This year will see me hanging up my headphones as I withdraw from performing at weddings in Cyprus. My last event will be on November 30th. The thought of no longer being involved with the wedding industry is quite scary. Therefor I have decided to continue with my one to one coaching and mentor program and also to launch a new Photo Booth hire service based in Paphos.
Paphos Photo Booth will provide a Magic Mirror hire service to Brides and party people throughout the Republic of Cyprus. The very latest in Photo Booth technology brings a fun and crazy atmosphere to any party where people gather to have a memorable time.
Touch screen technology allows guests to sign their name, write a message and add an emoji or two to the final printed picture. How cool is that? The Paphos Photo Booth Magic Mirror is also supplied with a comprehensive array of props including party hats, outrageous glasses and inflatable instruments.
The photograph with a customized frame commemorating the event is delivered within ten seconds from the side of the booth. Double prints are also available so that the party host can have copies of all of the action from the party.
Full details of my new venture can be found by following this url
I’ll keep you posted as to how the new venture develops over the coming months. Meanwhile if you have any questions or would like to know more about obtaining a Magic Mirror and setting up a similar venture please contact me.
Love them or hate them?
It’s that time of year again when various organisations present awards to wedding industry suppliers across the United Kingdom. Personally I believe that anything that promotes the wedding industry, especially entertainment, has to be a good thing. Yes, I know that these companies are very much a business and that there is money to be made by holding regional events and extracting hard earned cash by way of entry fees and selling tickets to attend. However this is a very short-sighted and naive perspective. I prefer to look at the whole process as an ideal marketing opportunity for DJs to gain exposure to Brides, network with other local service providers and more importantly benefit from the scrutiny involved in the voting process.
It is probably fair to say that some of these companies host little more than a popularity contest while others are very much an examination of a DJ’s business process from first point of contact to post event evaluation. For me and a great many of my colleagues in the industry this is a great reality check. Many of us may think we are good at what we do but how many times do we actually canvas honest opinions, after the event, from our customers? How many of us use a third-party to Analise feedback and have them relate this to your marketing? Submitting yourself, and your company, to this competitive process can only help a DJ business improve what it does and raise their customers’ entire experience.
It’s not about winning, It’s about taking part.
Potential customers are not stupid. They are very well aware that judging any service or entertainer is very much a subjective process. You only have to take a look at “X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent” and ask yourself did the best act win to realise that you can’t take the results too seriously. However I will bet you that each and every contestant has become better at what they do, and how they do what they do, as a result of submitting themselves to the process. This applies just as much to those who never got through the initial selection process as it does to those who were finalists. So what are the benefits of taking part?
First and foremost this is a public Relations opportunity. If you are seen to be associated with Awards Competitions this demonstrates to potential clients your desire to achieve success and be recognised by your peers. Perception plays a big part in the buying process and if a client believes you are proactive and keen for success then they are more likely to want to have you entertain them.
Entry to Awards Ceremonies is money well spent. Where else could you get so much publicity for such little money? Seeing your name, your company name and details on third-party websites and in social media is priceless! Very often entry allows you to use the Award Companies’ Logo for your own social media and INTERNET marketing; how cool is that?
Going the extra mile
In all competitive situations success is achieved by way of demonstrating two things; achievement and difference. If a competitor can clearly identify his or her achievements and demonstrate their difference and furthermore be appreciated by their clients for both attributes, then they are more likely to be successful when it comes to award ceremonies.
Serious competitors seek help
It comes as no surprise that people who seek expert help and assistance do better than those who are self-taught and believe they know everything they need to know. wedding DJs are no different. I have been looking through some of the results from wedding industry awards competitions for this year and I am pleased to report that many contestants have invested in training.
Way back in 2002 when I first started out seeking advice about wedding entertainment and marketing my Mobile DJ skills and talent there was virtually no resources available to me in the United Kingdom. Today it’s a totally different story. Thanks to Pro mobile Magazine, The BPM Show, Pro Mobile Conference, The National Association of Disc Jockeys, The South Eastern Discotheque Association, AMPDJ, MDJN and individual Industry trainers, things have never been better.
