Ambience: A NJ DJ Blog

  • Best and Worst Sales Practices

    Most DJs launch their businesses for a love of music and entertaining, not because they enjoy selling DJ entertainment services. Yet, without strong sales and marketing skills, a DJ will find himself struggling to find work. Thus, selling is a necessary evil. Most DJ companies - ourselves included - do not employ a dedicated sales and marketing team. Rather, the DJ company owner sells and markets services to the public. With 5,000-plus mobile DJs operating in the state of New Jersey, it’s a competitive business that requires you to be on your A-Game. Sadly, many talented event professionals who decide to go “full-time” fail in their passion fail miserably, unable to build their business to a critical mass.

    Sales practices within the mobile DJ entertainment field vary, but are generally professional and ethical. At Ambient DJ, we pride ourselves on a consultative approach where we guide and suggest services, but never cram down upgrades. In our marketing efforts, we prefer using a “pull” strategy where brides, grooms and other party people are magnetically attracted to our service offerings from a strategic presence on the internet, or from enthusiastic referrals from past clients and networking partners. We also make no secret about our prices - they are listed on our website. Our marketing efforts strive to naturally excite clients to our services and upgrades. At consultations, we don’t pressure clients into booking, but will make the point that it is in their best interest to book their date soon if interested, because dates fill up fast. And this is a 100% true statement, not some cheap sales gimmick.

    “Push” type marketing strategies have not yielded great results for our company. For example, email blasts to lists of brides have been frustrating. Even with a great subject line, compelling offer, soft sell or no sell, email campaigns are akin to digging for a needle in a haystack with email being the new junk mail! Direct mail is another bust.

    Bridal shows have provided diminishing returns through the years where many attendees seem to there primarily for the free food, free drinks and vacation giveaways. Vendors are forced to pursue a small pool of qualified buyers with special offers and persistent follow-up emails. Our biggest marketing flop ever was an annual in-store campaign at a David’s Bridal store in Lawrenceville NJ. The lackluster results indicated that brides-to-be trying on dresses were not particularly interested in learning out our services while visiting the store.

    Some respected colleagues of mine in the events business have enjoyed success in push type marketing. For example, one DJ company owner successfully works leads lists through telemarketing efforts. Other DJ companies are successful in booking a dozen weddings at bridal shows after rocking a showcase.

    In this blog, I would like to share a series of real life negative sales experiences that helped to inspire the “no hassle” “soft sell” approach that we utilize. The idea being, we treat our customers as we’d like to be treated ourselves. Many of the case studies of “worst sales practices” involved deception, aggression, intrusion and intimidation.

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  • Andrew Zwicker for Congress

    A long-time rule of mine in business is NOT to discuss religion and politics. I'm breaking that rule today to express support for Andrew Zwicker who is running for Congress in New Jersey's 12th District that includes towns in Mercer Country, Middlesex County, Somerset County and Union County. The seat for New Jersey's 12th district has been held since 1999 by Democrat Rush Holt. Holt announced in February 2014 that he would not seek re-election in 2014.

    Why am I breaking my long-time rule? Andrew Zwicker is a former client of our DJ service. When we initially met, I knew Andrew only as a physicist working at the Princeton Plasma Physics Library. Working with Andrew and his wife Barbara for the event, I came to appreciate him as an intelligent, warm, outgoing and thoughtful person - and with an excellent taste in music I might add! Like many, I was surprised to learn of his decision to enter the Congressional race. While Rush Holt has not endorsed any particular candidate in the Democratic primary race, the similarities between Zwicker and Holt are striking, particularly given that Holt is a former physics professor who gave a voice to scientific issues on Capitol Hill.

    How can you help? If you live in NJ's 12th district or know somebody who does, please cast your vote for Andrew Zwicker in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday June 3rd. This is very much a grass roots campaign - so please also consider volunteering your time or spreading the word to fellow voters. If you are not currently registered, the deadline for voter registration is May 13th. To learn more about Zwicker's stance on the issues - click here.

    To view our top ideas for Zwicker's campaign theme song, click through to the next page!

