If you look at most Facebook Wedding Groups as well as Wedding Advertising Websites then you will see the common phrase “You HAVE to meet up with your suppliers (especially wedding DJs) before you book!”
No you don’t. Seriously.
a) the first meeting with a wedding vendor is called a “Pre-Sales meeting”, that means that the meeting is 100% about selling to you. Have you noticed that 99% of wedding suppliers don’t ask whether or not they’re the right person for your type of wedding before they ask you for a meeting?
If they push for a meeting then you know it’s a used-car-salesman type situation.
b) The meeting tells you nothing about their performance on the day of your wedding. The best indicator of future performance is past performance.
c) Meetings are the greatest cause of the “Wedding Tax”. Did you need to have a meeting with your 21st birthday DJ? No. Do you think that wedding DJs in Australia are jacking up the price to compensate for 2-3 in-person meetings? You’re dead right they are.
It’s literally 2-3x the amount of time for each event.
Smart clients that don’t require in-person meetings (Griffin Alliance have meetings on phone/Skype/Facetime to save on scheduling and travel time) are paying for those wedding vendors to meet with the harder clients. They’re paying for all those people they met with and never booked. Madness.
d) The easiest way to “add value” is to do more work for the same wedding. Would you prefer an amazing DJ on the night of your wedding or someone that spends 40 hours in preparation for your wedding and sucks on the night. If the price is the same then you can buy a DJ worth $200/hr or $30/hr for the same cost.
IF you need in-person meetings then you should be paying 2-3 times as much for the service as the average DJ. If not, beware.
e) Meetings were useful before the internet. Before I moved to DJ in Melbourne I was the lead DJ at The Wedding Source in Adelaide. I used to meet with every client as this was before Google was a thing. Now you don’t need to verify that someone is good face to face, you can check out their Facebook , Instagram, Pinterest, websites and Industry affiliations. We’re on ABIA and on the committee of the Melbourne Wedding Group, there are literally hundreds of people in the wedding industry you can ask about our ACTUAL DJ services that have seen them with their own eyes. Or you can check out the feedback forms we get back and talk to the venue managers that were working on the night. This is a thousand times more powerful than a meeting in person at a cafe or your home.
I’m personally one of only 3 DJs on the first 50 results on Google for “Wedding DJ Melbourne” that has a current weekly public DJ residency.
About 70% of the DJs in the “top 50” have never performed in public because they’re usually not good enough. This applies to all wedding vendors in some aspect. Meetings are the only sales tool that doesn’t depend on your performance skills.
f) Planning meetings in person are generally a waste of time. We used to always hear this phrase:
“oops i forgot to bring the planning sheet i filled out”
Most planning happens in fits and spurts. Thats the reality.
Ideally we send you the planning forms and you and your partner sit down for 8 hours and get your whiteboards out, fill out the required sections, do a brainstorm of all the potential songs and then whittle them down to a top 3 for each category and then make love in the moon-light while you consider what your “first dance” will be.
Realistically what happens is you chat about it while making spaghetti bolognese and your partner is on the toilet and any other time you have available. Then you hear a song 3 days later at the supermarket and go “This is RAD” and just chose your Cutting the Cake song.
It’s far better to talk briefly on the phone several times in the month leading up or emailing us for some song ideas that suit you (not googling “top 10 romantic bridal songs of 2016 that are unique but not shania twain”)
g) You can tell a lot about a person by talking on the phone or Skype. Follow up your intuition by confirming it by contacting their networks in the wedding industry.
h) Your time is valuable. Great wedding vendors (especially wedding DJs) are expensive. So is your time. If you only meet with the 10-20% of vendors that you NEED to meet with then you will save yourselves 40 hours of time. Thats a weeks wage that you could have earnt. It’s also a weeks wage that you’re wedding vendors don’t need to charge you for. Congratulations, I just saved you $3,000 – 10,000 that you can now spend on wedding professionals.
i) Weddings are the same as Corporate events.
- They have to run perfectly
- They spend a tonne of money
- BUT they never do pre-sales meetings
The reason why is that they ONLY use companies like Griffin Alliance that have years of experience and industry references. If Tiffany & Co. or Sony don’t need to meet with us before the book our DJs for a $100,000 event then does anyone need to for a wedding?
j) “But I need to meet with the DJ or MC to make sure we get along”. Fair enough, just make sure they’re going to be great on the night and that you’re happy to budget the extra 100-200% to pay for their extra time. Being Friends with your wedding vendor on Facebook doesn’t mean that they will do a great job on the night. You don’t need to be friends with Gordon Ramsey to get a great Steak in Las Vegas.
k) Rapport is a SKILL that needs to be trained. Even if you get along with your wedding vendor over an hour at a meeting, doesn’t mean they have the skills to create rapport with not only you but all of your guests within minutes? This is especially important for DJs, MCs, venue managers and celebrants. The only way you can know is to either BE at one of their prior weddings or ask your friends of other people in the wedding industry.
Exceptions that prove the Rule:
- There are some vendors you WILL need to meet with, it depends on your unique wedding needs. Celebrants are a great example of this.
- If your wedding is all about the experience and planning rather than about on-the-day then you should have meetings with EVERYONE. I recommend that you meet with as many of our DJ and MC competitors as possible. Ideally every single one that has “free meetings before you book”. Every. Single. One.
- You’re the type of people that collect coupons. There are a lot of desperate DJs and other vendors out there that are trying to get bookings like seagulls fighting over chips at the beach. If you don’t mind spending the time then you can meet with them all and then play them all off against each other, Joker style.