Mid Night Poll! Which Event would you rather do?

Pick one of these events, or stay at home on a Saturday night!

  • Fire Hall Wedding 4 hours under 5 miles away for $550

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • High End Wedding Venue Down Town. Horrible load in. Up Lights/Mono, paid assistant for 7 hours $2650

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
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Since a poll was requested by multiple people, I am making one for your enjoyment! :)

Which event would you rather book for an open Saturday night 2 months out?

A. Low End Wedding in your zip code under 5 miles away at a Fire Hall that is 6 to 10 p.m. 80 guests. Easy Load In. Single Sound System with small light show - $550
B. Outside Tent Wedding at a nice wedding mansion. Ceremony outside. Cocktails in mansion. Reception under tent outside. 80 mile drive each way. 3 sound system set ups and typical light show 4 to 10:30 p.m. Free Parking $1,600
C. Wedding Cocktail hour and reception in a Suburban Marriott Ball Room 40 miles drive each way with a some what tough load in, and $35 parking. No ceremony. Need 2 speakers for cocktail hour in large foyer. Small light show 6 to 11 p.m.200 guests - $1,200
D. Wedding in a high end Wedding Venue in a major downtown area. Horrible load in/load out. Ceremony/Cocktails/Reception. 3 sound systems 5 to Mid Night. Full Room Up Lighting, and Monogram included along with typical light show. Need at least one assistant at $250. Parking is $60 Valet Only - 250 guests - $2,650
E. Sit at Home, clean your bath tub, mop kitchen floor, dust your drapes, do laundry, and vacuum every room in your house, and after that watch a marathon of whatever your Significant Other's favorite show is, and post to ODJT because you are bored at home...
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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The thing with the tough load in you need to know ahead of time that it is a tough load in. Sometimes you don't know it is a tough load in until you get there.

Taso no need to say sorry. You've built your business up to where you're not desperate for work and non of those jobs would pay you enough I'm guessing to get you to do any one of these. You offer some things that only a lot of DJs wish they could offer.

Which brings me to the one about uplighting and something else that was mentioned. That job I feel would depend on if you have those items or have to rent them for you to consider taking the job. The assumption is you already have these things. Now if you have to rent these things, how much would it cost you to rent them and would that be enough of a profit coming back to you to do the event.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

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Oct 16, 2011
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I got a DJ friend who basically gave away some speakers I bought from him that said his starting price to do a wedding is $500. Now he's older than me. The reason I mention this is because for some that are on here that would be a good price point to start off with. Then there are those who wouldn't even consider doing a wedding anywhere near that price. It all depends on where you're at with your business. So myself I see that as a good starting price depending on the location for the wedding, the time for the wedding and what their want for their wedding.

I would also hope they will allow us to take pictures and video to promote our business and to show potential clients. If not hopefully we can connect with the photographer/videographer who will be nice enough to allow us to get some stuff from them and we help them out by promoting their business as well.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
24,524
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Prospect, CT
I got a DJ friend who basically gave away some speakers I bought from him that said his starting price to do a wedding is $500. Now he's older than me. The reason I mention this is because for some that are on here that would be a good price point to start off with. Then there are those who wouldn't even consider doing a wedding anywhere near that price. It all depends on where you're at with your business. So myself I see that as a good starting price depending on the location for the wedding, the time for the wedding and what their want for their wedding.

I would also hope they will allow us to take pictures and video to promote our business and to show potential clients. If not hopefully we can connect with the photographer/videographer who will be nice enough to allow us to get some stuff from them and we help them out by promoting their business as well.
You get real good at regurgitating what you read here .. but don't seem to be able to put any of it into practice.
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
16,657
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I keep noticing that several of your examples are distance gigs. Is that what you deal with in real life? Sometimes we land one that's 50-60 miles out but most are within 15 miles from home. As for your question, if I have a choice between those, I'll take the money. Hire extra help and let them do the lifting.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,336
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Whisper and I love travel gigs... we get paid to go on mini vacations... i made a lot of friends over the years...and many left our state to pursue bigger better things... they all now have families...teenage children...children in their 20s...and they want us to dj.... works out nicely.... but yeah...most of ours are fairly close

cc
 
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Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
1,981
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I got a DJ friend who basically gave away some speakers I bought from him that said his starting price to do a wedding is $500. Now he's older than me. The reason I mention this is because for some that are on here that would be a good price point to start off with. Then there are those who wouldn't even consider doing a wedding anywhere near that price. It all depends on where you're at with your business. So myself I see that as a good starting price depending on the location for the wedding, the time for the wedding and what their want for their wedding.