Personally I am humbled and excited by the extent of success and recognition being shown to wedding DJs that I have been associated with [to a lesser or greater extent] over recent years. Below is a gallery of some that have been finalists and/or winners. Apologies if i have omitted anyone.
If you are reading this blog and you would like to know more about how I can help you achieve your ambitions please drop me a line; I would be happy to help.
Christmas and New Year have been and gone and mobile DJs are left staring into an empty bank account and are hoping and praying that their mate who passed on some work, or their “agent” will come up with some cash sooner rather than later. Others will have submitted their invoices to venues and companies and they are hoping payment will be made by the due date, although many organisations often ignore these and pay when they want to [often thirty or sixty days later]Meanwhile household bills have to be paid and food provided. Running cars, vans and heating premises is a financial drain especially when a “business” is experiencing negative cash flow.
Gear For Sale
No surprise therefore that this is the time of the great DJ equipment clear-out sale. Facebook groups, Ebay and local sales sites are filling with items previously deemed to be essential, impressive, unique, the best, must have, fantastic, this that or the other. But now it has to go. They have to go. Why? The irony is that almost all other mobile DJs are in the same boat so there will be no takers or sales will be negotiated down to ridiculously low price.
What went wrong
Negative cash flow and the realisation that equipment is surplus to requirements is very much a reality check. Its a slap in the face, a wake up call. Where has all the money gone. how come there is nothing left in the kitty? If you are waking up to this reality it is time to make changes to your “business” now. I place business in inverted commas because this situation proves that your DJ activity is not being run as a business. Hobbyists are deluding themselves. Hobbyists are beginning to realise one of two things. Either they are not charging sustainable fees for their work or they are spending the profits without regard for the consequences.
What individual DJs charge is none of my business however DJs need to learn that their fee is intended to cover many different costs required to provide a sustainable service to their clients. Providing a cheap disco to a client last year may have appeared to be a good idea but not if you’re forced out of business this year.
Account for every penny.
My good friend across the pond, Jason Spencer, presented a seminar at last year’s Mobile Beat Convention. It was called Profit First. In the seminar Jasen explained how to break down every pound earned into constituent costs as a percentage of the whole. This exercise will result in you being aware of what needs to be done with the money earned. A big realisation was finding out just how much of each pound is actually your salary. How much goes on advertising, maintenance, fuel and vehicle costs, music purchasing, upgrading equipment, taxation and accounting fees? In reality many DJs do not pay themselves a salary. Theses are the DJs who see their earnings swallowed up by the costs because they are not in control and have no idea how their spending is exceeding their income. So when the income dries up, in January and February, they find themselves broke or bust.
Jason advises, “Pay yourself First!
Do the maths, allocate a percentage that is paid frequently into a separate bank account and create Paydays when you draw your wage. Do the same for Taxes. likewise for expenses, training and reinvestment. You will end up with four or five accounts. Make sure one of them is labeled PROFIT. The profit account will more than likely only represent five or ten percent of your income but keeping it protected and ring fenced will allow you to draw on that profit and use it for non business related reward. The profits are yours to enjoy. They should be used for treats like holidays, gadgets, cars, watches, quality time pursuing hobbies and other interests, the list is endless. You have worked hard and you deserve reward for what you do.
Take action now
Don’t find yourself in the January doldrums. Next year make sure you have a financial cushion to relax on. Take time off and enjoy some winter sun. Take advantage and snap up a bargain or two as others unload their equipment for a fraction of what it cost. Or better still book yourself on a training course. [not mine – i’ll be retired this time next year]. I wish you well. Happy New Year. May it prove to be a prosperous one for you.
more details about Jason and his Profithood Academy can be found here https://www.facebook.com/profithoodacademy/
Its that time of year again
Time to claim your Free Gift
Mobile Djs are often looking for ideas to kick-start a Christmas party, corporate event or even get a wedding reception animated and engaged from the start. Well now my good friend Neal Howard has come up with all the answers. I have known Neal since 2002; he recently suffered a near fatal heart attack and is now using his enforced recovery time to create tools that help his fellow DJs get more bookings.
