The job of a mobile DJ gig is a complex one that requires weeks of pre-planning and preparation. After packing your car to the brim with speakers, stands and other major equipment, make sure you don’t forget the following items:
Gaffer’s Tape - Having someone trip over your cords while performing at a wedding is a liability to yourself and your equipment. Ample gaffers tape is a necessity for every gig.
Y-Cable - We all have those clients that have a random song on their ipod or phone they have to hear. The Y-Cable will rescue you time and time again. It is also good to use the Y-Cable as a backup in case your laptop crashes in the middle of a gig.
Surge Protector - It is a priority to protect all of your equipment from power surges. This electronic accessory will ease your stress level. Also, if you have a gig with only one power outlet available, you won’t need to worry about that with a proper surge protector.
iPod/mp3 player - In the worst-case scenario where your laptop freezes or crashes during a corporate event, you must keep the music going. I recommend having an iPod or an mp3 device ready with a collection of popular songs loaded on the device. A phone can also work as long as you have the actual mp3’s downloaded to the device (or reliable wifi access).
Extension cords - Many mobile gigs will require you to have speakers set up at a great distance from your mixer or controller. Extension cords will help make the setup easier and meet all of the requirements.
Mini-flashlight - For various gigs in general, you will be set up in a place where the lighting is very poor. Also, if you work evening gigs, sometimes the client or venue will turn down the lights as the gig progresses. A mini flashlight of some form can be a lifesaver while troubleshooting, setting up and tearing down. Don’t get caught in the dark!
Extra USB cables - Many of our equipment connects to each other via USB cables. There is nothing fun about discovering that one of your USB cables is missing or compromised ten minutes before you are scheduled to start. Keep a few extra USB cables so that you can avoid this stressful circumstance.
Wireless hotspot - There will come a time when you get a song request from a client and you don’t have that song. You will need to download it and don’t depend on the venue to have wifi. Keep your hotspot in your DJ bag ready to go and avoid not being able to satisfy every request from your client.
Mobile Tent - Weather can change the logistics of any event very quickly. Stay ahead of the game by bringing a mobile tent in case weather breaks in an expected fashion. At the very least, have some covers for your equipment if rain (or a sprinkler) shows up.
Business Cards - In the spirit of the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” - Always Be Closing. Many times people will witness your performance during a mobile DJ gig and request your business cards for a future inquiry. Be ready with business cards and try to introduce yourself and get their information if possible.
I hope you enjoyed this list. Is there anything I missed that you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments section.