One important aspect of DJing involves the ability to read the crowd. Follow these guidelines for those occasions where you’re not hired to play a specific type of music for a specific type of crowd. It’s important to remember that there will always be exceptions to these guidelines, but it’s fair to say that if you follow these cues, you will be on the right track.
The Visual Cue (Age) | Look at the age of your crowd. This will give you an idea of what era(s) to concentrate on.
The Visual Cue (Gender) | If the majority of the crowd is women, you’ve got a win/win situation. Fortunately, women will dance with each other even if guys don’t want to dance. So, cater to them first and the guys will follow .
The Visual Cue (Ethnic Background) | Promotion is a necessity and while it’s great that you, as a DJ, spread the word on the events you’re a part of, this shouldn’t be your job. There needs to be a promotional system in place. One that is controlled by an actual promoter. You, as a DJ, should concentrate all your efforts on DJing. It’s a simple concept but there’s a reason for it. You need to give all your efforts to your job. That’s not to say that you not also be a good promoter, but anything you take away from DJing, will affect your performance. You may not agree with me if you’re a DJ/Promoter, but all you have to do is look at your set of DJ skills to know that all that time you spent doing the job of the promoter could have been best improving your skills as a DJ and even expanding your knowledge of music. Promotion takes time – good promotion is what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about social media which is basically word of mouth.
The Auditory Cue | Gone are the days when clubs had good promoters. Well, at least in most clubs. Now, you have club owners and managers expecting the DJ to promote his own events. Again, this should not be your job. Your job is to DJ. A promoter’s job is to promote.
The Reaction Cue | The famous DJ Guest List is no more. A DJ used to be allowed to bring X amount of people (for free) to the club. Not because they were expected to spend money, or blow up the place, but because it was common courtesy to let your close friends/family experience your event. This usually meant they got all the perks of personally knowing the DJ. Nowadays, the DJ Guest List is a gimmick used by shady owners and club promoters to force DJ’s to bring people in the door.