Hiring Vendors...Knowing what's REAL!

Here's the thing.  I know its hard to hire wedding vendors....of any kind. There are so many choices, so many good looking websites, so many different opinions...it's dizzying! I also know that DJs/Entertainment/Lighting vendors might just be the hardest to hire of all of the wedding vendors you will be interviewing.  It's not like you can bring 40 of your friends to a consultation, ask the DJ to make them dance and BOOM! You found your vendor.  With today's technology, it's not hard to make a good looking website...it isn't difficult to make a  good looking bridal show booth... and it only makes good common sense to have a prospective client meet with whoever is the best salesperson in the company. So, as a wedding couple looking to hire an Entertainment/Lighting vendor, how do you know what the product at the wedding will actually LOOK and SOUND like? How do you know what's REAL?

So, a conversation, about this exact topic, I had with a new client this past week really struck a chord with me. The client was looking for a quote on some specific lighting design elements: Uplighting, a Monogram, and some Crystal Columns.  Like any vendor would do, we encouraged the couple to come into our office for a consultation. It became clear, pretty quickly, that the client was wary of setting a live consultation without a quote first. Realizing this, we sent the client a quote for the items they were looking for and attached a bunch of pictures of our lighting design work in the specific venues they were considering. A few days later the client called back and booked the lighting on the spot and set a consultation appointment to discuss our DJ services. The client confided in me that they were having a discussion with another vendor for the same items. The other vendor was reluctant to send a quote (took 4 emails), had only "stock images" on their website of lighting design, and, despite claiming they had done lighting design in the venues the client was considering, could not produce any images of their work in those venues (what, your phone has no camera?).  Despite our quote being a little bit higher, we were excited that the client chose to do business with us.  I think that there is a lot to be learned from this new client of ours on how to figure out what's REAL.

Here are some specific tips on how to make sure that the product you are actually buying will match your vision.

1. Don't Trust a Stock Image

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Hey, this one is easy.  If you are looking for an example of a vendor's work, make sure the images you are seeing are truly examples THEIR work.  If a vendor is using a stock image of a product as an example, then they may not have ever even performed that kind of service before. Do you recognize the venue in the picture?  If a vendor tells you they've worked in a particular venue before, they should have images of their work in that space. Everyone has a camera phone...

2. Ask Your Other Vendors

Other vendors are often the best resource you have for insight into hiring decisions. If a DJ/Lighting company has claimed to have provided a particular service in a venue, ask that venue's management for what they thought of how it went. A match of personalities between you and your vendors is critically important, but almost equally important is the relationship between vendors. Ask the vendors you are interviewing who else they like to work with. You will get great results when you hire a team of vendors who all enjoy working together.

3. Find a Way to See the REAL Product

Hey, seeing is believing, right?  While visiting another couple's actual wedding reception can be tricky to arrange, has the vendor you are considering found another way to have you meet their event staff and see them perform or showcase their services live?  Many of the best vendors will host open houses, showcases, demo-nights, or some other format that allows prospective clients to get a glimpse of what the actual product will look and feel like.  If a vendor you are considering has not found a way to do this, it makes you wonder what they don't want you to see, doesn't it?

And, on that note (at the risk of turning this blog post into a commercial)...Make plans to attend VIP2014, our showcase party that we host with some of our favorite vendors. Our Semi-Annual VIP Party will be held November 15th at Eagle Vale Golf Club, co-hosted by Events by Jen, and with vendor participation by Stacy K Floral, Natalie Sinisgalli Photography, McCarthy's Tents and Events, Gourmet Goodies, Rochester Wedding Magazine, and Santiago Cigar Factory. At these events, we, in essence, throw a grand party with the help of some of our amazing friends in the industry. We have all of our DJs perform, display all of our lighting design services, open all of our photobooths, provide an open bar, and show off the work of some other great wedding professionals. It's a party showcasing great venues (In this case, Eagle Vale in Fairport) and the work of awesome vendors. For more info or to RSVP, email info@rochesterdj.com! 

There, now you have a plan to figure out what's real!  Good luck out there!

Warm Regards,

John Roach, Agent of Awesome

Encore Events

For Encore Clients, the Best 1st Anniversary Gift They Get Will Be From Us!

Hey Encore Wedding Family!

I just want you to know that your relationship with Encore doesn't end with the last note of your reception.  Many of our clients end up being life long friends, and we couldn't be prouder of that!   

We also want you to know that the best 1st Anniversary present you get, may be from Encore. We are proud to roll out our Anniversary Gift Referral Program!  Don't let that frozen piece of wedding cake be the only thing that you get to enjoy!

Here’s the Deal:
From now until your first wedding anniversary, refer everyone you can who is getting married to Encore...Family, Friends, Co-Workers, Facebook Friends, whoever...get creative!

For every referral that you sent who hires Encore as their wedding DJ, 
WE PAY YOU $100 ON YOUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY!

If you refer 7 couples who hire Encore as their wedding DJ,
WE REFUND YOU EVERY DIME THAT YOU SPENT ON YOUR DJ!

