Jersey DJ’s “Four Rules of the vLog”
By Milo Burke
Union, N.J.—Chris Atwood began DJing in college in 1998, but like most DJs, his “calling” arrived much earlier. “I didn’t take the most traditional path to the 1s and 2s, as most jocks I know, where they were inspired by an old-school mixmaster,” he says. “Growing up I was the token ‘class clown,’ which unexpectedly lead our school’s theatre director to encourage me to take my passion for entertaining to the stage.”
Atwood took it to the stage, but also became interested in behind the scenes action—lighting, sound and production. And when he entered college, while working as a mechanic at a bowling alley, his personality once again drew notice: his manager asked him to play music and talk on the microphone for the Saturday night Laser Cosmic Bowling.
“If you asked me going into college about DJing, it truly was the furthest thing from my mind,” he says. “But once I got behind the decks, it truly was a natural fit.” From there, Atwood’s career trajectory took him to a DJ company, where he helped out on the weekends. And that continued, at various stops, for the next 10 years.
That changed nearly three years ago, when he broke out on his own and formed Absolute Events & Entertainment. “Now I couldn’t be happier,” he says.
Atwood started his new endeavor by using his experience from previous companies. “My marketing plan was based around bridal shows,” he says. “I’ve developed a showcase performance that, along with an ‘after-showcase campaign’ that involves e-mails, phone calls and concludes with a private showcase, has worked well for us.”
The other strategy has been to offer different services—photography, videography, limousines and lighting design, specifically. “We want to be known as a one-stop shop for brides,” he says. “The great thing about this is sometimes a bride hears about our photography, but has no clue that we provide entertainment, so when we meet for a sales consultation, our all-in-one packages are an added bonus for her. In addition, we offer multi-service discounts so our packages might be more attractive to brides.”
But the area where Atwood believes he has made the greatest strides is social media. “The current millennial brides are all over Facebook/Twitter/YouTube, and so are we,” he says. “Planning promotions and advertising this way is the most cost effective and successful way of getting your name out there.”
Within the social media framework, Atwood has made his greatest advances in vLogging, which he calls a natural progression to take some of the traditional wedding videography footage and showcasing it online for others to see.
“I have to admit, I became inspired from a great friend of mine, Jason Jani, on how to formalize the vLog,” he says. “Although he may not have started the ‘DJ vLog,’ I think he is instrumental in setting the standard in vLogging, which includes showcasing a strong welcome to the vLog, highlighting exciting footage from the celebration, and a candid client testimonial. I’ve taken that model and created something of my own to showcase to future clients.”
We asked Atwood for a four-step program to get you up and running as a vLogger.