He has been a DJ since 1995 and he’s learned a thing or two during all this time.
He put together a great little FREE report that I think you’ll really like. It’s just some very simple tips that you can start using immediately to improve your performances.
It’s amazing how these simple little things are often missed by not just those new to the industry, but even those of us who have been around for a while.
The report is free, The Games list is $49.95 and the How to Use Games at weddings / up sell card formats is $14.95
Includes 116 games to play at parties, 12 specific wedding related interaction routines
Get all three items before Sunday December 18th for only $39.90 [approximately £32]
I got my copies this morning and I can thoroughly recommend the extensive insight and instructions provided by Neal. Some of the content is by its nature intended for American consumption so you will need to modify a few of the ideas / questions to reflect British tastes.
Here is how it works
The link below takes you first to the free report and video introduction..
That is emailed to you automatically after you enter your email.
In the thank you email there is a link to purchase the UDJG list for $29.95, it will take you to an upgrade offer page.
If you purchase the UDJG list the tahnk you email will include the download link and another bonus offer for card templates for use with the games and the additional 12 games specific to weddings for $9.95
If you DO buy the upgrade
It will take you to a thank you page with a download link for everything.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy [prosperous] New Year
On November 13 and 14 a group of specialist wedding djs met to further explore common issues that affect them in their business and the way they entertain their clients.
On Sunday we covered subjects including How good are your marketing materials, The Shoe Game – why and how?, what is an average wedding?, “Weddings – A Day in the Life, mk2!!, 20 Reasons why other DJ’s are stealing your clients, Music programing hints and tips, Testimonials” .the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
On Monday topics included – Email responders – how to reply to an enquiry, How to 10x your income, What makes the perfect host?, Connect & Convert Through Meetings., S.E.O, current trends, How do we create and then communicate “Special”, experience and expertise” an insight into establishing yourself
This was an opportunity to not only listen to and observe successful wedding djs share their knowledge and expertise, but also an ideal environment to question the experts and dig deeply into their reasoning and methods.
This is the feedback received from delegates.
Well Derek, what can I say, you did it again!
You not only managed to get a group of like minded wedding Dj’s to commit to a ‘Think Tank’ but, also managed to fill it with some amazing UK based talented presenters who managed to fill the two days with an amazing array of information, tips and tricks.
Probable the best investment I have made in my business this year. If I only managed to implement a small part of what I gleaned from the last two days then I will still be streaks ahead of any perceived competition and will lead the way in my region.
Thank you, thank you , thank you!
Can’t wait for your next innovative idea to help Wedding Dj’s ‘up their game’
Mike Hackett wrote
Think Tank Reading and Derek Pengelly
WOW I had a sleepless night last night due to the fact my mind was racing with all the new stuff and fantastic Ideas I picked up in a room with some of my biggest idols and that was Sunday!
THEN cue Monday… OMG now I sat for most of the day speechless as gem after gem of fantastic ideas were shared and passed around WITHOUT any of the DJ’s in the room letting the well known DJ egos [we all can have from time to time] get in the way, every DJ/HOST was willing to:
share, advise, instruct, help, mentor, listen, cheer, sing, the only things I can say were missing were 1: Dancing and 2: YOU yes YOU !!!
If you’re reading this and thought huh another money generating idea from the mind of Derek Pengelly… oh how wrong you were!
This was simply a perfect place to get priceless info for what in relation was a very small amount. I bet some of you are kicking yourselves now as new friendships have been forged, new contacts made and most of all every one taking some great ideas away with them.
I will not name all the people that took the time to prepare presentations and content that they gave to the room but each one was GOLD yes GOLD. I will spend most of this week just getting my head around this weekends info exchange.
I will however give special mention though to one guy,,,, and that was Terry Lewis You managed the impossible: almost one whole hour in a room of DJ’s in which NONE were making a sound, no not asleep, but soaking up your very informative talk.
I will finish by saying I have no idea what the Scottish version of this will be like but do try to get on it I am sure you will get some great stuff from it.
To all a SPEAK SOON 🙂
Darren Latimer wrote;
PROBABLY THE MOST POWERFUL two days of self investment and giving experience I have had the honour of being apart of!
