"What's Your Budget?" How are you charging for services?

Enyko

Member
I had recently asked a fellow DJ (not one of my employees, a sub-contracter we sometimes use) to do an event for us and he asked about negotiating the pay - which made me want to post this question: What are the factors that you consider when quoting an event?

Here's why. We charge a flat rate of $200/hour for non-weddings (minimum of 3 hours). We pay our DJ's $75 per hour for that. The event I had asked the DJ about was a 4 hour event ($300). After asking me the type of event (a prom), how many guests (500) and location (hotel) he asked if I'd pay him $400. I said I would be willing to hear him out as to why he thinks he should get $400 as opposed to $300. He explained that this University has "deep pockets" and can afford to pay more. Especially with 500 guests. I asked what extra work is he doing to make the $100 bump in pay? He had no answer.

I put it to him like this; we charge a price based on talent and hours. If those factors aren't changed, we don't change the price. Up or down. So a 50 person backyard BBQ will be $200 per hour and a 500 person gala at a hotel will also be $200 per hour. Maybe that seems unrealistic but I can't justify charging a different rate if we're doing the exact same work. It seems unethical to tell Boeing, for example, we'll DJ their 4 hour holiday party for $2000 because they can afford it. And tell my neighbor I'll DJ his 4 hour cookout for $150 because it's at such a smaller scale. I feel the DJ is doing the exact same work.

So I'm looking for reasons you guys (if you do) charge differently based on the client's budget or amount of guests. Let's also assume we're not bringing any extra gear (subwoofers...etc.).

Thanks.
 

djmbr01

Account Closed
You should be thankful a reliable, talented sub contractor in Chicago is willing to work at those rates.

I agree that clients varying ability to pay should have no bearing on your fee structure, but your there are definitely components that can clearly increase the fees.

Eg., an event in a room large enough to house 500 guests requires substantially more resources than a 50 person backyard BBQ.
 

dobby10

Member
500 people requires a completely different sound system that is more expensive and takes more time to setup than a 50 person event... or are you providing the sound, and he's just going and DJing?
 

Enyko

Member
Thanks guys,

Yes, I am providing all the gear. He is just DJ-ing. And in my examples I was saying let's assume it would be the same setup (no extra gear). I understand if there were extra gear, extra setup, extra load-in time, there should be extra pay. But that is not the case.

PS> This is not for the Chicago area djmbr01.
 

robertbenda

Active Member
Agreed there is room for change. Along with a larger sound system for more people (or to fight the wind outdoors), or a change in lighting, different events require different talents: a wedding MC is very different than a backyard BBQ that only wants some good music and a mic left off.

Toss in the perfectly acceptable practice of changing price based on demand: in our area, we get almost no demand from january through mid-April, so prices are lower in competition for the fewer available. Compare to busy June Saturday, where if one wedding passes, there will probably be several other calls for the same date.
 

hippydog

wuz here when it was Red.
So I'm looking for reasons you guys (if you do) charge differently based on the client's budget or amount of guests. Let's also assume we're not bringing any extra gear (subwoofers...etc.).
my pricing changes depending on the work involved and supply and demand..
extra gear is higher priced as its extra work.. in most cases more guests usually requires extra gear, if not then your shortchanging the guests.. but, if for some weird reason, a 50 person party and a 500 person party could use the exact same setup, then yes, price would be the same..

I dont base my pricing on the clients budget, i do have discounts available that they can take advantage of.
 

Kacimlangford

Bose L1 Double B1 DJ
My prices are the same if it was Fred Sanford or Bill Gates. I bring the exact same set up to each event. If I cannot fulfill the needs, I don't take the show.
 

UNDJ

Member
Tell the sub-contractor DJ "No problem, we'll find someone else that will do it at the rate we're asking." You'll see how fast he changes his tune.

You gotta put your foot down or they'll walk all over you.
 

Hits

New Member
Tell the sub-contractor DJ "No problem, we'll find someone else that will do it at the rate we're asking." You'll see how fast he changes his tune.

You gotta put your foot down or they'll walk all over you.

And good luck with that. IMHO $75.00 per hour pay on a $200.00 charge is reasonable. But if he feels that this is going to be a more of a challenge, then through him a bone if you think he's worth it. He may only be a sub, not an employee. But he may feel more favorable to help you out the next time if you are in a pinch!
 

DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
I had recently asked a fellow DJ (not one of my employees, a sub-contracter we sometimes use) to do an event for us and he asked about negotiating the pay - which made me want to post this question: What are the factors that you consider when quoting an event?

  • Day Of The Week
  • Month
  • Event Type
  • Gig Duration
  • Package Chosen/Options CHOSEN
  • Staffing Needs
  • Gear Needs
  • Up-sells
  • Location (as it relates to distance more than 90 minutes each way)
  • Set-Up Difficulty...not a common issue, but I've had some odd-ball set-ups where I ended up hauling gear up/over impossible terrain, or very remote spots that weren't vehicle accessible.
  • NYC events get a surcharge for tolls & parking. For those who've never parked in NYC, it generally costs between $50 - $100 for anything over 45 minutes...for real. Forget it if I'm taking the trailer. Client's have never, ever balked at this.
 
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Utah DJ

New Member
Do a performance standard but don't tell him and if he exceeds it, then I agree, throw him a bone, if not, he's only worth what you agree upon.
 

Houl

New Member
Hello Friends !!! This is a great sources of free and relevant talented management data are vendor research, papers and blogs areas. Of course, vendors have a just bias towards research and conclusions that support their cause, but that does not make the research less interesting or actionable.........
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
Hello Friends !!! This is a great sources of free and relevant talented management data are vendor research, papers and blogs areas. Of course, vendors have a just bias towards research and conclusions that support their cause, but that does not make the research less interesting or actionable.........

Uh... Yeah!
 
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