Craig McNeil

Craig McNeil

DJ company diversifies into party games

Drop the Needle Entertainment looks to fill in slow times between Christmas and wedding party seasons in Parksville area

Craig McNeil and Katrina Cain want their business Drop the Needle Entertainment to be more than your average DJ service.

So, in order to diversify, the couple has decided to add party games to the company’s list of offerings.

“Craig and I like to be innovative,” said Cain, who has a background in event planning and an extensive knowledge of music. “We go against the grain.”

She and McNeil, who previously worked as a DJ on the Island and the Mainland for 15 years, started their home-based business company in May 2013. While they cover an area ranging from Courtenay to Victoria, Cain said they do a majority of their business in Parksville during the Christmas party and wedding seasons.

Things can be pretty slow throughout the rest of the year, however, which is exactly why the couple decided to expand their services. Party games, after all, don’t have a season.

“It’s really a lot of fun,” said Cain, who added she and McNeil are themselves game enthusiasts.

“We have more board games than anyone else on the planet,” said McNeil.

For work, though, the couple leaves their board games at home and bring out more crowd-friendly options. For example, there is Kamikaze Karaoke, in which participants spin a wheel to find out which song they have to sing and in which style they have to do it. They also have an adult version of Pictionary called Win, Booze or Draw; a battle of the sexes game known as Beauty vs. Brawn; and their own versions of music trivia, pop culture trivia and music bingo. For children’s events, Cain and McNeil have a selection of family-friendly games.

No matter what is played, however, McNeil said he and Cain really try to read the audience members in order to customize the entertainment.

“People know what they want,” said McNeil, adding that it’s the DJ’s job to figure out what that is. “It comes down to our knowledge (of music and pop culture).”

“People want to hear music that reminds them of formative times in their life,” said Cain. “They have a strong emotional connection (to the music) … We try to tap into that.”

Cain said that anyone can hire Drop the Needle Entertainment for game services, be it as a time filler at a wedding or the main event at a party.

She said the company has also run family programs in the Comox Valley and would like to do similar work with the RDN.

One of the main markets the couple is trying to break into, however, is local pubs.

Cain said they are particularly currently soliciting on-going week-night game services at these venues, adding that such an attraction could help bring customers in on these traditionally slow nights.

Of course, as they expand into this new territory, Cain said the company will need more staff.

And while she said it isn’t an issue to teach someone how to use the DJ equipment, she did say all hopeful staff needs to know their music and how to read a crowd in order to qualify for a job.

“You don’t want to be that person who screwed up their wedding,” she said.

To learn more about Drop the Needle Entertainment, email info@dtne.ca.

 

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