DECK THE HALLS WITH…???

by Stu Chisholm

For many DJs, their only adjustment during the winter holidays is to replace their standard cocktail hour and dinner music with some Christmas tunes and then, after dinner, just spin the hits and hope for the best.

Yet holiday clients are different in some major ways. First, they’re usually businesses rather than families. Co-workers interact differently.

Your DJ mission, should you decide to accept it, is to show these people a good time!

Fortunately this is an easy task with a little forethought and planning. I find that even the most rigid office professional will loosen up under the right circumstances. Just give them someone to blame: YOU!

“THE DJ MADE ME…”

Just as we have an arsenal of activities suitable for weddings, a well-equipped DJ toolbox will have a similar selection of routines and activities for the office holiday event. We know going in that our audience will need to be loosened-up and coaxed into action. To pull this off, we need to use both the resources available and our imaginations.

SHOW ME DA MONEY!

I’ll let you in on one of my first corporate party gimmicks, specifically designed to break down barriers among co-workers. This also gets people up on the stage for the first time in order to launch into a routine.

Somewhere along the line I’d gotten a number of fake, oversized $100.00 bills. When an accounting firm called me for a Christmas party, I dug them up and took them to my local Kinko’s to have them hard-laminated. This gave them a heft, almost like a license plate. (I also included a discreet but strategically placed logo and phone number on them!)

When guests walked into the party, each table had one of these propped-up on the table number holder. Throughout cocktail hour and dinner, I could see guests picking them up, looking them over and discussing them with quizzical looks on their faces. Buzz was building.

When it came time to dance, I introduced myself and pointed out the oversized bills to the audience. (A collective, “Aaah!” went through the room.) “We’re going to play the accountant’s version of hot potato,” I explained, “only for accounting pros, we’re going to call it ‘pass the buck!’”

I then had them pass the bills around the table until I’d suddenly stop a song. Of course, I had noticed where the bosses and CEOs were seated and made sure they were caught holding the big bucks and had to come up on stage!

This is a sure-fire icebreaker, because once the employees have seen the boss act silly, they’re much more apt to let down their hair and have a good time.

WHAT NOW?

So your stage is set and you’ve managed to get people on their feet. Now what do you do with them? That, of course, is up to you.

Along with Todd Mitchem style routines, I also highly recommend Scott Faver’s DVD series, “The Game Master,” filled with interactive games suitable for just about any corporate party. (You can order his DVDs from the Mobile Beat online bookstore.)

Use your imagination, create some games and/or routines, rehearse them well, and have that something extra for your holiday clients that they can’t get anywhere else. You can be sure that they’ll be calling you back in 2011!

Until next time, safe spinnin’ and a very happy holiday to you and yours!

Stu Chisholm – “The Complete Disc Jockey”

Stu Chisholm of Stu & His Crew Professional Disc Jockey Service in Michigan, has has worked in several areas of the DJ Universe. He’s been a radio, mobile, club and roller skating rink DJ in the Detroit area since 1979, and done commercial voice-over work, as well. Stu has been a keynote and featured speaker at DJ trade shows in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He is the author of the book, “The Complete Disc Jockey” and is a regular columnist with Mobile Beat Magazine. To contact him, email DJStuCrew@gmail.com. You can grab Stu’s book at TheCompleteDiscJockey.com. View posts by Stu
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