FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM MARCH 2008
Winter is always a weird time here at Elite Entertainment. We don’t perform at too many events so our DJ staff (except for those that work in the office) are mostly idle and unfortunately not making too much money. This is okay for the guys and gals with fulltime jobs in fact they even appreciate the respite after our busy Decembers. But for the few DJs on staff who do this fulltime and don’t rely on another job to compensate their income, the winter can be a tight time. (Last year I even hired one guy to paint our offices. We got a fresh look and he was able to make ends meet – a win-win!)
But we in the office are usually very busy. Especially my salespeople since January February and even March are busy booking-wise.
Brides, as the logic goes, all get engaged around the Holidays. And since winter here in the North East is dark and dreary (and unless you ski there’s not a lot else to do) they all plan their weddings during these months.
So to capitalize on all these couples with deposit money burning a hole in their pockets, we do a lot of showcases in the winter months.
A recent thread on “Disc Jockey America” discussed Bridal Shows and their worth (or lack of.) Some DJs weighed in that they hate doing them and don’t consider them to be worth their time, energy or financial investment. I couldn’t feel any differently. For us here at Elite, Bridal Shows are the number two source of leads and bookings (behind only my staff’s Personal Referrals.)
But here’s the biggest difference that I see: most of the DJs I know who think Bridal Shows aren’t worth the time do not perform at these shows. They have a booth and they distribute literature and hopefully strike up a few meaningful conversations throughout the day with some prospective Brides. Then they get a list of attendees and work it (or not) till they are blue in the face. But they never get out in front of the crowd and “perform.”
The analogy I used in my response on Mark Ferrell’s chat board is that of a Movie Preview. When you go to the theater, before a movie starts they show previews right? The previews usually consist of actual scenes from the movie, edited in such a way that the plot becomes obvious and there is enough of a “tease” to leave you wanting more. How much more effective is that than if they just showed the actor saying: “Hey my new movie is about this guy who’s the last human left on earth. He’s stranded in Manhattan and during the day he hunts for food with his dog. At night though, whoa! That’s the scary part.”
I approach our Bridal Show performances the same way. I try to “show” (not tell) what stands out about my DJs. For example, I believe the DJs on my staff are great emcees. So we speak on the microphone to show that fact. We speak eloquently, succinctly and energetically. I also believe my staff can get any party going. So we do. We get these Brides and Grooms out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. Most times we are able to get a Conga line going, fill the dance floor with the Cha Cha Slide and even have the whole room doing the YMCA.
Now I understand that’s not everyone’s style and we turn a certain segment of the brides off with that (I’m sure I turned a few reader off with it as well.) That’s ok. I go back to the movie preview. Do you think Warner Brothers made the preview for “I Am Legend” any less scary because they didn’t want to turn off a certain section of the audience? No, of course not. They know that some people are going to see that preview and decide right then and there to never see the movie. But they are also counting on the fact that enough members of the movie-going public will want the rush of a scary thriller. So they show it off! Just like romantic comedies show what they are and chick flicks show what they are.
So I say to you, if it’s good enough for Warner Brothers, it’s good enough for us!
If you have the opportunity this season to “show” at an upcoming Bridal Show, I recommend you take it. Get out in front of the Brides and speak. Play some music for them. Let them hear that killer sound system that you are so proud of. Let them get a little taste of the humor you can bring to their day, or the heartwarming way you can tell their love story. Or whatever it is that you do that makes you stand out. Show it.
Then, go back and stand by your booth and see the difference. If you’re good, the Brides will line up to speak to you.
Mike Walter is the owner of Elite Entertainment of New Jersey and a nationally recognized expert in the area of multisystem company development and staff training. You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM MARCH 2008