Use School Dances to Book Other Teen Events

By Matt Ryan

Each time you perform a school dance, your “product” is in front of hundreds of teens. These teenagers are holding birthday parties, mitzvahs, and graduation parties.

What are you doing to put your brand in front of teens at your school events to get them to remember YOU when it comes time for them to plan their own party?

Sorry, but Students Don’t Remember The DJ

Assuming you’re doing the basics – like identifying yourself on the microphone and tastefully hanging a banner or two – you may be surprised that you’re not getting results. Whenever I talk with students about a dance I didn’t perform, I always ask them who the DJ was. They can NEVER tell me! Is it because the DJ wasn’t doing the “basics”? Probably not – it’s just that the kids really don’t care!

They aren’t paying much attention to our gibberish on the microphone; they are more into the music. They aren’t looking at our neatly hung banners; they are watching their dates! As DJs, we need to find a way to reach teens outside of the dance itself in order for them to make the connection when it’s time for them to hire a DJ for their party.

Marketing Directly to Teens

I do not advocate marketing to students to book school events, however for the purposes of booking private events, marketing directly to teens may be a sound strategy.

One of the single best ways I’ve found to keep teenagers in my market connected with my business is through Facebook. Each time I post, nearly 1,100 fans of my page (80% under the age of 25) put my business at the top of their mind for a split second. If this happens frequently enough, when the time is right for them to select a DJ for THEIR party, I’ll be the first name that comes to mind.

Use Facebook Wisely

A word of warning: I’ve seen DJs (and other businesses) misuse their Facebook pages by making far too many irrelevant posts. You don’t want to annoy your fans by cluttering their feeds with 10% discount offers and free upgrades of this or that. Most of the time, people AREN’T in the market to hire a DJ, BUT they might be interested in snooping through pictures of a great party, for example.

DJs can use the great exposure they have to teens at school events to encourage attendees to find them on Facebook. By posting event photos (with the organizers’ permission), you are giving kids a reason to find you! Once they’ve become a fan, your regular, relevant posts will be certain to bring your name to their mind when they are throwing their next party.

If you want to know more about marketing to schools, check out my “School Dance DJ Marketing Toolkit,” available at

Matt Ryan – School Dance Pro

Matt Ryan is a multi-op DJ business owner, radio personality, developer of School Dance Pros and educator.

He has been entertaining at school and many other types of functions since 1996. Matt Ryan Mobile DJ Entertainment performs at approximately 250 events per year, nearly half of which are school and teen dances and proms.

Matt is a well-known on-air personality at WNCI 97.9, a Top 40 radio station in Columbus, OH. He is also a middle school teacher and coach.

Matt is able to provide unprecedented insight to other DJs about how school dances are organized.

To contact Matt, email