Tag Archives: Travelling

Tips To Being A Traveling Destination Event DJ

By Brian Buonassissi

People ask me all the time, “How do you get into the destination event DJ business?” usually followed by “How do you make money doing so?”. Both are great questions and I’ll do my best to unpack some tips I’ve learned along the way (some of which weren’t available to me when I started).


It doesn’t matter what business you are in, networking is essential. But when it comes to destination work, you find that 99.9% of destination clients have destination event planners. How do you find the planners that fit your ideal clientele? Utilize social media! For events, the best platform is Instagram. Search hashtags of areas you want to target such as #hawaiiwedding or a more generic term like #destinationevent. Then without being a stalker, follow and comment on vendor posts that make sense. I’ve booked more business on Instagram this year than in any year prior (I predict it will outpace my website bookings soon). Once the event happens, utilize Instagram again to showcase your work there (with appropriate hashtags) and tag the vendors. Then blog about it (great for SEO).


With music going digital, this has made travel events much easier. Most people don’t know this but Guitar Center rents gear and it’s affordable! I rented 2 speakers/stands, a lapel mic and cables for about $100. That’s an insane deal! I have a few different hardware controller options (different sizes/etc.) that I carry-on with me on a plane. Flights, transportation, and accommodations are typically the biggest cost you have – utilize travel websites and apps (message me for specific ones). When I wanted to expand to NYC, I would do an event and not even book a hotel room; just hang out in the City after the event and take the redeye or first early flight the next morning to save costs. Uber and AIRBNB give you many affordable options.


I quote in 2 ways – the first is a buyout for travel (does not include performance fee). Depending on where you go, this can range anywhere from $500-5000 and I include all my travel costs and gear. The 2nd way is to line-item it. With that 2nd option, I give them the option to book transportation/hotel or include as a line item. Most of the time, they have a block on rooms with a minimum and it helps the client to have you on that block. They also may have a transportation option for their guests/vendors to get to hotel/venue. The key is to give your client options. Some love the buyout; others are numbers people and like exact breakdowns. The more flexible you can be, the more jobs you’ll book.


When you’re just starting out, as mentioned above, you want to keep costs low. However, there is value for you to using the same services. For instance, Delta is my airline. I use them for just about everything and I acquire points/mileage. Avis is my preferred car rental and so on. As you book more destination events, this tip becomes more useful.


I put it last but without this, none of the other stuff maters; you’ll be a “one and done” destination event DJ. One thing I always do is to infuse the performance musically with some of the cultural feel of the location. If I’m in LA, I’m playing some West Coast Hip Hop; in NOLA, I’m adding some Zydeco; in Chi-town I’m dropping some house and “Homecoming”. In Jamaica, you know I’m mixing some Bob Marley. Research the area and know what works there AND with your crowd.


Based out of NYC, DJ Brian B is a successful internationally traveling private event DJ/MC. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Orange County, Calif, Destin, FL and New York City. You can check him out at djbrianbofficial.com or bboyproductions.com