Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tiempo! Tiempo! Tiempo!!

The concept of Time plays a critical factor in the DJ industry. From counting the beats per second while transitioning between mixes of songs, to ensuring the flow of a wedding ceremony is accurate and punctual. No matter the event, DJ's must be cognizant of time, especially considering the fact that most events are only scheduled for a specific period of time. We as DJ's have that window of hours, to welcome guests, entertain guests and conclude an event with the hopes that all guests leave with a wonderful memory of the event. Time is also important prior to the event, for ALL vendors. Through the event planning process, vendors including the DJ should be aware and allot time for travel, parking, set up, etc. This notion may be seem obvious to many, however, it is to this day surprising to me, how many professional musicians and entertainers disappoint their customers simply by running late for events. On that note, event planners, coordinators, and directors can assist in avoiding the “tardiness” dilemma by notifying vendors of any complications and challenges that they may face when arriving or setting up at a specific venue. 

      Today's topic came to mind, after witnessing and experiencing the beginning of a wedding reception that was nothing short of frantic for all parties involved. The wedding took place between Christmas and New Years in a ball room in down town Raleigh. The venue allotted exactly an hour and half for all vendors to enter and set up before the start of the event. Being that this specific location was in down town Raleigh, I arrived 2 hours early, as I knew parking was an “unspoken” challenge that I may face (which I did). What I, nor any other vendors including the caterer, and photographer realized was that the entrance to the building required a specific key EVERYTIME you entered. The door could not be propped open, and no specific gatekeeper, or key man was assigned this evening. Therefore, each trip of equipment for all parties involved required waiting. Additionally, the ballroom was located on the second floor of the facility, and the elevator was conveniently not in service. Consequently, after “waiting” repeatedly per trip to enter the venue, and the challenges of lifting, pulling and pushing equipment over 2 flights of stairs, all vendors for this event had less than our anticipated time to set up for the event. As the wedding reception progressed and ultimately concluded, all guests including the bride and groom were satisfied and had a wonderful time (minus the broken heat and AC in the facility, but that's a whole other story), however, I personally could not help but think that the panic, rush and even frustration that we all felt during the initial stages of this particular day may have been avoided if we warned of the factors that could potentially delay our TIME for entering and set up. The takeaway/learning experience for me personally and perhaps for other vendors and DJ's is this. If by chance, you are not familiar with the venue that you may be scheduled to work for an event, researching, calling, and even asking questions concerning set up prior to travel can be very beneficial! Furthermore, a note to event coordinators and planners: If you're facility presents issues for vendors that you are quite aware of, it is critical to notify not only your customer that may be renting the venue for the party or event, but also all vendors involved for the day. TIME can make or break an event! Perhaps more so than the entertainment, decorations, food, or other factors involved. It is imperative as a DJ and event planner to be aware of the length of TIME it may take you to prepare for any event, whether that be unpacking equipment, setting up lights, placing dishware and cooking food, etc and research and asks questions prior to any event at a venue that you are unfamiliar with. Vent over! Lesson Learned!

Thanks for reading guys!

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