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  • Ambient DJ Participates in Wed Event Mastermind Sessions

    Wedding and event professionals are typically very passionate about what they do. However, running a profitable and sustainable business can prove elusive to many. To enhance our business fitness, Ambient DJ participated in an all-day educational event held at The Elan in Lodi NJ called "WedEvent Master Mind." Organized by luxury wedding filmmaker Damon Dietz of Absolute Media Productions, a group of 30 or so event professionals /business owners spent the day discussing our most pressing challenges and then brainstorming solutions.

    Participants were divided into tables of seven people, each chaired by a moderator and including a variety of event professionals like photographers, videographers, event planners, DJs, photo booth operators and wedding media professionals. Each pro was able to describe three major business challenges. Then, for the next 25 minutes fellow table members offered their best suggestions.

    As a DJ company owner, I spend the majority of my time with other DJs who by and large are male. The Mastermind sessions were refreshing as they offered perspectives from other professional categories, and also from the feminine perspective. I thought that the sessions were terrific, and compliment both Damon Dietz for organizing the event, and our table's moderator, Marni Gold, for facilitating a great dialogue.

    After lunch, we enjoyed a presentation by improv comic/motivational speaker Avish Parashar. Avish demonstrated through fun interactive exercises techniques to unshackle ourselves from a "cycle of sameness" and unleash the creativity buried in our subconscious. All participants also received a complimentary copy of Napoleon Hill's classic "Think and Grow Rich."

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  • The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

    Want to get those feet tapping before your wedding reception even begins? Then consider this "Super Funky Soul Cocktail Hour." I was inspired to compile this playlist after attending a recent DJ association meeting where a crafty turntablist named "DJ Audey B" from Andres Entertainment (AES) was spinning feel good funk tracks by the likes of James Brown and King Floyd. His set definitely put our group in a great mood!

    The playlist that follows starts slow and funky before ramping up in tempo, and explores various sub-genres of funk and soul, with even a touch of hip hop later in the set. Representative artists includes James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Cameo, Kool & the Gang, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the Temptations, Prince, Sheila E. and many more.

    Ambient DJ continues its tradition of selecting a signature drink for each wedding cocktail hour playlist. Evoking memories of the Tone-Loc anthem, we've selected the "Funky Cold Medina" - a sweet and tasty drink that can sneak up on you very quickly! For more information about the Funky Cold Medina, click here.

    And now let's drop that funk!

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  • DJs B.E.A.T. Cancer - Recap

    On Monday April 7, magic happened in Grasonville Maryland as nearly 100 professional disc jockeys gathered for an event called “DJs B.E.A.T. Cancer.” The event was organized by Steve Moody of Steve Moody’s Entertainment Connection who is competing for “Man of the Year” in a fundraiser benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

    The concept for DJs B.E.A.T. Cancer was brilliant. Rather than ask for donations from everybody he knew, Steve decided to offer something of great value (i.e., continuing education to professional disc jockeys in the form of a day of seminars) in return for a $75 admission fee. Steve (who is a DJ Times DJ of the Year) and a cast of all-star DJ entertainers including Sean “Big Daddy” McKee, Michael Walter, Jason Klock, Mike Wieder and Darryl “Jake” Jacobsen donated their time and delivered top-notch presentations spanning topics including Social Media Marketing, Customer Service, DJ Entrepreneurship, Time Management, Wedding DJ Performance Techniques, and Games. The room space was donated by the Holiday Inn Express of Grasonville. Lunch for event participants was picked up by sponsors Digi-Games and Chauvet Lighting. A further ground swell of support for the event came in the form of donations of books and educational materials from experts located across the country.

    The day was a roller coaster of emotions. First - there was pride - what a great feeling to see a packed room of nearly 100 DJs who had traveled from states including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia to support the event. Second - there was the fun and laughter that always happens when DJs get together. Then there was sadness, as we learned more about the child blood cancer patients who this fundraiser is benefiting. Cancer is awful - but to see suffering young children full of tubes and being pumped up with chemicals is horrific and a parent’s worst nightmare. And finally, there was “hope” - learning that the dollars raised for blood cancer research are helping patients to live longer, and allowing for the discovery of new chemotherapy treatments for other types of cancer.

