|Posted by Albuquerque DJs - Red Sapphire DJ Entertainment - NM DJ Music on February 13, 2017 at 6:35 PM|
I’ve been DJing for about twenty years now, and there was a golden era in Albuquerque, NM between 2005 and 2010 when people were having tons of events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. There were excellent, and terrible DJs at that time. If the bad DJs didn’t fix what they were doing, they either got phased out, or they learned from other top DJs in the industry how to properly do things. It was sort of a right of passage; newbies would give respect to other DJs, and they in turn would give a few pointers. DJs may not be the best of friends, but we respected each other. I even used to refer work out to DJs that did a great job, but I may not have personally liked.
The main philosophy of viable word-of-mouth recommendations came from venue managers always wanting their venue guests to have a blast because that’s how they would receive more customers. The only goal of the venue manager was to continue to produce an excellent experience every time, and one of the ways to do that is through recommending top DJs that created a memorable atmosphere. Out of a 150 people event, the venue might see another four or five attending guests that choose that same place to have their event. This process was a form or natural selection, so to speak, where vendors that didn’t have the skills would eventually be phased out because they continuously produced bad service.
Sadly enough that tried and true method of recommending has fallen to the side, and a different and sinister recommendation method has cropped up. The weaker or newly starting DJ companies would not allow the natural referral process to occur, so we end up with a band-aid company like The Perfect Wedding Guide.
The Perfect Wedding Guide is basically a networking company that encourages vendors such as DJs, photographers, officiants, and venues to purchase advertising with them. They give out awards to vendors that receive votes from other Perfect Wedding Guide vendors. Think about that just for a second; vendors that are voted as “The Best” are voted for by the same vendors that attend The Perfect Wedding Guide networking functions and bridal shows. It's easy to cast a vote for someone they know personally, even without knowing the quality of work they provide. This is a perfect coorelation between politicians that will shake your hand, yet take money from your pocket with the other hand.
The Perfect Wedding Guide salespeople had been contacting me for years because they kept hearing from other vendors that I did excellent work. They are in dire need of a DJ with integrity, and skill in order to make their brand seem more legitimate to others. They were hounding me to join their organization even during a time when my main competitors had become paying members. It makes you wonder if they thought their current roster of DJs are any good at all. If these “C” level companies that are voted "the best" with all their fake awards then why would they try and get me to join?
I’ve always been nice to the Perfect Wedding Guide sales people when they contacted me in the past. However, after their most recent attempt I let them know that I had a problem with their biased award system.
As a side note regarding awards, the Alibi gives out a “Best DJ Company” award every year, and when I contacted the Alibi on how the award is decided they let me know that ANYONE can vote for a company. So, that means that the DJ himself, his family, friends, his employees’ family, and friends along with everyone they ask on social media can vote for them. It’s not an award based on skill, but on how much they can manipulate others to vote for them.
I let the PWG sales person know that they get venue managers, and other vendors to recommend sub-par companies because those vendors NEED that recommendation in order to stay in business. It shouldn’t be an artificially sought recommendation, and requiring or encouraging other PWG vendors to recommend only each other is basically another form of nepotism.
The Perfect Wedding Guide system is setup as a pay-to-play network whereby you are required to pay them $1000.00 or so, every six months, and they will be your best friend, and recommend you to everyone. This is why you often see multi-op DJ companies that have a paid subscription to the PWG; those multi-op companies NEED those recommendations because they couldn’t survive on their own without them. Multi-ops have numerous employees and expenses they cater to every month, so without that recommendation they would go down the tubes.
So, after letting The Perfect Wedding Guide know what I thought about their deceptive business practices, they retaliated by removing my account from their vendor listing pages. I had a number of five star reviews on that listing, and they completely took it down without even letting me know about it. I wonder if they would have taken it down if I had a single negative review on that listing. Probably not since my direct competitors are their paying clients. It’s pretty disgusting for a company that claims they encourage community over competition.
It indicates that the Perfect Wedding Guide is not transparent in their activities. It’s a political networking device used to prop up their paying vendors. Hey look, they are a business, so if that’s their business model then so be it, but someone has to point it out to let others know that something much more deceptive lurks under that shinny veneer.
I could have paid The Perfect Wedding Guide $1000.00 every six months which would have made me their best friend. They would have recommended me to venue managers that would have recommended me to their clients without even knowing much of my skills. Instead I took a stand against something sinister, and was retaliated against.
So, how is this pay-to-play system affecting our industry? Well, back before the advent of the PWG venues like Sandia Casino, Isleta, and some of the major hotels were always booked to capacity in their ballrooms. Now I go to those same venues on Friday or Saturday nights, and I’m the only one DJing in the venue that evening. So, as venue managers recommend bad DJs from the PWG, guests and clients have bad experiences, and decide not to have their events in Albuquerque, or will go to the judge to get married, and leave out the reception altogether.
It’s a sad state of the industry right now, and we as a community have allowed it to be infected because no one speaks out against the negative influence that the Perfect Wedding Guide is having on our industry. The Perfect Wedding Guide is like the big bully gorilla in the room that no one goes up against for fear of political retaliation. I have a tendency the stand up to bullies, and it is great to finally address these issues.
It all boils down to how political the vendor is whether they can produce a good product. Always look for a wall of bogus awards, or if another PWG vendor or manager is recommending another paying PWG vendor. It’s mostly likely a tainted, biased, and influenced recommendation.
The Perfect Wedding Guide encourages laziness in the end. Some of the worst vendors in the industry have pay-to-play ties with the PWG. I once worked with a paying PWG photographer that took 4 months to send the photographs to the client. Another DJ company in Albuquerque that calls themselves the best was discovered posting pictures on their website of an event that I performed at. This same vendor receives PWG awards all the time. It always goes back to the vendor needing to be part of that referral group in order to continue to get work. They can effectively do anything they want, and continue to be recommended by the PWG network.
So, really ask yourself whether you are a consumer who wants to encourage ability, responsibility, integrity, and creativity. Or, do you want to encourage favoritism, and a generic DJ company willing to stick you with an ordinary employee to perform at your wedding? By the way, that same company purchased a “Premium” membership on the Perfect Wedding Guide.
So how does one find a solution in all this complicated industry mess right now? Look at Google reviews!! Google doesn’t give out biased, or nepotistic awards for industry professionals. Google has no real political, or biased conflicts of interest in recommending one company over another. They have an excellent filtering mechanism for fake reviews. Always read the owner’s responses to those reviews; this can usually indicate if a review is fake or not.
Thanks for reading.