The process of hiring your DJ can be daunting? For many clients, your DJ is one of the top 3 most important selections for your event staff. Our team at Alchemy Entertainment is here to help answer whatever questions you may have and to make the process as easy as possible. Many of the common questions we hear are outlined below; if you need information on something else, feel free to shoot us an e-mail or give our team a call, and we will do whatever we can to help!
What is our typical process for working with new customers?
One of the most important aspects of working with a new customer is getting our host/DJ and customer(s) together so they can get to know each other (depending on schedules, our initial consultation may be in-person or via a phone conversation). We feel that it is extremely important that there is a positive chemistry so both parties can work well together.
Following the consultation, our team and our clients will go over the details of the event (when, where, how long, etc) and will discuss any special requests or requirements to ensure we have ample time to prepare. Our team also goes over music options to begin creating custom playlists for weddings and events, or to acquire additional tracks (as needed).
Following the event walk through, we set up our clients via our cloud-based Client Portal, which provides our clients access to customized online information forms, direct messaging with their DJ/host, a payment portal, and direct access to both our library and Billboard 200 music charts (for sampling and creating Must Play/Do Not Play lists). Our team is available via phone or e-mail following this to answer questions, follow up, or make adjustments until the date of the event, and all forms are available for edit until 7 days prior to the event.
Finally, at the availability of our customers (and the venue), our team will meet with the customer to do a walk through of the event location, verify load in availability, meet site staff, double check power and space requirements, and to take photos for preparation.
Prior to the day of the event, our team will confirm all details with our customers; likewise, we will text/e-mail our customers if they are not on site when we arrive.
What types of customers have we worked with?
Alchemy Entertainment & Events has worked with a wide variety of customers on a range of different events, from Weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs to Corporate and Church events. Our team has also worked with a number of special requirements clients, including Non-Profit Fundraisers, Black Tie, Military Events, and Culture-specific events (including Asian, Indian, Gaelic, Native, and Rastafarian).
Our regular clients include numerous local area schools, a variety of non-profit organizations, government entities, and corporate groups including teams at Amazon, Microsoft, HTC, and Google, and Alchemy boasts contracts with events such as the Future of Gaming Convention (GE2).
For Event Planning, our team has provided services on a variety of event types, including private Wedding coordination, office events for clients like Dropbox, and parties and corporate events in unique locations (such as Glass Blowing studios or on a boat).
What questions should customers think about before hiring a DJ?
Some of the most important questions that your DJ will (or should) ask you include:
There are many more questions that are important to answer, but these are some of the most common questions we ask that clients are not prepared for. With these answered, our team (or your prospective DJ) can get a much better idea of the requirements for your event, and can prepare a more accurate quote.
How did we get started doing this type of work?
Owner, Evan Rabinowitz, started in Portland in the early 2000's, producing his own electronic music and spinning records at clubs in the area. Over the next 15 years, he spent time as a DJ, event producer, performing musician, and engineer, and has credits on nearly 2 dozen complete albums and 40 singles to date (both on and off label), with performances or collaborations including groups such as Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, Trey Songz, Powerman 5000, Crossfade, Hed P.E., Five Finger Death Punch, and others.
While on hiatus from his last touring project, Evan was contacted by a friend from the Portland scene, asking him to take over a resident spot in the Seattle area. During this, Evan rediscovered his love for spinning tunes, and continued to found Alchemy Entertainment in 2014, in collaboration with his wife, Whitney, and a number of other Seattle-scene staple DJs. In early 2018, Whitney expanded the business, formally offering Event planning and Wedding coordination services (previously functioning in this role informally).
Alchemy now operates with 5-6 full-time DJs, 2 dedicated karaoke hosts, 2 event planners/coordinators, and 4 trainees or support crew, running roughly 100-150 private events per year, and contracting weekly with local venues. Alchemy also provides lighting, sound, and talent for local events (with Microsoft, Amazon, HTC, GE2, and others), hosts/promotes 1-2 large events and supports 3-4 festivals per year, with locations ranging from the Washington and the West Coast to Texas and Tennessee.
What advice would we offer for hiring a DJ/Host/Planner?
Take the time to meet your prospective DJ, Planner, or MC/Host. All of the best equipment can be rendered worthless if you hire an MC with no personality, a DJ who has no interest or ability in getting an idea of your tastes or needs, or a Planner who isn't interested in creating your vision. We have often received praise for our focus on creating custom playlists and tailoring our services to the needs of our clients; unfortunately there are far too many DJs and Planners who do not share our focus or interest in ensuring that their services reflect the personalities and tastes of their customers.
One major component to take note of is the focus on quality and personality over price.
We have all met customers who attended a friends event "DJ'd" by a sister's uncle's cousin's roommate who was a "DJ" because they had a set of thrift-shop speakers and an iPod, or a Planner who was unable to coordinate and execute a vision, failing to collaborate with other vendors and ignoring key information about their guests. They were terrified at the lack of professionalism they witnessed, and wanted to avoid running into the same issue for their event, and with good reason.
More often than not, your DJ/Host/Planner is going to be a major component in guiding your event, keeping energy and mood up, and driving timelines. When selecting an Event Professional, you need to find someone who is not only within your price range, but also is a consummate professional, someone who takes this business seriously and knows what they are doing. This can be the difference between an event where guests leave early, and one that is legendary. Be careful, be cautious, and be conscientious of the quality that you are looking for. *All DJ's are not the same.*
Whether you work with our team, or with someone else, Our job is to give you the best possible information to make an informed decision. Even if you haven't made up your mind, Please take a few moments and send us a note or e-mail, check out our website, and let us know your questions. As they say, the only silly question is the one you don't ask.
What should you know about our pricing?
We do have standard prices which are outlined in our quote system. While we work to accommodate a variety of budgets and requirements, we encourage prospective customers to price shop with other DJs and event companies in our area; we also encourage you to consider the value-added components (if an Event Professional makes you feel comfortable, no amount of savings will outweigh the benefits of a good match)!
Although we sometimes discount our services so we can meet the needs of our clients (including regular discounts to schools and non-profit organizations), our team also works incredibly hard to earn the 5 star reputation we have gained! We are confident that any quote you receive has been offered at the best possible rate given the specifications that you provided. If you truly do not have the finances available, we encourage you to Contact Us so we can see what options are available.
Likewise, if a member of our team suggests an add-on or adjustment which changes the price, we are doing this to ensure the quality and integrity of your event. Our first responsibility is ALWAYS the best interest of our customers.
Payment Policies & Deposits
Official Requirements to Secure Your Date:
Your contract states that your deposit is non-refundable within 60/90 days of your event, however if a change occurs, please contact us and we will see what we can do. Our team understands that life occasionally throws us curveballs, and we would prefer to see what can be worked out (rescheduling, partial refund, etc). We examine any cancellation on a case-by-case basis and are happy to find a suitable medium. If you suspect there may be an issue, please Contact Us as soon as possible, so we can work with you to find a resolution.