Traditionally, disc jockeys (DJs) present music and news on radio broadcasts. In Los Angeles, club DJs earn an average annual salary of $33,000, according to recent employment data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a sluggish growth curve in this field, the reason many announcers are supplementing their take-home pay by performing at social events. In the wake of the Great Recession, these masters of the microphone are now assuming management duties to meet the demands of party planners that are determined to hold the line on consumer spending.
“Although economic recovery is well underway, many event organizers are spending less money, yet asking for more,” said Kevin Dobbs, owner of Global Spinners Entertainment. “So we’re now offering a surplus of services, which not only provides financial relief to the consumer, but increases a DJ’s marketability.”
Dobbs said the recession has had a profound effect on his business acumen.
“The growing demand of turn-key productions has strengthened my management and leadership skills as a DJ because what was once a job that entailed mixing music has developed into taking lead responsibility of everything the event requires,” said Dobbs, a Moorpark College alumnus.
What does your company manage?
“We oversee event coordination, photography, videography, location connections, floral arrangements, catering, décor, themed set design, spot lighting, low-lying fog, security and valet. We are truly a one-stop shop.”
In recruiting vendors, what qualities must they possess?
“In my collaboration with others, I look for personable characteristics. Two businesses can offer the same services, but it’s what the individual does for his or her company that makes them unique, different, likable and employable.”
How does event management help a DJ become a thriving entrepreneur?
“A DJ becomes a successful businessperson by always being versatile and never turning down a client’s request. You learn by on-the-job experience, which teaches you how to better tailor your offerings.”
What is your advice to DJs pursuing turn-key event planning?
“I encourage DJs to work with an all-inclusive production company to acquire the training and skill set needed to know how to deal with all types of consumers.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.