“What Would You Do” is written by Jam On Sound Productions’ Mike Kindlick, where each month he offers insights, tips, solutions, condolences and empathy for DJs’ most problematic situations.
In this case, a mobile DJ was performing at a Halloween elementary-school function where he mistakenly incorporated video and images on screen — images of stabbings and hangings. Ouch!
While these images might haven been suited for an adult crowd, they were obviously inappropriate for kids and caused an immediate uproar among the children.
The DJ needed to decide what to do next.
First off, no one ever wants to make a mistake, but as with all human behavior, sometimes it happens. The way in which we handle ourselves when they do is what can make the difference.
So…what would you do?
1. Tip number one, no matter how big or small the mistake, keep calm and make your next move.
During our staff meetings we often discuss what to do when a mistake happens. When training new staff, one of the first things we discuss is that if you do make a mistake, the more you act like it’s a mistake, the more likely the crowd in front of you will react the same way.
2. Immediately after cutting feed to the video, I would have done anything I could to redirect attention to something else — a game or activity we were thinking about doing at the event, or even something as simple as jumping right into a group line dance with the kids. Anything to get those at the event focused on something else to create a positive memory and hopefully distract from the unfortunate negative moment.
Will this remove the mistake? No, but every event we perform should be based on creating memories, and we can only do our best effort to create positive moments at hand!
I give many kudos to this DJ, for he did apologize immediately, and offered additional services for the future of this business relationship. I would have done the same thing — the school’s next event would be no charge (although I think in this case the school would probably not bring anyone back after a mistake like this).
This is my take on the scenario, but only one person can decide how to handle the situation.
So just ask yourself, “What Would You Do?”….
Mike Kindlick is the owner of Jam On Sound Productions in Reading, Pennsylvania, and has been in business since 1994.
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