THANK YOU Derek Pengelly, Alan Marshall
An amazing day – The knowledge I picked up from Alan Marshall, Alan Granville, Mike Hackett, Roger Knight, The brilliantly mad Irish star named Martin, Chris, Paul O’Reilly, Ian Forest and others today was Fumping Brilliant
Djs who don’t attend these sorts of things are mad!
Paul O’Reilly wrote
Day 2 of think tank. What has it in stall for us today? Yesterday s think tank was excellent with explosive ideas and work ethics for djs in the wedding industry .
Paul Holmes wrote;
Fantastic couple of days spent in a room with so much talent and passion for what we do so many great new ideas to incorporate into my work.
Thanks to all of you for your advice, ideas, and friendship.
Alan Granville wrote:
Thanks you everyone for today, I have learnt a lot and have a sore head from the information overload.
Ian Forest wrote – An awesome couple of days Derek to be honest very well planned and organised with some great discussion points.
Gavin Harris wrote
What an amazing two days at the Think Tank.
Never did I imagine so many wedding specialists at the top of their game would open up and reveal so much information. It was so good to be part of a group that was happy to share information so that we could all help each other, in a way that a seminar style session wouldn’t have achieved.
It was a massive benefit to my business to be in a room full of success and positive thinking, and I’ve come away with lots of actionable advice to use that will make a significant impact to my business.
I hope this can become a regular event!
So if you missed this event all I can say is that you missed a truely special event, one which sadly can never be repeated. We may put together other similar events in the future but this was very much a one off.
We will be bringing Think Tank Scotland to Glasgow on Monday January 30th. This will be a one-day event and will feature presentations by Ian Forrest, Fabio Capozzi, Martin Keogh and an incredibly talented, award winning specialist wedding dj Mystery Guest, and myself.
There are only 25 places available and 15 have already been taken. You can reserve your place with a £50 deposit. Local DJs and specialists from the north of England will be in the room – will you?
More details can be found here
Have you reached the crossroads?
Ever since 2002 I have been reaching out to, and connecting with, fellow mobile DJs who are passionate about weddings. Along the way I met with, and worked with, one way or another, over three hundred people who wanted to change something about what they did or how they did it in their DJ business.
Some of those DJs started out being very enthusiastic and were like a sponge eager to soak up nuggets of information gleamed from seminars, articles, books and workshops. Many stayed in touch and continued to evolve and transform their businesses by implementing changes, taking risks and networking with fellow professionals via social media, DJ associations and commercial events like BPM, Pro-Mobile Conference and Mobilebeat Show Las Vegas.
Unfortunately not everyone continued on the journey. Some decided that they had arrived at their destination and no longer needed to pursue continued education, training and support. They were happy with their lot and didn’t see a need to update, refresh or review developments in current thinking. They have missed out substantially because the wedding industry is constantly changing. Brides and Bridegrooms are becoming more and more educated regarding the services they require and how to control the process of hiring suppliers on their terms.
Getting in front of potential clients has become more difficult and communicating what you do and how you do it has become far more of a technical challenge as much as an exercise in social media marketing.
I believe now is the time to regroup and take a fresh look at the current market place. The time is right for a bringing together of the best brains we have to take stock, evaluate and share solutions to current issues. Therefore I am currently organising an event that will take place over a couple of days in November that will focus exclusively on wedding specialist DJs. This will be like no other event ever staged in the United Kingdom.
This event will be;
A] A wedding DJ Masterclass
B] A Think Tank were not only ideas are shared but debated openly by delegates.
C] An opportunity for you to nominate topics for debate and explore potential.
D] A unique experience allowing you to question successful DJs regarding their journey, their decisions, their business models and their investment in self-development.
My objective for the Wedding DJ Think Tank is to re-connect and re-enthuse specialist wedding DJs to get back on track, push on, and address those things that have been pushed to the back burner.
We are assembling a great team of presenters for both days. More topics and presenters will be added shortly. I urge you to make the mind-shift decision to join us on one, if not both days. Only like-minded people will be in the room. Only people who have already supported education content based events will be allowed to attend.
