A disc jockey, or DJ, has a challenging, people-filled and varied career. He must have the intuitive ability to read a crowd of guests and decide what music will best suit their specific tastes. To accomplish this effectively, a professional DJ must have everything in place before departing for an event. Therefore, a checklist is an organized method of ensuring he is fully equipped.
Music Equipment and Laptop
Many DJs use MP3 players and iPods in conjunction with their laptops while others still use CD players and turntables. This equipment should be packed and cushioned from any damage during transport and set up with care. A conscientious DJ should always have extra microphones and headphones available in case of an emergency. Sometimes a power supply is also needed especially if the event is in a remote area such as a beach with no electricity or alternate power.
Tables or Folding Counter
Sometimes an event will provide a table for your equipment, but it may not be what you need in either stability or size. Always be prepared and bring a folding table or small counter. You may have your equipment already installed in a unit but it is still nice to have extra table space behind you for miscellaneous supplies.
An effective DJ system requires enough speakers for the function. Large areas may need several speakers to provide ample sound while small rooms will need only the speakers up front with the other DJ equipment. If you are playing outdoors, you may need to run a test to determine numbers and locations of your speakers.
Extension cords, duct tape, table skirting, extra wiring and connections, power strips, fuses, electrical tape, and tools are all items a prepared DJ should have in her possession. Adding a small first-aid kit will make you appear especially proactive and ready to assist with any emergency that may arise.
Event Agenda and Song Lists
The details of the event and the progression of the time frame are extremely important to a DJ. He may also be provided with a list of requested music by the client, especially if he is playing for a wedding reception. These will help provide the framework of the music selections and also give him a clearer idea of what type of music to play. A small pad with pencils should also be available at his station so guests can write down and give him their special requests.
Business Cards and Promotional Materials
Whether you work for yourself or are employed by a company, it is always a good idea to bring a kit with business cards, price packaging, song lists and other promotional materials. Being a DJ can be very competitive and the best way to get your name or business name out there is to first do an exceptional job and second, have contact and advertising materials ready and waiting for anyone who may request it.