Tuesday with the Pros: Jodi Harris

Tuesday with the Pros is an ongoing blog series featuring experts in the wedding and event industry.  Today's authority is Jodi, disc jockey and "CEO of Fun" at Sight & Sound Events in Las Vegas, NV.jodi harris at sight and sound las vegasLI: How would you describe what you do?Jodi: I see myself as a director.  I know I'm the event DJ and primarily considered responsible for the music, but I'm also responsible for the flow of the party, and moving people along, and setting them up for photography.  Nowadays everyone has an iPhone or a Walkman and can put 200 of the hottest hits on speakers for a raging bash, but an iPhone doesn't have the same charisma and personality that a professional party director does.  Imagine "American Idol" without Ryan Seacrest to keep things moving!  What I like to do is tell the couple that we're putting on a movie titled "Your Wedding Reception," and they're Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and I'm Academy-award winning director Kathryn Bigelow, telling them where to stand, where to look, and what to do next...it may sound easy, but unless they've been to 100 weddings themselves, most couples don't know what happens after they've finished cutting the cake or throwing the garter!  It's all up to the DJ!LI: What is Sight & Sound Events?Jodi: It's a full-service event planning company with award-winning in-house DJ, photography, videography, event planning, live entertainment, etc.  A client can come to us just for one service, like DJ, or multiple services like live entertainment, photography, and videography.LI: How is Sight & Sound unique from other event planning companies?Jodi: We are very hands-on; we offer ALL our clients personal design consultations with me, a head of the company, to ensure they are satisfied and confident with the service they'll be receiving.  We are all about organization and communication, and not so arrogant to think that even after 18 years we know it all.  Every year we invest in attending national conferences and joining organizations to expand our knowledge of the changing technology and methodology for both videography and party services.  80% of a party's success is dependent upon us, as entertainers...so we don't take our job lightly!LI: What started Sight & Sound?Jodi: Well, back in the day I was living in New York and working in broadcast television at ABC with Regis and Kathy Lee.  I met my husband Pat (now award-winning videographer and co-owner of Sight & Sound), during a trip to Los Angeles, where I also decided I liked the weather a bit more, and decided to move.  At that time Pat was a DJ entertainer, and he brought me along as an assistant for a few jobs....little by little my duties began accumulating until I knew what he wanted to play before he even asked for it!  So I caught on pretty quick and eventually we became a husband and wife DJ team.  When Pat got the video bug, I started DJing exclusively so he could focus on event videography.  So in a way, we flip-flopped: me from TV and video to DJ, and him from DJ to TV and video!  Although to this day, Pat is still very involved with training our DJ staff!LI: So what's the best thing about DJing an event?Jodi: Helping people to have a great time---really, I have the best job in the world.  I get paid to help people have fun!  And it's not all about me, either; if my client wants the chicken dance, I'll play the chicken dance, because it's all about their good time.  It makes the testimonials very rewarding.LI: Who are most of your clientele?Jodi: We do about half corporate events and half weddings.  I will say that about 97% of our wedding clientele come from out of state, however.  This is Las Vegas, after all!  We are usually acknowledged as the preferred DJ service by the catering departments of many of the hotels around here.LI: What would be a dream event to DJ?Jodi: I think it would be so cool to DJ a corporate party with a "Dancing with the Stars" theme.  Because then I could play some really different dance music, like salsa...and people would be there to dance, anyway!  Honestly, I'm still a TV person at heart, and I would leap at the chance to DJ an after-party for something like "American Idol" or "SYTYCD."  Plus then I'd get a chance to dance with Max!  I'm there!LI: Do you have any tips for the many clients out there looking to save some money on their event entertainment?Jodi: My number one tip is: DO NOT INVITE THE ENTIRE WORLD to your event!  We can have a rockin' party even if it's just a few close friends and family members, and because the guest count is under control you won't have to break the bank to get there---with fewer guests, you can better afford quality entertainment, and photography, and videography, and other event services.LI: Do you have any exciting events coming up soon?Jodi: I am looking forward to the NACE conference in Austin, TX.  I get to network with planners and other high-end professionals and meet fun people and sample some good foods!LI: What do YOU do (or where do you go) when you yourself want to party?Jodi: You'd expect me to refer you to a local club or something, but honestly I enjoy traveling in my free time.  Pat and I go to Southern California and hang out with friends there when we want to unwind and have a good time!LI: What's the best piece of advice you could impart to party-goers everywhere?Jodi: Communicate!  If you're planning a party, it's all about communication, so make sure you're in close contact with your photographer, DJ, videographer, planner, florist...ALL your vendors.  The more in the know everyone is, the more they'll be working together for one singular goal---an awesome event!For more on Jodi, Pat, and Sight & Sound, visit:The Sight & Sound Events websiteThe Sight & Sound Events blogSight & Sound on TwitterJodi's TwitterSight & Sound on Facebook