Tips for Hiring Your Entertainment: What to Know and What to Ask

As a leader in the entertainment business for over 23 years, we've learned quite a bit about making each event a huge success! Whether you book with us or choose someone else, we at After Hours Live Music and Entertainment would like to share what we've learned along the way. Armed with this knowledge, you can book your entertainment with confidence. Seeking entertainment for your party may seem like an easy task, but who you book can make or break your event. We've compiled a list of questions you should ask your entertainment company before you hire them. We've even included some helpful tips for all your party planning needs.

When Hiring a DJ

See them live!
If you don't see a live performance by your DJ company, you won't know if they can mix tracks properly. The mix and order of tracks will affect the atmosphere of your event. This seems like a no-brainer, but many people miss this crucial step. You should also be skeptical if a DJ doesn't offer live performances; they may be hiding something.

When Hiring an MC

Get the MC's Name on the Contract
If your desired MC's name is not on the contract, there is no guarantee that they will be the MC to perform at your event. Some DJ companies have been known to notify you of an MC change a week before your wedding. Our contracts always have the MC's name, ensuring that you'll get exactly what you pay for.

When Purchasing a Lighting Package - Questions You Should Ask

What will happen if the lighting malfunctions?
If uplighting stops working or malfunctions, someone should be there to attend to it immediately. Make sure they will have a skilled lighting specialist to attend to the lighting throughout your event. This is the reason we always provide a lighting specialist for your event. Things can still go wrong, we know, and we're prepared.

Who will attend to your Intelligent Lighting?
Intelligent lighting adds fun and excitement to your event at the right times. You want to know that intelligent lighting won't go off in a serious moment of your event. Imagine your best man's speech bringing the room to tears being interrupted with the intelligent lighting firing off and killing that precious moment.
After Hours always provides an intelligent lighting specialist for all these reasons.

When Booking a Snack Truck - Questions You Should Ask

Is this food truck used solely for events?
Nothing is worse than a standard "roach coach" showing up at your elegant affair.

What happens if the truck breaks down?
Make sure your company has another snack truck in case of emergency. Trucks can always break down; you don't want that to spoil your event and your night. We always have an extra food truck lined up in case of emergency.

How will the staff be dressed?
Make sure the attendant and/or food truck driver comes in proper attire for your occasion. You don't want someone showing up to a wedding in a tracksuit or a tank top.

When Booking Indoor Fireworks - Questions You Should Ask

What happens if something misfires or stops functioning?
The company you hire should have someone staffed to handle the machines to make sure they function properly. You want those fireworks to go off as planned for that special moment during your event and in your photos. You paid for it and deserve for it to go exactly as planned.

Is there a cap on how much I can use them?
Some companies may have limitations with their equipment. They may not be able to move the machine or may have a limit on how many times you can use them. Make sure you ask before you book. With us, when you book indoor fireworks, you have unlimited use for the time booked and we'll have them moved wherever you need them.

When Booking Photo Booths - Questions You Should Ask

What kind of Cameras do they use in their photo booths?
Many photo booths come standard with a webcam. What's wrong with that? For one, low resolution and smaller image sizes lead to poor image quality and blurry or pixelated images. If you're spending a pretty penny, you deserve the best. Our photo booths come with Canon or Nikon DSLR cameras, to ensure maximum quality with that "portrait mode" look!

Is there backup equipment if needed?
Both printers and cameras can stop functioning. You want to make sure the company you choose will have extra printers or cameras on hand just in case. Your event only happens once, after all!

Will my photo booth come with props and a scrapbooking station?
Make sure to ask if you have these options for your photo booths. Not all companies include these options.

When Booking a TV Package - Questions You Should Ask

How large are the TVs?
Some companies have smaller TVs. What good is a TV package, if those TVs can't be seen by your guests? Make sure you ask for the size TVs you would like.

What type of cameras do the photographers use to take candid shots?
Make sure the photographers are using a Canon or Nikon DSLR to ensure maximum picture quality. You deserve the best candid shots for your event!

When do I get my photos?
Some companies can take up to a week to get your candid photos to you after your event. We hand each of our clients a USB at the end of their event, so there's no waiting!

When Booking an Officiant

Ask if any of their MCs are officiants as well.
One of the perks of working with MCs like Phil, Brett, Carlton, and Loriann is that they're also officiants. Why coordinate and wrangle another person into your event? You know your MC will be there! Save yourself an extra headache.

Always Check Reviews!

  • Check to make sure you can leave reviews on Facebook! Some businesses remove that option because they have bad reviews.
  • Check reviews on all three major review platforms: Google, Yelp, and Facebook
  • Be wary of companies without a lot of reviews. You need to know you can trust this company: the more reviews a company has, the more established they are.

Thanks for reading! If you'd like to learn more about our services email us or call us at (631) 736-2921.

You can see us in action on social media @afterhoursdjmusic on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.