- Number 3 -

Take note and act on where the venue is struggling

By no means am I saying that you need to go work for the venue, however we have DJs have a very unique position in any event that we're a part of. You see we have a unique placement of being a vital key element to having the evening move forward but also extreme flexibility for being able to help when needed, if possible. Personally, I enjoy releasing tables for a buffet line. I find it's a great way for me to get to know the guests that I don't know all that well. Granted I'll do certain things and have interactive elements applied, but the core reason is still the same. Getting to know the guests on a more personal level. Sometimes the venues prefer to release tables, and I'm okay with that. They normally prefer to release tables when they have plenty of staff and they have a preferred system that they would like to have implemented  that works well with their buffet system. Occasionally though a venue or a caterer doesn't have quite enough staff to do everything that they need or want to do. Normally that's not the fault of the venue, because some people call in sick or any other number of reasons why they say they can't come in, but that's where we get to step up. I'm always taking notes and watching the room. I'm looking to not only see VIPs and guests enjoying themselves and having a good time, but I'm also observing the venue staff and the catering staff, the photographers and the rest of the professional team that my client has to help with their event. Sometimes the venue or the caterer just needs an extra set of hands. It could be something as simple as getting some water for the Father of the Bride, or possibly refilling a drink for the mother of the groom, or taking the dirty plates from the table that has the great grandmother seated at, and clear enough space for her dessert. You don't have to do it all night long but seeing where that little extra effort might  be extremely helpful, will definitely pay off in the long run.

5 Ways DJs Can Work With Venues Bette

- Number 4 -

Don't. Use. Duct tape.


This is probably the number one complaint that most venues say to me as I'm arriving and I'm laying out my speaker cable or running my power cables against the wall. They are praying to The Venue Gods that I'm not going to use duct tape or some other ridiculously improper tool to secure all the cabling. And I don't blame them!  We are in their house, and to the best of our abilities we need to respect their facilities. So buy some Gaffers tape, also called staging tape, it can be found pretty much anywhere. Gaffers tape is the only tape that I will ever use in a venue. It's extremely strong but peels up easily at the end of the night.

5 Ways DJs Can Work With Venues Bette

- Number 5 -

Thank them

This seems like the simplest of everything that I've mentioned and yet it's the one thing that I feel happens the least out of everything addressed above. In today's technology-driven world, and I love technology more than anybody else, something as simple as writing a thank you note after the event can go a long way. In addition, take time to thank those that are there at the end of the night with you. The room captain, the bartenders, the serving staff, possibly the venue manager, and anyone else that's still there working to make sure that the event goes off without a hitch. Even if you don't feel like it, even if you are tired and you just want to go home, take that extra two minutes and thank the staff for taking care of their clients, but also, in all likelihood, taking care of you as well.

So I'd like to hear from you! What do you think about my top 5? Do you have a different top 5? Do you think that my top five were completely wrong? I'd love to chat with you more about it, so please leave a comment below or find me on pretty much any social media platform!  Looking forward to hearing from you soon :-)


Jared Wade

Jared Wade Entertainment
Indianapolis Indiana based Professional Event Host, Wedding DJ, Lighting Designer, Game Show Designer

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