Prebeat’s 7 Tips for Being a Successful DJ This Christmas Party Season
‘Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat…’ Or the turkeys. Or the butternut squash if that’s your thing! Here at Prebeat, we love hearing stories from DJs around this time of year – which is why we thought we’d bring you our top tips for getting the party started this festive season! From embracing the magic to brushing up on the Christmas classics, we’ve got your checklist for being a Christmas party DJ.
1. Get bookings in some sort of diary
If you’re an old hand and have been at the DJ game for years, you’ll be all too familiar with scrap bits of paper detailing your next gig or the latest song request from a karaoke queen – and if this still works for you, we won’t knock it! All we’re saying is, however you choose to record your bookings, record them you must.
We’re already halfway through November, so chances are, your diary for the next 6 weeks is filling up pretty fast. Avoid double booking yourself by making a note of all agreed dates, deposits and venues. This way, you don’t need to risk letting anyone down and your reputation will remain firmly intact.
2. Stay away from the mulled wine
Christmas parties often mean free alcohol – and this can be dangerous for the easily influenced DJ. Okay, maybe don’t stay completely away from the booze, but you’ll want to limit how much you drink – not least because you have a job to do!
This doesn’t just go for mulled wine, either. Don’t let the excitement of the complementary fizz or offers of a drink from repeat karaoke offenders sway your judgement. There’ll be plenty of time for you to party once theirs is over.
3. Be familiar with the Christmas classics
From Elton John helping us Step Into Christmas to Mariah belting out her ‘94 classic, this time of year serves up a feast of festive music – and as a Christmas party DJ, you’ll be expected to know your stuff. If you think the 16th November is too soon to be hearing Noddy Holder screaming on the radio, this tip is for you!
Most Christmas parties are in early December, if not before, so you’ll need to be ready. Get a Christmas playlist downloaded and familiarise yourself with the best tunes of years gone by. More importantly, make sure you have them in your music library. Trust us, you don’t want to be faced with merry office workers when you tell them you don’t have Fairytale of New York!
4. Embrace the festive spirit
This one’s crucial. If you’re not having a good time, it’ll be obvious – and there’s nothing worse than a dull Christmas party. For a DJ, a Christmas party can be bags of fun or – let’s be honest – a total headache. You need to find a way to enjoy the evening (not at the punch bowl, refer to point #2!) so that both you and your crowd have a good time.
So, bring your A-game and get the evening off to a great start with some firm festive favourites. Then, whether you’re encouraging requests or gearing up for an hour of karaoke, you and your audience will be ready to party.
5. Have a list – and check it twice!
Whether it’s a microphone that runs out of batteries or a starball that just, well, won’t play ball, avoid finding yourself in a pinch by double checking all your kit and making sure it’s in full working order before you reach the venue.
Especially at this time of year, it’s a good idea to have back up kit to keep you covered if anything runs out of steam or is broken during your gig. If you don’t want to lug it around, keep your gear in storage equipment in your vehicle – out of sight of course – and rest assured you have what you need should anything go wrong.
6. Remember, you’re there to please the crowd!
No two Christmas parties are the same, which means no two crowds are the same – and part of your job is to read your audience. Are you hosting a party for a bunch of 20-something party animals who think Wizzard refers to Harry Potter? Or maybe it’s a more civilised sit down dinner for investment bankers?
If you’ve been on the scene for a while, you’ll have this skill down to a fine art, but it’s important you read the room and tailor your gig accordingly. Don’t worry if you haven’t cracked this yet, you’ll soon figure it out – believe us!
7. Display your social handles
This is just good practice all year round, but if you want to encourage recommendations, make sure people have access to your social handles. These could be printed on a karaoke request slip or displayed on the front of your DJ booth – it really doesn’t matter, as long as people can see them.
Don’t be afraid to do a shoutout to ask people to give you a ‘like’ and ‘follow’ online, either. If you put on a great show, hopefully they’ll recommend you to other people. As you know, word of mouth is still a powerful tool in this business, so make sure all the right things are being said about you.
Fancy yourself as a pro Christmas DJ? Got a tip of your own to add? Let us know over on our Facebook page!