Around the New Year, and sometimes before, I start getting requests from pubs, lounges or even restaurants that want to begin having a regular karaoke night. Venues are having a slow night throughout the week and they want to do something to get patrons in the door to liven up the evening and bring in more cash flow on a consistent basis. A karaoke night is a viable way to do that if the management  is serious about increasing business by introducing a fun karaoke night for their customers or raising the bar on a karaoke night that is getting stale, but it is a waste of money if owners are looking for quick or short term solution to their slow nights and don’t want to do what it takes to make a rewarding, regular karaoke night happen .

After about 2,300 successful events, including karaoke events, with TV Shows like Supernatural, Juno Award winner Biff Naked, Tamara Taggart, Electronic Arts and many regular clients around the lower mainland and beyond, this Vancouver DJ and KJ ( Karaoke Host ) believes he knows a thing or two about what makes a karaoke night work. Although I believe a profitable, regular karaoke night can be established just about anywhere, there are a few things that have to take place for it to happen.  In part one of this blog I will discuss the basics of getting a great karaoke night started correctly.

Patience is a virtue and a must for a successful karaoke night. An evening with good crowds, singers and flowing spirit sales is not, repeat… not  going to happen in one, two or even three karaoke nights. Owners have  got to change the whole ambiance and customer base of the evening from quiet and slow to a more exciting fun filled evening full of singing participants. That means bringing in a new type of patron and that takes time…typically a 3 month time frame before you start building a following at your venue. A onetime karaoke night won’t produce much of anything and if management and owners think differently, then they might as well stop here.      

 The next step after you have that yes, I really want to get an awesome and profitable karaoke night established at my venue, is hiring an engaging Karaoke Host (KJ) . You need someone who is not afraid of the microphone, going out and making friends with the patrons at your venue, is pleasant  and encouraging to the audience. Your KJ must also control their own ego and understand this is all about our patrons. I say our because your KJ should be looked upon as part of your team. Your KJ needs to very supportive of all singers, good or bad, and not try to show off their singing ability, good or mediocre, by singing too much. The KJ does not need to sing well but should be able to sing a little in order to start the night off. The personality and attitude of the KJ is most important. The KJ is all about the best experience for the singers and the patrons and is able to come across to the audience as such. 

Don’t be too cheap in hiring your KJ. A good KJ is working hard loading out from their vehicle, bringing in and setting up quality equipment, running an engaging karaoke night and then breaking down and loading everything out at the at the end of the evening…it’s a lot of work!  Don’t forget the KJ also has money invested in their equipment and karaoke files. For example, I have over 200,000 karaoke songs plus multicultural selections collected over a long time in business. Each one of those files is worth at least $.99 so you can easily calculate what I have invested in music alone. Some owners belittle the hiring of their KJ right from the start by criticizing the asking price. That’s the wrong foot to start off on if you want a happy, fun loving KJ host to run your karaoke night. Be supportive of your KJ. Negotiate in good faith and be honest about your budget and what you can do. It’s the best way for the owner and you will get a loyal KJ who will do his or her best.    

Having a successful, fun and profitable regular karaoke night is not rocket science. It just takes a willingness to work together to put the right conditions in place to make a regular, successful karaoke night bloom. In part two of my blog, this KJ / DJ in Vancouver will talk about ideas on how to let people know about your regular karaoke night and what a good karaoke setup looks like, how it encourages patrons to sing as well as other aspects of establishing a fun and lucrative regular karaoke night. So stay tuned.