I would also hope they will allow us to take pictures and video to promote our business and to show potential clients. If not hopefully we can connect with the photographer/videographer who will be nice enough to allow us to get some stuff from them and we help them out by promoting their business as well.
When is the last time you made $500+ on a gig?
 
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Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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I keep noticing that several of your examples are distance gigs. Is that what you deal with in real life? Sometimes we land one that's 50-60 miles out but most are within 15 miles from home. As for your question, if I have a choice between those, I'll take the money. Hire extra help and let them do the lifting.
I tried plotting where my gigs have been (just since the beginning of September). Ignore the route itself, but you can see how spread out they have been:

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 6.52.53 PM.png

Furthest distance was 189 miles (didn't even fit on the map)
The closest was 19 miles from my house

I'd guess an average of 45 miles each way, but maybe more given the Lexington and Old Westminster events.
 
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DJ Ricky B

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Mar 9, 2015
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189 miles would be a HUGE stretch for me. I include up to 90 miles one way in my packages because MOST of my bookings end up being any where from 50 to 90 miles out. Most of my work this year has been in Washington, D.C. and Northern VA. Furthest was in Warrenton, VA which was a 89 mile drive from my house. Closest...well, Closest is coming up on November 1st in Baltimore off of Key Highway. That is maybe 12 miles away...perhaps a bit less.

I have been advertising A LOT over the years in the Baltimore area, but I am not booking much up here. This area just does not have nearly AS MUCH of my clientele that the D.C. metro area has. I advertise more up here, and end up driving MORE down that way. Just how the cookie crumbles.
 

Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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189 miles would be a HUGE stretch for me.
A buddy of mine owns a venue down there. When I was just staring my company they put me on their preferred vendor list. Since then a couple of other planners have seen me and given my name out.

I'm considerably more expensive than most of the DJs that serve that area. But, for couples that want the type of service I provide, they have to bring in someone from a surrounding city. Most likely Charlottesville, Richmond or DC.

But it's a pretty drive down through the mountains, and even if I leave from Lexington at 11pm I'm home before I would be on a club gig night.
 

DJ Ricky B

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Mar 9, 2015
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None of those are motivating enough at all to leave the house for... sorry
There was a time when at least 3 of them would have been for you though. Maybe not not since you are earning muc more money and earning plenty of dough You are only declining all of these events because you are earning plenty of money and have plenty of events on the calendar. I would not blame you for that at all.

For me, I see enough compensation in each of these events if I am open on a Saturday 2 months out. I would be willing to take any of them, but the least desirable would be the downtown heavy load in gig for $2650. After 17 years or so of doing gigs in Downtown D.C. and experiencing some pain in the ass load ins, and dealing with DC traffic, and dealing with the stress these higher end venue events bring along, I am getting close to the point to where I simply don't want to do those venues, and would rather do a lower paying suburban venue gig. It also helps that I work full time during the week so I feel I can be more picky in the events I do book moving forward. I'm not chasing the highest dollar amount because I feel I need to in order to maximize my income or up my image as a DJ. ...In the end I want to be copacetic doing what I love to do as a DJ while still making money, but it becomes less fun when dealing with the high end venues, planners, load in, traffic etc.

I guess I would most likely choose the Marriott Ball room gig for $1,200, and Tent wedding at a mansion venue further away for $1,600 as my 2nd option. Even though I don't cater to the Fire Hall crowd as much, I feel $550 for a 4 hour simple reception in a fire hall is still advantageous, and profitable. Also easy load in/out, and drive to venue/back is 5 minutes or so each way. Nice, more relaxing, way less stress, and considerably less time, so those are all attributes with that gig that I feel are worth a dollar value OFF on the gig itself. Maybe not by $650 compared to the Marriott ballroom wedding as the next step up, BUT still worth taking if it's the only opportunity, and I would rather make $550 for the night instead of sit at home or have that Saturday off.

