Most of these I would cover in the initial meeting with you, but some might be event specific and knowing how I handle them will help you make your choice of music provider.
When I book you, do I need to meet you at all?
Generally speaking, after initial contact via email or phone and before booking, I always like to meet with a prospective client as I find it’s the best way to get a true feel for their needs, and it allows me to offer my experience in the planning stages, as well as clarify any ambiguities.
I’m happy to meet as often as you wish after the initial meeting, for example if there is an organizing committee you’d like me to keep in touch with or be a part of, or if you want to go over and confirm progress on any requirements or arrangements with me.
Of course, if circumstances do not permit meeting in person – you’re booking me from an overseas location for example – we can do all communication via email or phone with confirmations by email, or mail if you prefer.
Do I need to pay a booking fee?
In most cases I do require a booking fee simply so that we both commit to the event on the date in question. However if you are looking to book me on a regular basis, I’m happy to discuss other arrangements.
For your part you confirm that you will require my services and confirm that you will make all necessary payments in time before the event.
For me, I commit to holding the date for you until it either goes ahead or should you unfortunately need to cancel. It also commits me to carrying out any additional services you require, such as sourcing and providing a quote for additional equipment, or for making any other arrangements that might be required with other performers.
This booking fee is non-refundable in the event of a later cancellation as in holding the date I may have to turn away other business.
If you have asked me to provide additional equipment that is not provided as part of the standard package or options then, upon you accepting the quotation of these services, I may require at least a deposit or, in some cases, full payment for the equipment at the time of confirming the requirement. This will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
Details of terms and conditions are provided with the quote for the required services and can also be found here.
Can you do outdoor events?
Yes, so long as a safe and suitable outdoor power supply to the set-up location, and some form of cover from the elements (sun or rain), is provided. I do caution against setting up too close to a poolside in case water washes on the floor and creates slip hazards on the dance floor, and of course dangers from splashes over electrical equipment. But I am happy to work with you in identifying the safest way to set up.
I’m having a boat party; can you provide music and lights?
I’ve performed on ferries in the past where the waves made the pick-up jump every few turns! But we still made it a great night of dancing 🙂
With equipment these days it is possible to provide a decent service even on quite small junks, so I’m happy to discuss and see what I can provide.
When will you arrive and set up?
The standard package requires around 60 minutes to set-up from roadside to running. However I ask that no less than 90 minutes be provided to accommodate any problems that might arise either with my equipment or with the venue.
I generally ask that I be allowed access to the venue as early as possible (usually during room turn around in such cases), not only because I’m hyper-cautious, but also because it allows me time to meet the venue supervisor for the event and double-check arrangements, including any last minute changes or hiccups, in good time.
Although you and your guests will have no doubt left happy and in good time at the end of the event, you can also be assured that I will take down and remove my equipment in a safe and efficient manner as quickly as possible, so that the venue staff can close up or get on with whatever next is planned for the venue. I generally allow for 45 minutes for pull down to roadside, though this may need to be longer depending on the venue and event set up.
Do I need to provide you with any refreshment or meal during the event?
If you do, then it is very kind of you, however I try to make sure that I have been fed before I am required to provide any music or MC services at the event, so a meal isn’t generally necessary, also I don’t usually have time to sit down anyway.
If it is a prolonged event however, or at a remote location where it isn’t possible for me to have a break before kicking off, then I will mention my requirements during consultation.
As for refreshment, I really only like to keep water handy during an event and, if there is a bar or waiter service, I would appreciate you having a word with the Captain to ask I be looked after.
I do not usually drink alcohol during a performance, but a celebratory glass of wine for any toasts or ‘thank you’ cold beer or two during a hot night is well appreciated 🙂
Can I use your equipment for making announcements and speeches?
If I am not also MCing the event, I provide a wireless microphone for the client or their MC to make announcements and for speeches. A cord microphone is also available in case there is a need for two MCs.
I need somebody to coordinate the night and/or make announcements/run the raffle/run an auction. Do you know anybody?
I have a lot of experience in public speaking from my lifetime career and am confident on the microphone, without being a pain in the address system… I can give advice on the running of the program and, if you wish, can provide your MC service to run the continuity announcements during the event, such as announcing event timings, speeches, chivvying people along to buy raffle tickets, and running the lucky draw.
I do have some experience in running auctions but regard this as quite a skilled area that, honestly, there are much better people out there than me and who will help you realize more proceeds from the auction. But, if you are in a pinch on the night when, for example, somebody has pulled out, I can step in.
I also have another entertainer for the event; can they use your equipment?