The clock is ticking. I have limited time available. My fellow presenters also have busy schedules and are rarely to be found in one place at the same time. Please grab this opportunity and let’s see if we can kick start a new round of positivity going forward into 2017.
On a personal note I would love to see some of my original workshop colleagues attend and share their experiences. Many of them have moved on to bigger and better things. Some have benefited from training offered by some fantastic mentors and coaches. It would be great to hear them share their journey and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Reading Holiday Inn
Sunday November 13 and / or Monday November 14
Client Play-lists for Mobile DJs – are they a good idea or not?
I can remember a time long before the Internet, Digital Music and Smart Phones when a mobile DJ was hired to play current chart music and classic dance hits from the “Hit Parade” or “Pop Music” from yesteryear or “Golden Oldies” as the radio Disc Jockeys called them.
Music had longevity back then. A “single” would be released and slowly climb the chart week by week. A tune would often stay in the Top 40 for months on end meaning that mobile DJs only had to buy a handful of records each week to stay up to date.
Building a record collection was a slow process and costly. Very few members of the public had extensive record collections. They simply relied on the radio to hear music and had an extremely limited choice of programs to tune into.
Back then Mobile DJs where expected to have the most popular tunes and the classic dance tracks and people were happy to leave the selection to the DJ with only a minimum mention of a more general indication to their favourite Groups, Bands or preferred genre before the party..
These days music is instantly available, often not even purchased, and spends only a few weeks in a diverse and specialised “Chart” with only a small proportion ever attaining popularity across the broader spectrum of the population.
For some reason instant access and bulging music libraries appears to have given licence to everyone and their son to think they know what music should be played at a party. They think their selections will be liked by their guests and more worryingly some party organisers believe they know when their tracks should be played and in what order. Why?
No professional DJ would ever pre-select and program an evening’s music for a live event where he did not know his audience. He might have certain “sets” of music prepared to cover brief segments of the evening but would rely on reading the audience and selecting appropriate tunes to transition between genres based specifically on activity before him at any time. Spontaneity and the ability to switch between genres is a bench mark by which DJs are measured and more importantly valued. So why would someone hire a DJ and then tell him what music to play?
Would they hire a comedian and tell him what jokes to tell. Would they give him a script and say tell the jokes in this order? I think not. The idea is absurd and so too is the idea of giving extensive lists to your DJ.
If a person is organising a party and they wish to influence the type or style of music they should TALK to their DJ before hiring him or her. They shouldn’t hire blindly via an email or website. They shouldn’t hire based on cheapest price. Hiring a DJ in this way and then relying on supplying a play-list is a disaster waiting to happen. [As is the often suggested brainwave of using an i-pod until the realisation that everyone wants to repeat play the same half a dozen tunes all night!]
A better solution is to share musical tastes with the chosen DJ. Many DJs will welcome a short list of specific tunes to be featured on the night. Ideally such lists should be no more than twenty tracks. This is enough to give a flavour as to the music taste but leaves plenty of room for interpretation and innovation based on the reaction of guests on the night.
Personally I prefer to spend the first hour of a party mixing informally with guests asking them specifically what they would like to dance to this evening. While the background music is on auto-pilot I take the opportunity to get to know their musical tastes and connect with their ideas of what will go down well with them and their friends. This method guarantees we get to play the right music for everyone in the room. The music selection is no longer based on theory or wishful thinking. It is based on real people’s wishes on the night and in the moment. Their selections will reflect their feelings there and then and will be somewhat influenced by their surroundings and the people they are partying with.
Thankfully modern technology by way of the World Wide Web and on-line music providers means almost all requests can be sourced and played subject to a suitable wifi connection. If need be the DJ can purchase legally sourced music instantly and keep everyone happy.
So forget long lists; relax and enjoy the evening. Hire a confident and competent DJ who has testimonials that confirm he knows his music and is happy to play what his audience likes. Leave the crystal ball in the cupboard and trust him or her to deliver a busy dancefloor built with talent, expertise and experience. That, at the end of the day, is why quality DJs can, and do, charge more than their local average disco operators.