Being Aware of Your Surroundings...
...AND USING THEM TO YOUR BENEFIT
By Rob Johnson
Some of my best events come as a result of unplanned stuff that is going on around me. I learned early in my career that adapting to your environment and the people at your shows make for a much better event.
People love to be part of the show. If you can figure out how to change on the fly and use your surroundings, you will have more success. Weddings are easy. Not always, but generally most of you have it down and probably do a great job at weddings. What about shows that are outside of your comfort zone? Do you do weekly shows at a bar, nursing home, church or other event? If you do, you know that you cannot come in with a "set" show and follow a routine. It will get really old for the customers who see you week in and week out. You need to mix it up.
As a comedy stage hypnotist I have a very similar pattern for each show. Yet each show is completely different because the volunteers are all unique. One of my strengths is finding that gem in every crowd to help me make for a memorable show. In game show it usually takes care of itself. The cream rises to the top, so to speak. Generally speaking, the most outgoing participants will stand out.
So how do you use your surroundings? Keep your eyes open. I saw the new Trivia Towers from DigiGames for the first time at the Mobile Beat Vegas show. It is a cool new system that lights up when you ring in. For trivia it will be awesome. When I found out you can light them up and leave them on, or set them to different patterns, we immediately thought they would be cool accent lights or uplighting. You do the Trivia Event and then you move them to a different spot to make your DJ set up look awesome. They weren't designed that way but what a great use of your surroundings to improve your show.
Be aware of who and what is around you. At the recent Mobile Beat show I noticed publisher Ryan Burger's daughter was selling Girl Scout cookies. We had a wheel out front and were giving away prizes. I decided to put a box of girl scout cookies on the wheel. This accomplished a couple things. It made for some HAPPY DJs who won cookies...and it helped a young lady go to camp. Did it help DigiGames? That's debatable, but it definitely attracted attention. At the end of the show, with a captive audience at the final giveaway, I pulled her up on stage and DigiGames bought every box she had left and threw them into the crowd. Publicity stunt? Maybe. I didn't look at it that way at the time. I wanted to use my surroundings to have some fun. I don't think DigiGames made a sale for giving them away but I know we made a young lady happy and also about 35 people who caught free cookies.
Sometimes you use the things around you as props to improve your performance. I do a lot of interactive events during the week. I find the more I can use the staff, residents, students or whoever I am performing for, the better the event will be. I am often using common items I see around a room as props or subjects for my games. Whatever it takes.
The more creative you are, the better your events can be. The better your events are, the more events you will book. The more you book, the more you should be able to make. It is all about increasing your bottom line, in my opinion. We are very fortunate to get to entertain people for a living. We have a fun outlet for making money. Many of you concentrate on weddings. If that works for you, great. If you want to try something a little different, go for it. Talk to another DJ who has expanded their bookings to include more Midweek Money. Do a little research. Call us if you ever need ideas. Have fun and keep making people smile.