After over 600 weddings in Santa Barbara and its surrounding areas, we are continually asked for our wedding planning tips and secrets of what to look for when hiring an event supply partner for a Santa Barbara wedding. Professionals in the Santa Barbara area come and go, but the top notch ones stay. Because many brides do not know who is reputable, who has a proven track record and who is just all fluff and whose lack of knowledge may impact their wedding day disastrously, we are dedicating our next several BLOG posts with our top Santa Barbara wedding planning tips, covering many of the major Santa Barbara wedding vendors for big day. Today, our guest blogger is Scott Topper of Scott Topper Productions.
Answers To Your Most Important DJ Questions 2012
What are the questions I should ask a DJ company before hiring an entertainment professional for my special event?
As a DJ vendor we realize how important it is to remain creative and demonstrate to our clients our value, expertise, and uniqueness at the first meeting. With so many disc jockey entertainment choices, we know it’s important to find someone you can trust for your special event. Just like you, every event is unique. Life events are very emotional celebrations and need to be handled with care. Our goal is to give you the day you always wanted. We will listen to your requests and make suggestions along the way. We deliver FUN.
In what type of events do you specialize?
We specialize in Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Red Carpet and Hollywood after parties, Corporate, Fund-raisers and non-profits with our Live Auction Emcees, Sweet 16’s, College and University, and Celebrity Lifestyle gatherings. Scott loves celebrating his Jewish ethnicity, so for our Mitzvahs we incorporate the traditions such as Grand Entrance, Hora, Chair-raise, and Candle lighting. We really enjoy all the fun Mitzvah games like hula hoop challenges, cha-cha slide, coke and pepsi, and the basketball hoop shot. Great fun!
Why is music so important at an event?
DJ music is the heart and soul of any party. It is the emotional air that you breathe the minute you walk through the door. Our job is to transform you, to lift you up, to make you feel alive, to make you giggle and laugh, to call upon your inner child so that your spirit will feel free and your body will react through movement and self-expression on the dance floor. That’s truly why people hire our creative form of DJ Entertainment.
What do you mean by offering “A Creative DJ Experience?”
What makes you unique? We are classy, upscale, and lots of FUN. Our goal is for you to relax and have the time of your life. It’s very important for us to be creative at your event. No two events are ever the same. A celebration combines diverse musical tastes, styles, families, and ethnicities, all coming together for a life event. There is no such thing as a cookie cutter reception. We provide personalized music planning and coordination for your special event and will work with you to create the ultimate party experience!
How did Scott Topper get started in the special event business?
Scott’s Father Steve was a special event photographer and visionary. He would take Scott to all his work parties and celebrity mixers. Scott grew up as a child in the special event world and realized at a young age what a fun industry it was to work in and be a part of…he feels blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to do what he does for a living.
Why is Scott so passionate about being an DJ-MC?
Scott loves music and entertaining. Music is in Scott’s heart and soul. Since he was a teenager, Scott sang, played guitar and bass in bands, and he DJ’d at special events. Scott also enjoys writing songs and recording. Music is Scott’s passion and he is an expert at his DJ craft.
How long has Scott Topper been a Professional DJ-MC?
For over a decade Scott Topper has been performing and Emceeing at special events nationwide. He is also a three-time Emmy nominated TV Show Host. Scott is a full time professional DJ entertainer. Scott oversees your timeline and music choices in order to keep the event on time and the dance floor energized. Scott knows the proper etiquette for your type of party.
What is the sign of a great Emcee-DJ? Someone who can read the crowd, remain in the moment, and play the right music at the appropriate time. Just say NO to cheesy MC’s. You are the center of attention. We make the introductions and facilitate the fun. We are also improvisational and theatrically trained Emcees that are comfortable making the announcements.
Can we meet in person before hiring you for our event?
Yes, our event staff would welcome an opportunity to meet you in person. Let us know the day, time, and location, and we will be there. Consultations usually last one hour and are at no charge. We conveniently have offices in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Many of our clients are destination Weddings so we will e-mail and chat on the phone to work through the details.
What are the worst DJ Horror stories you have ever heard?
