Digital DJ Tips Platinum Facebook Group member Gary asks: “When playing at a gig, have you ever made any assumptions that have ended up disappointing your client / audience?
“I was DJing a wedding where the guests came half an hour early. Without checking in with the bride and groom, I handled traditions as I saw fit and got people dancing. When I noticed people sitting idle or scratching their heads and grabbing handbags, I moved to the next item on the timeline. Some members of the crowd left early, but the rest danced an hour and a half past my end time. I even let the drunk groom try scratching and let him play a few songs while I took down my lights. I assumed that everything had gone fine.
“However, in the end they gave me a one-star review. Apparently, I ruined their wedding by cutting the cake too early and making their guests leave too soon. In eight years of DJing weddings, I’ve never had a client ask me to stick to the timeline, but rather do what I felt was best. After this, I have resolved to never change a timeline again without first checking with the client how far ahead or behind schedule we are.
“Have you had a similar experience where your client was disappointed by something you assumed or had done unknowingly?”
Digital DJ Tips says…
It looks like you were as accommodating as possible, and did well to think on your feet with the guests arriving early and all. However, it is always a good idea to double-check timings and details with your clients first. They are the ones paying for your service, after all.
As far as assumptions go, early on in my DJ career, I was asked to play at an acquaintance’s party. I was asked to play whatever I wanted but I was unsure and took a mixed bag, leaning towards the techier side of things. When I got there, no one wanted to listen to tech house, they wanted funk and disco. I learned here never to assume and to simply ask what people want, as I could have saved myself some embarrassment there.
The other story I can tell you is about the DJ who played at my mum’s 50th birthday party (sorry, mum). My mum gave him loads of pointers beforehand as to what she wanted. My mum likes to dance and party and so do her friends and our family. The DJ, for whatever reason, saw “50th birthday” and thought wise to play a load of tracks you would be more likely to hear at a 70th wedding anniversary. Only after a pestering from my mum did he switch things up, but he had already dug his own grave.
We’re all going to have some stories and I’m sure there are plenty better than mine out there, so on that note, let’s put this over to the readers. It doesn’t matter which type of DJ you are, let us know of any times things went pear-shaped at gigs due to your assumptions or unchecked expectations.
So, over to you: Have you ever made an assumption that has left your client unhappy with your services? What was the assumption that you made? What was the fallout from it? Let us know in the comments below…