    Steve is attempting to raise $25,000. Yesterday’s DJs B.E.A.T. Cancer event raised an estimated $7,000 towards the fundraising goal, and it just one leg of Steve’s fundraising campaign that features other events where he will be donating his entertainment services and selling tickets. For those unable to attend yesterday’s seminar, the video footage is available for $75. The money raised from video sales will similarly be donated to the LLS. If interested in purchasing a video or joining Steve’s fundraising team, please visit

    Thank you Steve and Lori Moody for organizing this incredible event. Whether or not you officially win “Man of the Year” - you have already won this honor in the minds of your DJ peers!

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  • Wedding Gig Log -Michelle & Ryan, The Grain House Restaurant in Basking Ridge

    On March 30, 2014, Ambient DJ Service had the pleasure of providing music and entertainment for Michelle and Ryan’s wedding reception at the historic Grain House Restaurant at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge NJ. The Grain House Restaurant dates back to the 18th century and sports a warm and historic charm. Michelle and Ryan discovered our services on The Knot. Our DJ Gregg Ambient presided as DJ and Master of Ceremonies for the reception.

    During our planning consultation with the couple, we discovered that they’d recently attended wedding receptions where there was inadequate time for dancing due to a lengthy food service program and too many formalities. They also shared the fact that the guest count would be dominated by guests in their 30s who enjoyed dancing.

    Working with the accommodating professional staff at the Grain House, we were able to launch a 40 minute dance set after the salad course that quickly packed the dance floor. The dance floor action only grew stronger after dinner. This is an impressive feat, particularly for Sunday weddings that sometimes feature guests in a reserved mindset that prevents them from fully enjoying themselves.

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  • Spring 2014 Playlist by DJ Gregg Ambient

    A regular feature of the Ambient DJ blog is the submission of periodic playlists reflecting songs currently being used by our DJs out in the field. The list below reflects our head honcho, “DJ Gregg Ambient’s” current favorites. According to Gregg, look for the big hits of Summer 2014 to peak out like Spring tulips in the next month or two!

    Known for his wide range, eclectic international tastes and penchant for electronica and hip hop alike, here are 25 tracks from Gregg Ambient’s private reserves. They are listed in no particular order. Hope that you will take some of these for a spin at your next dance party.

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  • April Fool's Music Playlist

    Happy April Fool's Day! Today is a time for practical jokes, hoaxes and utter tomfoolery. I'm sure you've already seen a hi-jinx or two on Facebook. In the spirit of the day, we've compiled an April Fool's music playlist. Songs listed below relate to the words "fool" or "joker" or "laughter." Most of the songs were selected by our awesome Facebook fans. We also threw a few selections into the mix!

    Stay on guard for the next prank against you - but in the meantime, enjoy our April Fool's playlist and please comment with your additional song ideas below!

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  • How to Open a Wedding Dance Floor

    As a wedding DJ, it is commonplace to look out into the ballroom and observe a diverse sea of guests typically dominated by middle-aged adults. Guests range in age from 8 to 80, and as the DJ it is common to panic - at least briefly, thinking, “how am I going to pack tonight’s dance floor?”

    As a DJ, creating dance floor magic is part art and part science. The topic of this blog is to explore how DJs open a wedding dance floor and create an environment that entices guests to dance. We have asked some of our very own music mixologists to reveal their favorite songs and techniques to mobilize guests to the dance floor. Not surprisingly, answers varied widely reflecting style differences.

    If you attend weddings, we’d love to hear how you like a DJ to open a dance floor. If you are a wedding DJ reading this blog, we’d also love to hear your preferred techniques. Please leave us a comment!

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  • The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist

    Disco was a staple of American music and culture during the 1970s. Disco peaked in the late 70s and subsequently experienced a backlash. DJs love disco music for its groovy, danceable essence that typically clocks in at around 120 beats per minute. Disco music is also known for its lush orchestrations - including instruments like violins, and sound effects like hand claps and disco lasers.

    The playlist that follows starts slow and groovy, before delivering faster beats later in the set. The playlist includes tracks from Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, the Salsoul Orchestra, Cerrone, Andrea True Connection and many more.

    Ambient DJ continues its tradition of selecting a signature drink for each wedding cocktail hour playlist. To match the colorful flamboyance of the disco era, we've selected the Sloe Gin Fizz, a refreshing drink that balances sweet against tart. Sloe Gin is sourced from England where tart "sloe berries" are infused in gin. For more information about the Sloe Gin Fizz, click here.

    And now let's get into the music!

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