I have been a DJ for over 25 years now. I learned my trade in night clubs, pubs and village halls…I’ve played to celebrities, huge corporations and probably around 300 Auntie Beryls at weddings across the UK. I can only recall one dissatisfied customer in all that time, and that was because I played his guests’ choice of music instead of the awful playlist he sent me….opting to entertain the majority rather than an incredibly small minority (i.e. just him). I’ve built up an established reputation as a very good mobile DJ and presenter, being a preferred wedding supplier in quite a few reputable hotels over the years….basically I’ve done my job to a very high standard and I’m proud of the services I provide.
So it came as a surprise to me when I spoke to a bride-to-be at the weekend, and one of her comments was that she would prefer an ‘award-winning DJ’.
Hmmmm, in all my years in the role, I’d never ever been asked that. I know they exist because a friend/associate DJ has won many of them, and in his own words, it’s more of a marketing skill than a DJing one. He is the first to humbly admit that he’s not the best DJ in the area or the country. Clearly though, it works very well for him and it certainly helps fill his diary with higher-paying weddings each year. So I briefly researched exactly how I could achieve the same accolade (next year now, 2014 is already decided!) I could register personally for the awards or I could ask my satisfied clients to nominate me. And I immediately hit stumbling block no.1…….’A fee of £50 is payable for nomination and administration’ Seriously? You want me to pay £50 so that I can be included in the voting? Erm…..ok, so what next? It turns out that I would need to badger each and every bride and groom to get online and post some scores/vote for me following their wedding reception. Apparently, to avoid spoof voting the judges verify that the votes come from legitimate customers of mine….. Am I too cynical? Probably. Am I jealous? No. Am I annoyed that a potential booking hinged on whether I had an internet-generated gong to my name? Most definitely! My reasoning for questioning this system is very simple though: The winners are those who tend to be more gifted at marketing and self-promotion than they are at doing the actual job in hand. No-one on the ‘judging panel’ actually takes time to see a performance in the flesh, therefore none of the DJs are judged by their peers or by anyone within the industry itself.
Without a doubt, the winners of these awards provide a good reliable service for your wedding reception……but not necessarily the best service. And with the prestige of hiring an ‘award winner’ be prepared to pay extra for that title too!