Running your own event is a good idea for upcoming DJs to establish themselves in a scene. Identifying and overcoming the challenges and risks of creating a weekly or monthly night with any staying power solidifies your reputation as a key player and creates incoming demand for your service as a vibe curator. In this post, we take a look at some of the ways you’re able to go about throwing a good party.
Find your partners
The tastemakers are the guys or girls in your scene who are pretty influential, usually quite vocal on social media and generally quite frequent in releasing or unearthing new tracks. Forming a mutually beneficial relationship with these people takes time. If they’re producing their own tracks, start by including them in your sets. Follow, subscribe, like, share and retweet whatever they’re up to. They’ll start to notice who you are. Sign up for DJ lessons online to link with like-minded people. Also link with the fellow DJs who are keen to play and (more importantly) help promote the event. It’s easy to find someone with a new set. When deciding which other DJs to approach about playing, look for the ones who can offer you skills like poster design, video editing and press contacts. Rather look for the hard-working types than people who are just going to sit back and let you shoulder all the risk.
Keep things narrow and as personal as possible. Sure, tag a few tastemakers in your music releases so they’re aware of who is putting stuff out there. But take the time to think it through. You ought to be sparing, exclusive and (above all) relevant when you’re reaching out. Too many upcoming DJs consider social media a free service to spray their own irrelevant self-promo all over town. Nobody likes being mass tagged with stuff that has nothing to do with them, so put some thought into what you’re doing. Remember, the goal of effective social media is real-world, personal relationships. Reply to all constructive messages. Aim for personal.
Hit the town
Assist tastemakers and promoters by attending their events. Going to parties is hands-down the best way to throw your hat in the ring and break into a scene. If a promoter remembers seeing you on a quiet night at their party, they’re probably going to be more open to talking and hearing what you’re up to. The key here is regularity. A scene is just a collection of people who keep going to the same events. Getting to know them by face and then by name is the best way to immerse yourself in the group. When you’re ready to throw your own event, you’ll have a list of people to get in touch with who already know who you are and interested in what you do.
Keep it light at night
When you meet a tastemaker or promoter out at night, it’s a good idea to keep the conversation away from events and work. Business talk is more effective in the day. And besides, it might be the guy’s night off! He doesn’t want to have to talk to an upcoming DJ about their event. Connecting with promoters without asking when they’ll book you is a good move. Strike up a conversation about the music or TV shows he or she likes. You can always connect with them in the week and give them a heads-up on your agenda, but don’t spoil their night by talking about yourself and your aims. Oh, and definitely don’t get too trashed if you’re out to meet promoters.
Promote your party
Promote your party heavily. Posters, flyers, social media and email are the standard ways to go, but you’re free to get creative. Email is apparently still the most precious and private of all forms of communication, and people take their inboxes way more seriously than their social media platforms. It’s also the most effective. Be aware of this when creating your following. You might get likes and follows, but your real goal of online communication is still to build a trusted email list. Be active on social and remind people that you have a mailing list. Sending an email reminder about your Facebook event is a one-two punch. Always assure people that you’re not out to spam them, but just thought they might enjoy the vibe you’re working hard to create. Make sure you’re avoiding the most common promotion mistakes.
It does take tenacity to launch a successful event that lasts for more than a few weeks. The key is to create a secure party concept with a good reputation that attracts the names people want to see. The alternative is to aim for an event series that comes and goes quickly. But after enough time in the business, you’ll likely find that promoters, venues and DJs are all seeking trusted, long-term relationships with good people. These relationships take time, so bear in mind where you’re putting your energy and make sure the overall direction worth your while. Learn more about professional DJing with DJ Courses Online.
John Bartmann is an award-winning music producer and DJ.