Going over the Timeline.... Brian C Idocks Photographics

Let's Break Down A Full-Time Professional MC/DJ's Time:

To those who believe that a professional "DJ's" job is "cushy" and / or easy,
or not aware of what else goes into that 4-6 hours of Performance Time...

People always call, shopping around, wondering, "How much do you charge for four hours?"
Believe me... If it were that easy, I couldn't stay in business.


  • Communication with prospects, clients, booking, planning etc (5 min to 1 hour).

  • Personal meetings with clients, prospects (1 hour).

  • Prep time for these meetings; Getting dressed; freshening up my memory, studying details before meeting;
    Drive time to get there (at least
    3 hours "opportunity time").

  • If prospect accepts, "Congratulations"... Now it's time to process their booking information (1 hr):
    * Forms completed on-line by client (DJ WebMin)
    * Process Booking Fee(s) and Agreement Form(s).
    * Deposit funds / checks
    * Create and send client copies and receipts
    * Add event info to all calendars (Multi-calendars as a fail-safe to prevent scheduling mishaps)
    * Create and send forms (some weddings can include up to 6 different questionnaires) to client (including personalized labels for client folders and materials)

  • Client planning meetings / Consultations (1 to 4 hours not including prep and drive time).

  • Organize and prepare all details from the planning meeting;
    * Telephone coordination with client and vendors; photographer, Caterer, Hall Manager, etc (
    1.5 hrs)
    * Study / Memorization of announcement details / Name Pronunciations
    (1 hr)

  • Music Editing & Preparation
    * Music research... Track down all music promised (1.5 hrs)
    * Music is edited and pre-arranged to fit the needs and/or requests of the client.
    * Music is edited for ALL audiences.
    * Music is pre-edited to insure flow of party.

  • Sound Preparation; Voice Salutations from client / client relatives and loved ones are collected and prepared for performance integration.


  • Load van (1 hour)

  • Shower, dress (1 hour)

  • Travel to event (at least 1 hour)

  • Arrive 2 hours before first guest is expected

  • Up to 6 hours performance time.

  • Client resolution, then break down. (up to 2 hours)

  • Drive home (Again... at least 1 hour)


  • Paperwork; Update client database; record client comments and post event details.

  • Send survey(s)

  • Create calendar reminders for Anniversary or Birthday.

  • Implement adjustments from notes; Acquire unavailable requests.

  • Receive survey; Add comments to web site.

EXPENSES: Let's not forget to take into account Taxes, phone bill, web site hosting...

This article was inspired by Chicago's Jim Cerone, "The Perfect Host" of Disc-Jockey America Radio.

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