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.
Award-winning Wedding DJs – what’s all the fuss about?
It saddens me to read some of the negative comments coming from so-called fellow professional DJs regarding the validity, purpose, sincerity and how gullible they believe Brides to be when it comes to The Wedding Industry Awards. [Other, similar competitions are available] For the record, I have no connection with this or any other award organisation.
Paying to enter a competition
The biggest bone of contention appears to be concerned with the entry fee. I have seen comments relating this fee to “buying awards”, “Give me £50 and I’ll create an award for you” etc. This is a ridiculous assumption. The entry fee does not guarantee an award. The fee covers promotion of the business that generates the publicity and administrates the voting process. You can’t buy an award. The awards will be distributed based on a process of Brides’ testimonials and a panel of Judges which includes past winning DJs.
It’s just a marketing scam, a licence to make money!
Err no, it’s a commercial entity – a business. All businesses have to cover their costs and make a PROFIT. What’s wrong with that? It’s no different from handing over your money to an advertising agency and getting them to produce advertisements for you. At the end of the day there is no guarantee that the advertisement will generate business. It might, but it might not. Advertising is a gamble and so too is entering an awards competition.
Entering a competition is a marketing ploy.
Subjecting your business to scrutiny by third parties, inviting feedback from clients and then exposing yourself to an assessment process by other industry professionals is not for the feint-hearted. Your business needs to be robust. Your practices need to transparent and reputable. Standards will need to be well above the industry average for your area if you are to succeed at regional level and go on to National recognition.
Reluctance to encourage feedback
I really don’t understand why any wedding DJ would be reluctant to ask for a referral or a testimonial. Not doing so goes against just about every piece of acumen required to run a business. Successful businesses rely on recommendation. Satisfied clients are the most likely people to want to help you find more clients and share what they experienced. When I saw yesterday a comment from a mobile DJ saying “once the event is over I want to forget about it and move on to the next one”, I despair, I really do.
Being short-listed is great public relations and perceived credibility.
Being able to use the award company’s logo and mention your participation in the competition puts you one step ahead of the crowd. Perception is reality. To me, seeing such a logo would encourage me to think this company is proactive and striving to be different or recognised for what they do and how they do it.
Nay-saying DJs provoke me to think that they are jealous and know deep down that they are unable to take part because their business would not stand-up to scrutiny and they would fail in the assessment process. Their clients would not deliver the quality of testimonials required. “Better to stand back and criticise than to admit some competitors actually do have higher standards valued by clients”
Taking part is great marketing. Winning is the bonus.
So by now you will be getting my message. Taking part and putting your business through the voting process will at least be therapeutic and insightful. At best the results will be a wake-up call and will focus your activity to improve how you are perceived by clients and how you measure up to their expectations.
Winning a regional or national award will generate interest in your business. How you handle that interest and convert it into new business is another challenge. Winning can also bring traps and potential downfalls because potential clients now have greater expectations. So winning can be a burden if you do not live up to your new-found status. The challenge just became a lot more difficult. It’s not easy making your way up the ladder to the top in any walk of life. Staying at the top is infinitely harder, not least because the pack is clawing at your heals wanting to pull you back down.
Please, give credit to Brides, they are not gullible.
I see so many DJs putting words, or rather thoughts, into Brides’ mouths. The general public are far more savvy than the DJs are trying to make out. They are well aware of what is going on here. They have a choice and will without doubt question the validity of awards and the accreditation process. The fact that other DJs may be sceptical is understandable. Brides will be sceptical too but that will not deter them from making an informed judgement after due diligence. Not all wedding DJ awards are the same. Buyer beware etc, etc. It is what it is. Overall Awards are good for the industry.
Well done, I say, to all DJ companies who enter award competitions. Good luck. Thank you for helping to raise the profile of our profession. May you businesses live long and prosper. May your clients enjoy service and satisfaction that far exceeds the average in your market? Above all, congratulations for having the guts, business acumen and foresight to grasp a marketing opportunity and to expose your business to the real world. To the organisers of such award competitions I also offer thanks. Thanks for offering a platform that will spotlight our DJ industry along-side the photographers, florists and venue dressers. Thanks for investing in websites and social media and reaching out to our potential clients [Brides] in places often not available to humble DJs. Thanks for your knowledge of the marketplace, advertising and award ceremony organisation.