As the incentive to get your friends to hire us
WE GIVE EVERYONE YOU REFER A $100 DISCOUNT ON THEIR PACKAGE!

One more reason to help us grow our Encore Wedding Family!!  Go spread the good word!

See our website at ROCHESTERDJ.COM for all of the details!

 

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Who Encore Isn't.

So, when you've been in the wedding and event industry a while, especially the "DJ Business", you start to become self-aware of the public's general perception about "what you do." You begin to not only evaluate your own company with a critical eye, with the intention of improvement, you become more aware about how the public views your entire industry... the self-perpetuated "DJ Industry" stereotypes of: a DJ's impression of self-importance to the reception (Does a DJ really need to talk that much?), the industry's "kicking and screaming" reluctance to evolve beyond the 20th century (Macarena and Dollar Dances anyone?),  high pressure sales approaches, and a DJ's inflated opinion of our own music tastes ("Just trust us!  We are the experts!  We don't need to take guest requests"). While there are some other fantastic DJ companies in our market, I sometimes want to shake my fist at the entire industry and shout "Can't we just be good at what we do?"

When I meet with a potential new client, I try to take into account, and address, not only what we believe are the "selling points" of our company, but what worries and concerns the client may have about "hiring a DJ" in general.  In short, I think its just as important to let a client know "who we aren't" as it is to let them know "who we are".  So, here is a quick and fun list of things that Encore isn't!

We don't use clever "DJ Names"

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is around $30K.  Are you really going to risk that investment with DJ INSANITY managing the night (or using a microphone)? Ever heard of a high-end wedding photographer that calls him/herself "PHOTOG SNAPPY SNAP?"  Encore Staff members are known by clever names like "Aaron" and "Anthony". We don't want to be famous, we just want to be awesome for our clients.

We aren't going to "scare" you into signing a contract

I have heard a lot of stories of wedding couples that are hit with every high-pressure sales tactic there is while interviewing DJs....Companies that do anything they can to not let a couple leave a meeting without "signing on the dotted line".  To be fair, the wedding business is highly impacted by limited availability on popular dates. But can't we just have a open conversation with a client about availability without scaring them into a decision?  What are these guys afraid of ? (Maybe the couple is meeting with us next...OK that was a cheap shot). At Encore, we WANT you to meet with other DJs. No, really. Find a vendor that fits your needs and personality. Frankly, we think that the things we do best are made even more obvious after you've met with another vendor.  Come meet with us, see what you think, check out some other vendors, and we will call you if there is danger of us selling out.  Its that easy.  

We don't take over

Look, we don't think that the best way for a DJ to offer great value is to find every possible way we can to interject ourselves into your reception. We don't mandate that you play any games you don't want or force you into any activity that wasn't your idea. We don't want to be game show hosts. We promise, we're not going to be out dancing amongst your guests while wearing Britney-style headset microphones.  Here's the thing, if you've seen a wedding activity you like, let us know, we will manage it to perfection. In our minds, our job is simple:  Provide great planning and design assistance before the event, provide great management at the event, provide an awesome packed dance floor to a custom program of music, and get the heck out of the way.

 

I could keep going all day.  Again, here's my advice, whether or not you are considering Encore as a vendor:

  • Interview more than one vendor.  Find someone who you really click with.
  • Don't let a vendor pressure you into booking. Be afraid of why they are so desperate to "book you" before you leave the table.  
  • Make sure a vendor is clear that you want things "your way."
  • If the DJ vendor you are considering is offering you DJ DIZZY DAVE or other clever DJ name as your entertainer, run, do not walk.

 

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Welcome to the brand new ROCHESTERDJ.com!

Friends of Encore,

We are beyond excited that if you are reading this, than you have seen the brand new ROCHESTERDJ.com, the home of Encore Events!  More than ever before, ROCHESTERDJ.com gives you a first glimpse of how the services of Encore can make your event amazing.  Browse our galleries of lighting design, watch the videos of our incredibly talented DJs in action, peruse the Menu of Services, get our Wedding Info Guide, and even submit your wish list to our planning team (the "Administrators of Awesome").  Be sure to contact us and let us know what you think of our new "home on the web."

March is a great month...not only did we launch our new site, but we can't wait for Saturday the 30th as we present: PURE2013, An Encore Showcase Party, to be held at Westminster Hall and Chapel in Mendon, and co-sponsored by Events by Jen and Rochester Wedding Magazine.. Come party with the crew from Encore as we showcase our incredible array of services: DJs, Lightning Design, Photobooths, and Videography.  Come see the amazing event space at Westminster (THE hidden gem of event space in the Rochester/Fingerlakes) and fantastic displays from some of the best wedding professionals in the area.  Don't be fooled that this is some "bridal show", Pure is Pure Party! The bars will be stoked, the dance floor will be open,  and we want to give you a real taste of how your event is going look and fee...and I promise you our DJs will be doing their thing. RSVP to info@rochesterdj.com with your group size today!  Keep an eye on our Facebook page (facebook.com/EncoreSignatureEvents) for updates and all the details.

Thanks again for checking out our new site and our blog!  It's going to be a great year!

Sincerely,

John Roach, Encore GM