I recently had a venue coordinator bring me into the room of a very well-known local wedding reception venue over in Albany, NY. The room was beautiful, as always, with a big dance floor, completely surrounded by nicely decorated tables. The food, the decor and everything was perfect except for the placement of one thing...
Poor Placement of The DJ table.
They had allowed for the only space for the DJ booth table to be about 75 feet away, off in the distance in the corner of the room.
"Uggghhhhh!" I thought. "Is there anywhere else I can set up?" I asked her a few questions and didn't like the answer.
She said, “That’s where we ALWAYS put the DJ.”
“If the wedding party has a band, do you put them in the same place?” I asked.
“Well, not really. We usually put them right next to the dance floor.”
There is also a very popular wedding hall in the Schenectady, NY area that likes to put the DJ way up high on a balcony. This too, in a manner of words, SUCKS!
Just a tip; treat the DJ as your entertainmant for the night, as you would any other performer that interacts with your crowd. It really is best to have what ever entertainment that you choose to provide for your guests very close to the dance floor. This is important for a number of reasons.
Here is a list of things to think about when making your seating plan and placing your entertainment spotlight for the night:
1) DO NOT PUT GUESTS/TABLES IN FRONT OF THE DJ - First off, the sound quality will be terrible. Obstacles will hinder the sound from reaching the dance floor properly. Also, the guests sitting in front of the DJ booth will be blasted by sound all night.
2)IS THE ENTERTAINMENT CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE DANCE FLOOR? - No matter what your hall says, the entertainment should ALWAYS be right near the dance floor, period. A wedding venue knows food, and knows how to treat their guests, but they are not entertainers.
3) CAN THE ENTERTAINMENT BE SEEN BY ALL? - The DJ or band often makes announcements. You don’t want your guests wondering where this mystery voice is coming from like a blue light special announcement at K-mart.
4) CAN THE CROWD CONNECT WITH THE DJ / BAND ? - It is very important for the DJ, much like a band, to connect with the crowd. Seeing what is working and what is not is a huge part of being a mobile disc jockey.
5) WILL PEOPLE BE ABLE TO INTERACT EASILY? - If the DJ / nad is far away, requests become very difficult, or sometimes almost impossible.
In a big hall, it is impossible to do a 75 feet corner set up, facing the back of your guests with tables in front of you. Also a balcony set up, doesn't work well for a mobile DJ. (Balcon DJ booths only work in night clubs because the place is hard wired with smaller speakers everywhere to reach the dead spots.)
BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF A BAD WEDDING HALL LAYOUT:
Overall, in a wedding reception setting, your DJ/MC placement is critical. Do not let the hall put your entertainment in a closet.
Remember, when it comes to dancing, "The King of Dirty Dancing" Patrick Swayze once said, "Nobody puts the DJ in the corner," ...or something like that. Keep this in mind when laying out the seating charts.