To say John Alden is a DJ would be an understatement. Indeed, he is a DJ, and a notable one at that. But with a degree in Music Business and Voice from Syracuse University, additional careers as a vocalist, songwriter, and producer, and over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, John can hardly be said to wear a single hat.
For over nine years now, John Alden of Alden Entertainment has been a member here at GigMasters. As a result, he is receiving the Loyalty Award, a badge appointed to those members who have been with GigMasters for five or more years, with an interruption in their membership of no more than three months. One of five newly unveiled badges, the Loyalty Award will be featured prominently on the landing pages of applicable members’ profiles. For John and his company, this award stands as the most recent in a string of honors collected over the years. Named GigMasters’ Top DJ of 2011 and Best of 2012, it’s clear that Alden Entertainment is continuously on the rise.
I had the pleasure of chatting with him recently, and so had to ask, “After all these years, what’s kept you coming back to GigMasters?”
He explained, “The quality of leads is very high. They’re reliable and we’re able to convert them into bookings. We’ve worked with quite a few other leads services and they simply don’t work as well.” It’s true that dependable leads are the cornerstone of any successful career as an entertainer: “Certainly a GigMasters client really is very serious about having a party and booking someone fairly soon. Just judging from the fact that they put in all of their personal information on the form, [it’s evident] that they’re serious about booking.”
In addition to dependable leads, a dependable Customer Experience team ranks among some of John’s top reasons for staying a GigMasters member. “You can get someone who is knowledgeable about a specific event or your account, on the phone or through the online chat. They are able to handle issues very quickly.” He’s found that the clients also benefit from this resource by being able to immediately resolve any issues on their end. “That makes us look good, because they’ve booked through GigMasters, which makes them more confident that they’re using the right service [for their event].”
As a DJ in the New York City area, the competition certainly isn’t lacking for Alden Entertainment. I asked John if he had any tips for standing out in an increasingly competitive industry that’s constantly growing and shifting. “Try to figure out what it is you do well and make whatever effort you can to make sure the client really understands what that is.” For John, this includes his adherence to and advertisement of a distinct style: “Not all DJs are the same. Especially if they’re also doing the MC part. There are many, many styles of entertainers. Some are much more interactive, some are more on the low key side. And we tend to focus more on the low key MC style.” As a result, he makes an extra effort to make this clear on his profile to any potential clients. Similarly, he suggests you know and respect your own limits as an entertainer or vendor. He focuses on quality over quantity, admitting, “We don’t take every gig. We only take the gigs we know we can do really well. We don’t overbook.” Wise words from an experienced member.
John went on to give me a rundown of all of the behind-the-scenes work he does prior to DJing an event. He equates the act to putting on a “one night only show… it needs to be rehearsed.” He meets with his clients to get a sense of their taste in music, arranges playlists accordingly, practices any announcements or roll calls, and prepares his backup equipment and computers. Not to mention what he describes as the “encyclopedic knowledge of American popular music” he’s developed over the years and is continuously working to cultivate. It’s no wonder he’s proven himself a time-honored member that clients love and trust.
And when it’s all over? “A smiling bride is the best indicator of a successful gig… you can pretty much stop there!” We’re smiling too, John. We’re proud of you and all of the other members receiving our Loyalty Award badge!
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