This is not meant to be a inspirational article, nor is it meant to be a downer. This is not meant to lift you up, just as much as it’s not meant to knock you down. I’m just going to talk business 101 and give you some points to consider. Take this as you will……
Back in 2008 our country experienced a catastrophic failure from banks and our economy fell into a deep recession that was almost a depression. The wedding and private events industry was rocked and many DJs suffered. But something else happened that would change the future.
Many people lost their jobs and needed to find supplemental income. With technology at the point where anyone could run out and purchase a few powered speakers, a controller and use Napster to pirate a complete music collection many day timers suddenly became weekend warriors. People with little or even NO experience jumped into the world of DJs, Photo Booths and even Photography. And with limited experience comes lower pricing.
So, the DJ market would now become flooded with a cavalcade of amateurs, all looking to pay bills and put food on the table vs the professionals trying to make profit for a sustainable living. The supply and demand business model was now in full effect. So, with limited demand and a over-abundance of supply, rates went down. Where I once had very little competition for our photo booth we now found ourselves dealing with tons of new providers using homemade photo booths and charging 1/2 of our rates.
New photographers popped up everywhere using a $450 camera that got results as good as a professional $2500 camera from just a few years earlier. And DJs would just play music having no microphone skills whatsoever. But they were given a pass because the price was right.
Having the market flooded by amateurs was bad enough but what made things worse was the fact that most of these new providers who jumped in to make a quick buck decided that the money was too good to stop. So what began as a way to save the family home turned into a permanent side hustle. And this changed everything for the full/part time professional.
Now, in the year 2020 we again face a serious financial situation but this time it is not a made-made crisis. It’s a world-wide health emergency. Our entire way of life has been put on a temporary freeze and as a result every player in this industry suffers together. No one person will gain while the other suffers. We ALL face the same challenges. Which is why this crisis is the paradox of the 2008 Great Recession.
The 2020 pandemic will cause what is called capitulation. This is a phenomenon witnessed in nature where the strong of the species survive and the weak die off. This is a natural selection process to guarantee the quality, strength and health of the evolutionary process. The circle of life. The same will happen in our industry this time whether we like it or not.
The part time casual provider will most certainly be discouraged by the industry and feel it is no longer a sustainable cash cow, sell their gear and get out of the business. Other weak providers with no cashflow and a limited booking schedule might not be able to remain in the business. They will find another job which might not allow for the weekend flexibility needed to remain a regular in this business. Only the established provider with money set away and a healthy job manifest will make it through.
What does it all mean? Through the process of capitulation natural selection will eliminate many of the providers who jumped into the industry back in 2008. The weak, the unpopular and financially incapable will be washed away leaving a different supply and demand dynamic.
Over time as we get a vaccine and the virus is no longer effecting daily life the remaining DJ companies will find a market with heavy demand and less competition. Supply and demand reversed. Now there is more work than there are providers and so rates can go up and you calendar can experience a heavier workload.
No one said life is fair. Nature can be very cruel but it does sort things out. So, be strong and be on the correct side of survival. Good luck to us all!