With that said...I have this weekend OFF. I could have worked, but I knew I would be tired and need 2 days off after working 6 weekends straight in a row plus working MON thru FRI. I am going to enjoy being of this Saturday night! :)
 

djtaso

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Apr 4, 2017
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There was a time when at least 3 of them would have been for you though. Maybe not not since you are earning muc more money and earning plenty of dough You are only declining all of these events because you are earning plenty of money and have plenty of events on the calendar. I would not blame you for that at all.

For me, I see enough compensation in each of these events if I am open on a Saturday 2 months out. I would be willing to take any of them, but the least desirable would be the downtown heavy load in gig for $2650. After 17 years or so of doing gigs in Downtown D.C. and experiencing some pain in the ass load ins, and dealing with DC traffic, and dealing with the stress these higher end venue events bring along, I am getting close to the point to where I simply don't want to do those venues, and would rather do a lower paying suburban venue gig. It also helps that I work full time during the week so I feel I can be more picky in the events I do book moving forward. I'm not chasing the highest dollar amount because I feel I need to in order to maximize my income or up my image as a DJ. ...In the end I want to be copacetic doing what I love to do as a DJ while still making money, but it becomes less fun when dealing with the high end venues, planners, load in, traffic etc.

I guess I would most likely choose the Marriott Ball room gig for $1,200, and Tent wedding at a mansion venue further away for $1,600 as my 2nd option. Even though I don't cater to the Fire Hall crowd as much, I feel $550 for a 4 hour simple reception in a fire hall is still advantageous, and profitable. Also easy load in/out, and drive to venue/back is 5 minutes or so each way. Nice, more relaxing, way less stress, and considerably less time, so those are all attributes with that gig that I feel are worth a dollar value OFF on the gig itself. Maybe not by $650 compared to the Marriott ballroom wedding as the next step up, BUT still worth taking if it's the only opportunity, and I would rather make $550 for the night instead of sit at home or have that Saturday off.

With that said...I have this weekend OFF. I could have worked, but I knew I would be tired and need 2 days off after working 6 weekends straight in a row plus working MON thru FRI. I am going to enjoy being of this Saturday night! :)
Actually I haven't had my starting price below 1500 since 2012, and since 2015 I've had at least a $2000 event minimum, so only 1 of those would've been a potential option... but its just too cheap. The thing is we're looking at things completely different... you say "if I am open"... I say how can I fill up my schedule with as many high paying gigs as quickly as possible, so I don't get into the "if I'm open" dilemma. We've been djing around the same amount of years (since 2004 for me), I used to work every weekday and tried to fill every weekend date possible... now I don't work weekdays and try to have as many as weekend dates off as possible. I also enjoy working in high end venues, planners, and ocd brides... I'm super detailed in everything and make sure every aspect of a wedding is discussed, and make sure everyone knows exactly what's happening before the wedding takes place. It's not stressful for me, it's actually more relaxed as there are very few surprises that ever happen on the day of the event. It's just a very different mindset. By the way... to get to the pricepoint I am at... I had to say no to those events, even when the calendar wasn't full. I had a day job to provide the supporting income, but brand image was essential for the path I took, and only doing certain types of events was crucial to help solidify my brand.
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
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In Reality you don’t get to pick your events. The interesting thing about doing event in cities like NYC and traveling to events 100+ miles, is when you learn the tricks & shortcuts it isn’t as stressful. Well, maybe except for NYC it always seem to like to throw you a curve. I solved a majority of the issues by having a person Dedicated to handling the van & having a van with commercial plates. December we used do events M-F for couple weeks straight, hell would be the word I would describe the drive in. But as long as you allow enough time, there were no issues. Of course now equipment is much more compact so you might be able to get by with mini van for a single systems. I kept a regular full size van just for the City back then, my extended van was just to much to try to park plus no commercial plates.

Doing events out of the area just requires a little prep work. Pretty much once you get used to the driving & hotels it’s pretty much stress free except for getting out the Tri-state area. But it’s not uncommon for me to go 2 hrs do the events and drive home if I have personal plans for the next day. But my kids are used working and heading to a hotel especially if we have multiple events on the trip with time off between events. Then I try to make such the hotel has a pool if possible.

