How is the party room designed?  I’ve worked at many charming places that have lots of nooks and crannies. These provide an escape for people. Places with adjoining rooms may look good on paper, but for creating a party atmosphere they fail miserably. The music will only carry so far and sound so clear. I think it’s best to keep everyone in the same room so they can hear the music. Once the formalities start, you don’t have to round people up to come in for the toast or the first dance. If they can feel the music all night they will be more apt to dance when the dance portion of the event begins.

Can the room be dimmed? Too often reception locations can only have one set of lighting-on or off, no in between. Lighting can help set a mood that helps with the party atmosphere. No one wants to dance in bright lights. Lighting can make or break a party.

What is the quality of the sound system?  I’ve worked in older buildings where the sound hums. When you plug into their system, you get a hum thru yours. I know this sounds crazy but ask about the wiring and if anyone has had that problem. You don’t want to do your first dance or a slow song with a constant humming thru the speakers.

How much power do you have?  If your event is outside in a tent, make sure you have ample power for lighting, heating food and music. I’ve worked some events where there was not enough power and everything kept cutting in and out. The music would be flowing and then it would cut out because the circuit was overloaded. Party killer, especially when this happens all night long.

Got a generator? Make sure you understand which plug to have the DJ to plug into. If it’s the wrong plug it could fry his gear and not only are you out music for your event but may have to replace his damaged gear.

Is the event outside?  When you hold an event outside, you should provide some kind of shelter for the DJ. I worked an event where it started to rain and everyone ran inside and left me outside to battle the elements. Have a plan “B”.  Water and electricity don’t mesh very well. If it looks like rain, it’s going to rain.  No one wants to go to a wedding and get drenched.

How convenient is it for the vendors to load equipment? You should provide instructions on how and where to load their equipment in and out. This will save time and headaches. Sometimes this will affect the attitude of your vendors if it’s a hassle to get in and out of a certain venue. Also certain venues have specific areas and procedures for this loading in and out. Make sure this is clear with all vendors.

Is there a noise ordinance in the area of your reception? Some places are located in residential areas and you can only play the music softly. You or the DJ could face possible fines if the music is too loud. Needless to say if your guests can’t “Feel” the music they won’t have a good time. This may also apply to outside venues.