DJ Association of New Zealand

Improving DJ professionalism, integrity, image & skill

Hire a DJ who is a member of DJANZ, have a great celebration

Welcome to the Disc Jockey Association of New Zealand (DJANZ)


Here are some frequently asked questions about finding a great DJ, and a few things to ask your prospective entertainer before hiring them. While a good mobile DJ can help make your celebration a true success and keep your guests entertained, engaged and wanting to stay on until the end of the celebration, a poor DJ can ruin a night in a number of ways.

An unprofessional DJ can play too loud for conversation, play the wrong music, drink alcohol, take regular smoke breaks, hit on guests, or in the worst cases, arrive late or not at all. DJANZ members have accepted the DJANZ Code of Conduct and are committed to raising the standards of professionalism in our industry.

What is the best way to find a good DJ for a function?

The best way to find a good DJ is by selecting a DJ you have seen perform at a previous function. You should also consider a recommendation from a friend, venue or someone who has used a favourable DJ in the past for a similar function to yours.

It is also highly recommended that you view the DJANZ member listings for a DJ in your area that meets the criteria you are looking for.


Is it important to meet your DJ first?

It is VERY important that you meet the DJ you are considering before hiring anyone. Only by meeting a DJ can you have a feel for his or her experience and professionalism.

If you do not have a “good” feeling that this is the DJ for your function then you should look for someone else. Things to consider are presentation, preparation, enthusiasm, knowledge and listening ability.


Should I visit a function to see my DJ work before I hire?

Although it is preferable that you actually see your selected DJ at work, this is not usually possible unless you are a guest attending another function that your DJ is performing at.

Visiting another function that you are not invited to is not generally a good idea. How would you like a DJ’s prospective customers visiting your celebration unexpected? Besides, each function is “customised” by the DJ for that client and that performance may not suit your particular celebration.


What is an acceptable deposit to pay for DJ service?

Deposits for services depend on the individual DJ service and even on the location of the event. Larger city centres usually require larger deposits by most providers that service weddings and functions.

Generally, service fees are also higher in larger centres due to parking and other considerations. An acceptable “deposit for service” should be between 25% and 35% of the fee for service. Beware of DJs who don’t charge a deposit or offer a written contract.


How much do you include the DJ in your event planning?

In many cases today, the DJ is the coordinator of the function during the day of the event. A “party plan” should be agreed upon between you and the DJ in the weeks prior to the function to ensure that all requirements (music and otherwise) and all traditions are followed and met.

Therefore, the DJ should be involved as much as possible in the planning of the day of your function and should be involved with the creation of the run sheet. They will make sure everything goes “exactly” to your plan.


Should I feed the DJ at my event?

This is a tricky one. Your DJ entertainer will be working before, during and after your event. They will be setting up and making sure that all the sound and lighting equipment is perfectly set-up for your event. After your event, they will have to pack it all up and load it out to their vehicle.

These days it's not uncommon for a DJ to work for more than 10 or 12 hours on the day of your event. Food and hydration is important, but it’s up to you as to whether you incorporate this or not.

Most professional DJs do not insist on being fed, but accept gratefully when a meal is offered. Some DJs will graciously refuse a meal, so check with your entertainer what their preference is if this is something you are considering.

Event caterers always prepare more food than is required for guests for obvious reasons so they may be able to look after your DJ as well. If you do plan to offer your DJ a meal, discuss this with your caterer and ensure that the DJ is provided a meal at the same time as the guests so he or she is prepared to entertain and provide music service immediately following dinner.


If I have had a problem with a DJ at my function, what can I do and where can I go to voice my dissatisfaction?

The DJ Association of New Zealand represents professional DJs and DJ Entertainers across New Zealand. If you have any complaints or concerns about your DJ you can report your concern to the association in writing using the DJANZ website. All complaints are reviewed by one of our dispute officers and discussed with the DJ if the DJ is a Member of the Association.

If the DJ is NOT a member of the Association, the complaint is registered and maintained by our Association for future consideration if this DJ eventually decides to join. Such complaints on file could cause the declinature of any future Membership or Licensing application of this DJ.


Have you committed yourself to follow the DJANZ Code of Professional Conduct?

Any responsible business owner will be committed to living by the DJANZ code of Professional Conduct. This is just one of the commitments that legitimate entertainment companies will make to you.


Will you be willing to play requests and discuss music ahead of time?

A versatile DJ is willing to listen to your suggestions, give you feedback and play from your desired song list. A professional DJ will also accept the fact you may not want certain songs played. A professional DJ cannot know everything about your musical preferences and entertainment needs without communication.


Do you use Professional Equipment?

Ask whether your prospective DJ works with professional audio equipment. If you are not sure, ask for their equipment list and check with a local music dealer or the DJANZ. to verify they are using professional-grade sound gear. Remember that professional gear does not guarantee an entertainer's talent or service level, but is simply a tool for building an exceptional event.


Do you provide backup equipment at my event?

Although equipment failure is rare, do you really want your special occasion ruined because your DJ did not come prepared? It is also important to know if your DJ has a back-up plan in case of illness, accident or equipment failure. Members of the DJANZ have many resources available to them in case of an emergency.


Do you know the proper etiquette for my type of party?

A professional DJ will assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. Ask if they have experience with your type of event.


How much time do you allow for set-up?

Punctuality is a necessity. Most DJs arrive at least one hour prior to the start time you've given them. Your entertainer should ideally be setup and in-place before your first guest walks through the door.


Do you provide a written contract?

It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial retainer. The contract ought to cover the date, times, location and if you are expecting a specific entertainer, make sure you get it in writing as well.


Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?

Specify the type of apparel that your DJ is expected to wear for your occasion. Formal attire or suit & tie are the most popular forms of attire. If you are having a "themed" event, make sure your entertainer is informed.


What additional training have you completed and what training resources have you purchased?

One of the problems with being a Mobile DJ is that you seldom get to see other DJs at work at private events (you're usually working yourself) and very few DJs take the time or spend the money to enhance their skills, develop new techniques, learn new relevant technical information or hone their talent. If your DJ has purchased targeted learning material, or taken time to attend workshops, seminars and training to improve what he/she does, then you can bet that they take their business and their clients seriously and they aren't just hobby DJs.


Do you belong to a professional organisation or trade group?

Although belonging to an organisation or trade group does not guarantee the talent or professionalism of a DJ, it may indicate the company’s willingness to network, learn and grow. DJs can learn through local chapter meetings, national DJ conventions and seminars geared toward the entertainment professional.


Other Items to Note

DJ rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality.

Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $500 to $5,000 with an average of $1,200 for an evening's entertainment. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, a recent US survey concluded that 87% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight.

A full-service DJ company will normally invest 10 to 20 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for "4 hours". Consultations, correspondence, equipment maintenance, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education, training and other business related endeavours add up to the overall success of your special occasion.

Booking a reliable DJ is a very important decision for the success of your party. Selecting a DJ who is an active member of the DJ Association will provide you with the confidence that you have selected a trained professional. DJANZ members are more likely to be involved with other DJ’s who can help them out with an unexpected situation.



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