For a single entertainer (single acoustic musician, magician, clown, or comedian for example) requiring nothing more than a microphone or to be able to plug their microphone into my PA system, I am happy to discuss their needs with them directly and make arrangements under a mutually (between myself and the entertainer) acceptable agreement.
We also have a live band. Can they use your PA system and/or lights?
Generally speaking, my audio equipment is not really suitable for live band music and so I would normally decline to allow such, unless I am asked to also source and provide a suitable PA system for them.
As for lighting, I am happy to leave the lighting running on sound-to-light, however if the band require more lighting control than this during their set, then I am happy to discuss their needs with them directly and make arrangements under a mutually (between myself and the band) acceptable agreement.
Can I, or my friend, sing on your equipment?
I do not provide a karaoke service to general guests, but if the client or organizers wish to use my microphone and PA system for a small pre-arranged singing performance, such as, let’s say, a Marilyn Monroe-style birthday dedication, then I’m happy to accommodate. Bear in mind about provision of suitable quality music beforehand, if required.
Can I, or my friend who is also a DJ, have a go on your equipment?
Unless your friend is Armin Van Buuren, then sorry, no. Even then, probably no. In fact, definitely no.
I hope you will appreciate that the equipment is my work tool and, if I was a surgeon, you wouldn’t expect me to let your best mate have a go with the scalpel…
I’m a DJ too, could you spin my mix set and give me some exposure?
Unless I really do know you as a DJ (which, in any case, why do you need exposure?) then sorry, no.
Issues with content suitability (music style or inappropriateness), media and mastering quality are raised, as above.
And let’s face it, how do I know if it’s any good? I mean Even Paris Hilton calls herself a DJ… And I wouldn’t let her play with my equipment either… Erm, you know what I mean.
We’re having a great time! Can you play on after the agreed end time?
Usually not a problem, though it is dependent on you having the agreement of the venue management first.
Depending on how long extra you wish to carry on for, and the projected end time, I may ask for an additional fee for the extra time. This is because I will no doubt have to pay a higher fee for my end of night transport arrangements. And I appreciate cash at the time please.
What will you wear at the event?
It all depends on the style of the event.
If it’s black tie, then so am I. If it’s smart casual, I’m in shirtsleeves and trousers. Poolside? Well I’ve done a poolside splash party in dinner jacket and black tie… With shorts below 🙂
Basically, I’ll dress appropriate to your event, even in theme if it’s a themed night. I am sensitive to the need for every aspect of an event to meet the look and expectation of the client.
Will there be anybody with you hanging around during the event or at the end of the night?
As I generally operate as a one-man show, you or the venue manager will not have to worry about roadies or such like hanging around the venue at any time.
If there will be technicians delivering/taking away/operating additional equipment that you have asked me to arrange, then I will specify this before you confirm the requirement.
If I do bring an assistant to either help move equipment, or set-up/take-down, or to help play music, take photos, or just to watch and learn, then I will let you know at the start of the night, if not in advance, who they are and why they are tagging along with me.
I don’t need music/DJ for 6 hours. Can I pay less for a shorter period?
I appreciate that not every event will require continuous music and DJ services throughout its entirety, which is why I offer several packages for different event needs.
I need the disco/music during the daytime. Can you do it?
I am happy to provide any of the packages at the prevailing fee starting no earlier than 11am and finishing no later than 12 pm. Of course earlier and later starting and finishing times can be negotiated.
I need a disco/music for a longer period than 6 hours. Can you do it?
Yes, within reason. I am happy to discuss your exact needs and quote accordingly.
How much do you charge and why don’t you put your charges on the web page?
I understand that for some customers price is an important consideration, and I think you will find that the charge for what I provide, is a very good deal. Each package is charged according to the service supplied.
With that in mind however, as customer focus is a key aspect of the service, I think it is important that a new prospective client has the chance to learn more about what I offer than simply judge on a quick phone call, web page and fee offered.
Also, my charges do vary according to seasonal demand, not because I think I can ask for more, but because other services that I rely on – transport for one – generally increase for me during those periods.
Occasionally the complexity of an event, location (I do provide DJing services outside of Hong Kong as well for example), and venue considerations also provide greater challenges and incur costs to me in respect of logistics and equipment.
Do you give regular customers a preferential deal?
I am always happy to recognize customer loyalty with good deals, so if you intend to book my services on an extended basis, I am willing to discuss a contracted fee, terms and conditions based on the number of occasions you wish to reserve my services for.
I offer a special rate for existing or previous customers so, if I haven’t already been in touch with you and you are an old customer of Hong Kong Beat, get in touch and let’s talk 🙂