A Good Playlist Will Help Your Event, But A Professional DJ Will Set It Apart
When it comes to planning an event or crafting an experience, the music becomes an essential part of the impression left on guests. Luckily, this task has become less daunting over recent years, as the proliferation of streaming services has made it easier than ever for people to access a wide range of music and pre-made playlists. But when everyone begins tapping the same sources for music, going that route risks blending in with the crowd.
This is where DJs come in.
In recent years, the public’s idea of the DJ has shifted to visions of artists on the mainstage. Long before this, and still to this day, DJs have been an essential part of the music industry, primarily serving as both curators and tastemakers. While finger-tip access and algorithm-driven selection have their positives, people often struggle to find different songs and experiences in the way they used to - with the help of reliable, thoughtful, expressive experts.
So in comparison to a playlist, what major advantages does a DJ provide?
The Human Factor
DJing is about creating an atmosphere and getting people involved in the music. That's why the human factor is so important when it comes to DJing. When you see a DJ at work, you can see the passion and energy they put into their craft. They're not just picking songs - they're performing - and that makes all the difference. Having a DJ at your event makes people feel special because they know that someone is there to create an unforgettable experience just for them.
As DJ Tweed, a featured DJ from the Scratch talent network, says: “Sometimes for example for Nordstrom, I am in one section but I am tapped into the system, so I am playing for the whole store. Even though customers might not see me, they feel what I'm doing. The overall vibe of the place changes and shopping at a particular store becomes more fun, more rewarding and gratifying. Other times they walk in, they see me and the booth welcoming them, and they immediately smile as if to say ‘Oh there is a DJ here’.”
The Right Song for the Right Crowd
While it has been proven that music influences behavior, not all demographics respond to the same vibes and genres equally. Tracks that have teens feeling good might not have the same effect on an older crowd. DJs are made for this fluid dynamic, possessing an extensive music collection, and relying on it to determine which tracks should be featured in their sets. They must be able to search through new releases, differentiate between samples and classics, and keep all of this updated on the fly during their performances.
DJ Tweed says: “Even with a pre-mix, a playlist is still not good because you need to match the energy of what's going on and who's moving in and out of the stores. I'll work the store like I'm working for a party. I'll see who's in there and see what music to play. So, if I got an audience that's a little bit older, I might go a bit more classic with Stevie Wonder or something. Whereas I get a little bit later into the day, when things start picking up, and I get different customers shopping, I'll switch up the format, pick things up a little bit differently, and go up a little bit with the volume.”
Any professional DJ will tell you that one of the most important aspects of their job is to keep the music flowing smoothly, without any gaps or dead air. This may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in how enjoyable the event is for guests. Whether in a store, on a dance floor, or walking the city streets, we all know that feeling of a song drawing us into something. And when it goes quiet, or loses its buzz, we quickly disperse.
A professional DJ is able to mix tracks seamlessly, creating a blended, uninterrupted soundscape. The power of the mix can level-up even the most considered playlist, which can still sound disjointed as it starts and stops its way through a shuffle. When done properly, mixing can even make a single song sound better than it does on its own. DJs deliver a steady flow of energy, allowing guests to enjoy their experience without any interruptions or awkward pauses that could divert their attention elsewhere.
A Unique Experience
Have you ever listened to a playlist and felt like you were hearing different versions of the same songs over and over again, even if it was different songs playing? A professional DJ maintains the right energy level throughout the set and prevents the music from becoming repetitive.
DJs can play an open-format set, crossing BPMs and tempos. Using transition techniques and effects to make those changes smoothly keeps people immersed. Transitions can be centered around the same BPM, sometimes “words” acting as the viable reference between two tracks, sometimes around similar instrumental riffs. A good transition makes the playlist dynamic, expressive, and original.
Expert DJs understand what works now, and how music trends evolve over time. DJs can bridge the gap between established musical trends and the unknowable future by fusing elements of both established and experimental sounds. Even when staying within the confines of one musical genre, a live mix produces a one-of-a-kind listening experience you can only hear if the DJ is there.
Show Your Guests You Are Worth Their Time
Before the pandemic, people automatically left their homes each day. Now, with remote work and the digital acceleration of commerce and entertainment, that assumption no longer holds. People have the choice to accomplish at home what they used to do by going to a store, office, conference, mall, or movie theater. When crafting an experience for your guests, it is vital to remember that you are competing with all the other options they have for spending their time, attention, and money.
By bringing a DJ into your environment, you are making an active statement to all guests about the effort you are putting into caring about them. When a company is willing to put in more to elevate an experience, that is often reciprocated by guests with a deeper connection felt towards that company. You will stand out amongst the sea of options, both in that moment, and in the future. Professional DJs understand the impact they have on that bond as an extension of your name and brand, and embrace the positive effect they can have.
As DJ Perly explains: “For events, I try my best to get a good collection of various genres of music and make sure I’m prepared for the unexpected request. Like any DJ prepping for a gig, I do research and make sure that the songs I’m gathering will be a good fit. At the end of the day, it’s all about having a good time and everyone goes home with a smile on their face."
In a world of ever-present digital music streaming, it may seem counterintuitive that hiring DJs could make a crucial difference to your brand. But a skilled, curated DJ can transport guests with sound and emotion in ways no playlist or radio station can match - setting you apart in the competition for hearts and attention spans.
Whether your event is at a retail location, music festival, sporting event, or business conference, the Scratch team utilizes its expertise and unrivaled professional DJ network to produce scalable, reliable, cost-efficient experiences that create buzz and excitement.
DJ Perly Ladies First Interview, DJ Life Mag