Music makes the world go 'round. . .but it can also make or break your event. The thing is, a DJ can be super expensive and bands can be downright impossible to nail down sometimes. So how can you be sure your event's music won't fall flat if you don't have the time or money to engage professionals? At OTR, there are a few tips we live by, and music at our events always hits the mark, no matter the budget we're working with.
Get tech savvy. There several apps and radio platforms we absolutely love. 8tracks is a favorite of ours because it's so easy to use and is FREE. With 8tracks you get instant access to thousands of playlists, and with so much to choose from, it's guaranteed that there's something that will fit your event. Spotify is also magical because you can use it to build your own playlists OR access ready-made lists. We love that you can search this platform by mood! The premium version is just $9.99/month and allows you to listen without advertisements. Just pay for one month and cancel once your event is in the rearview. Similar to Spotify, you can use Apple Music for another commercial free option, also at $9.99/month. The benefit of Apple Music over Spotify is that you won't randomly discover certain artists (ehem, T Swift) aren't available.
Prep your device and build a tech kit. If you're an event planner, we suggest getting a device that you only use for event music. Prep the device with playlists from one of the services above, and make sure they're fully downloaded/available offline just in case you end up at a venue with wifi that is spotty. Also, build a small, portable kit including dongles (or wireless adaptors) and chargers. If your phone isn't equipped, you may consider throwing a wifi hot spot in your kit, just in case. Got some cash to spend on your kit? Consider a Bose wireless speaker. These portable beauties throw off enough sound to save your butt in a situation where everything but your cell phone dies.
Take control of the mood. As mentioned, we love that you can search some services by mood, but you might feel a little too creative for a pre-built list. If you're determined to build your own playlist, make sure to think through how you'd like your event to feel. Want things to start slow and build to dancing? Consider starting with a little Sinatra for dinner and building to today's top 40! Need to promote chill throughout the event? How about working with Jazz? With all the options available online these days, you'll have no trouble finding something to fit your event.
Speakers, sound systems, and mics. Oh, my! Rentals can be tricky. Unless you really know your stuff, you could get stuck with speakers that sound muffled or just a little off. That's why it's important to really know your space. Engage with the venue's manager to find out what typically works best, and see if they have a vendor they trust for rentals. If not, we suggest doing a Google search for vendors in your area and doing a price comparison. Hint: you want a low-cost option with very helpful customer service reps who ask questions about the size of the space and number of attendees, which all factor into the decision. In SF, We love to use trusted vendors, like Avista Rentals who often know the venues we frequent and can help us make the right choices.
Kick it old school. There's something romantic about record players. Their sound is unique and super nostalgic for most. Depending on the acoustics of the room you're partying in, you can use a record player without needing an amp or too many bells and whistles. You could even ask guests to contribute records if the event is casual. Just be sure to set a timer on your phone so you remember to change the record before music cuts off. Awkward silences can kill the mood!
It may seem daunting, but once you start to dig into all the available music online and the tools to help you out, you'll feel like this is a breeze. As always, if you need help, just give us a buzz!
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