So my pick would be the out of town events.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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In Reality you don’t get to pick your events. The interesting thing about doing event in cities like NYC and traveling to events 100+ miles, is when you learn the tricks & shortcuts it isn’t as stressful. Well, maybe except for NYC it always seem to like to throw you a curve. I solved a majority of the issues by having a person Dedicated to handling the van & having a van with commercial plates. December we used do events M-F for couple weeks straight, hell would be the word I would describe the drive in. But as long as you allow enough time, there were no issues. Of course now equipment is much more compact so you might be able to get by with mini van for a single systems. I kept a regular full size van just for the City back then, my extended van was just to much to try to park plus no commercial plates.

Doing events out of the area just requires a little prep work. Pretty much once you get used to the driving & hotels it’s pretty much stress free except for getting out the Tri-state area. But it’s not uncommon for me to go 2 hrs do the events and drive home if I have personal plans for the next day. But my kids are used working and heading to a hotel especially if we have multiple events on the trip with time off between events. Then I try to make such the hotel has a pool if possible.

So my pick would be the out of town events.
Thats exactly it... once you're used to a certain something... it's no big deal. Personally I am not comfortable with Manhattan events, but other boroughs in NYC or Philly and every other city I'm pretty much 100% down for. Long trips... no problem. Wedding with 10 different add-ons... no problem. Multiple sound systems... I do that for all my events practically. It is all about the prep work. Most of the guys here that do NYC events actually do only small packages or sound only, and recommend things get rented locally for lighting or bigger production elements. Because I rely on add-ons to raise my ticket, it's not worth it to do it that way unless they pay a premium on my sound only option.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
9,249
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There was a time when at least 3 of them would have been for you though. Maybe not not since you are earning muc more money and earning plenty of dough You are only declining all of these events because you are earning plenty of money and have plenty of events on the calendar. I would not blame you for that at all.

For me, I see enough compensation in each of these events if I am open on a Saturday 2 months out. I would be willing to take any of them, but the least desirable would be the downtown heavy load in gig for $2650. After 17 years or so of doing gigs in Downtown D.C. and experiencing some pain in the ass load ins, and dealing with DC traffic, and dealing with the stress these higher end venue events bring along, I am getting close to the point to where I simply don't want to do those venues, and would rather do a lower paying suburban venue gig. It also helps that I work full time during the week so I feel I can be more picky in the events I do book moving forward. I'm not chasing the highest dollar amount because I feel I need to in order to maximize my income or up my image as a DJ. ...In the end I want to be copacetic doing what I love to do as a DJ while still making money, but it becomes less fun when dealing with the high end venues, planners, load in, traffic etc.

I guess I would most likely choose the Marriott Ball room gig for $1,200, and Tent wedding at a mansion venue further away for $1,600 as my 2nd option. Even though I don't cater to the Fire Hall crowd as much, I feel $550 for a 4 hour simple reception in a fire hall is still advantageous, and profitable. Also easy load in/out, and drive to venue/back is 5 minutes or so each way. Nice, more relaxing, way less stress, and considerably less time, so those are all attributes with that gig that I feel are worth a dollar value OFF on the gig itself. Maybe not by $650 compared to the Marriott ballroom wedding as the next step up, BUT still worth taking if it's the only opportunity, and I would rather make $550 for the night instead of sit at home or have that Saturday off.

With that said...I have this weekend OFF. I could have worked, but I knew I would be tired and need 2 days off after working 6 weekends straight in a row plus working MON thru FRI. I am going to enjoy being of this Saturday night! :)
May I please ask what was the gig you turned down and how much was the client willing to pay?
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
16,657
13,270
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
I tried plotting where my gigs have been (just since the beginning of September). Ignore the route itself, but you can see how spread out they have been:

View attachment 38734

Furthest distance was 189 miles (didn't even fit on the map)
The closest was 19 miles from my house

I'd guess an average of 45 miles each way, but maybe more given the Lexington and Old Westminster events.
Man, that makes me tired just looking at your map. The past couple of years I've noticed a real drop in my personal energy. I think this is a part of the motivation of building out a venue, to eliminate humping a thousand pounds of gear in and out every night (plus driving 100 miles). One thing that has always puzzled me and I'm curious if you guys see the same thing, particular venues/gigs seem to come in clumps. I'll pickup 2 or 3 gigs in a row in a particular venue or area then, I may not be back at that venue(s) for 2 or 3 years.