The story usually begins with…”We asked a friend to DJ…I can’t believe she didn’t show up…or…my Fiance was in charge of hiring the DJ so he asked Uncle Al to bring his stereo and hook up his ipod…we saved money but it ruined our wedding. Everyone just stood there bored and looked at each other.” Our advice…hire a DJ entertainment professional…in life you get what you pay for and we regard DJ entertainment as a top event priority. A great DJ makes all the difference.
Does your DJ Set-up take up a lot of room?
We use professional DJ equipment and usually set up as close to the dance floor as possible with our speakers placed on tripods on either side of our mixing board. We also request a six foot skirted DJ table to be placed behind our two foot by two foot black box sound system. Our set-up is professional and sounds amazing!
How many songs should we select?
Weddings are divided into 4 categories. Ceremony, Cocktails, Dinner, and Dancing. Mitzvahs begin with Cocktails, then Dance, Dinner, then back to Games and Dance Music. Try to narrow down your selections to one hundred titles and artists for a four to five hour event. We will e-mail you music planning sheets with lots of awesome suggestions. Our website is also an interactive music planner. This is the fun part of planning your event! We are willing to play requests and we discuss music ahead of time.
How many people should make a Speech or Toast at a Wedding?
We usually start out with a Welcome Speech by either the host or hostess. After the first course is served it’s time for the Best Man and Maid of Honor speech. Try not to have more than four toastmasters as this will tend to slow down your reception and make it more difficult to vamp up the dance floor energy. We usually save the Bride & Groom for the Thank You speech after they cut the cake.
Do you have Dancers?
Yes, we call our dancers enhancer dancers, as they work like party motivators to engage and interact with the crowd, keeping the teens and adults entertained.
Do you offer DJ Lighting Packages?
We offer two different packages. We have basic DJ Lighting and Ultimate DJ Lighting. We know the importance of creating ambiance on the dance floor so that when the room lights come down low, the energy becomes focused on the dance floor and it’s time to get into the groove.
Will the music be so loud that my ears are ringing and we can’t talk to our guests during dinner?
Absolutely not. DJ audio volumes need to be adjusted during cocktail hour and dinner so that you can have a conversation with friends and family that have travelled great distances to reminisce and mingle.
Is power ever a challenge at an event?
Power is never an issue as long as it is discussed in advance. WE usually require two dedicated twenty amp power outlets on a dedicated circuit.
Are slideshow or video presentations ever an issue at an event?
No, as long as the slideshow or video production is less than ten minutes during the event and the RCA audio cables have been secured in advance of the event.
Are you insured? Can you supply me with proof of liability?
Yes, as professional DJ company with over a decade of experience and as a member of the American Disc Jockey Association, we carry full insurance coverage.
Will you provide backup equipment at my event?
Yes, Scott Topper Productions is one of the few DJ companies that actually brings an entire back-up DJ system with speakers and microphones to EVERY event. You only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s how we sleep at night.
How early will you arrive for set-up?
We state on the contract that we will arrive sixty minutes prior to your event at no additional charge. However, if we are contracted for more than one DJ installation at your event, we back time each system set-up by one hour.
Do you provide a written contract? If I book Scott, will Scott be the DJ at my event?
Yes, you are guaranteed your professional DJ entertainer in writing. We provide a 2 Page DJ Contract and require a 50% retainer fee to secure the date and time.
Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
Yes, we wear formal attire such as a suit and tie, or dress in black for your event. Just let us know your preferred dress style.
Do you belong to any professional organizations or trade groups and why is this important?
It’s important to stay current on special event trends so that our clients can have the best entertainment experience. We are members of five different groups specializing in DJ gear, Bridal Consulting, Jewish and Ethnic Traditions, Special Events, and Catering.
Can we contact your references?
Yes, please e-mail and call our past clients. They would love to answer any questions you may have about your event or celebration. We’ll send you the reference list upon request.
Do you offer an Action Photo Booth?
We sure do! Action Photo Booth sets up in the back of the room and provides all the fun hats, boas, and sunglasses. They know how to capture the action with a classic photo strip and a modern photo booth. They create double prints for a sign-in book or a scrapbook. They also host the images online and provide you with a CD.
To Contact Scott:
Los Angeles: 818-640-6100
Santa Barbara: 805-965-7978