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Meet Mark Cherney of Music Man Event Professionals in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Cherney.

Mark, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I actually got into being a Professional Wedding and event DJ and Emcee after finishing my degree in Communications (radio and TV broadcasting) and working as a commercial on-air radio personality. I really enjoyed the music aspect of being a radio DJ and I really enjoyed interacting with my listeners while on the air but hated being in a 12 x 12 room by myself for 4-6 hours a day. I used to always get into trouble for leaving the booth to go talk with office personnel while I was on the air.

One day I was approached by a friend of mine who asked me if I could help him by DJing his wedding. He knew I worked as a Radio DJ and didn’t know who else to ask. I agreed and went and picked up some equipment and researched what was involved in running a wedding. (At that point, I was so young, I had not been to many weddings.)

At that wedding, everyone was really enjoying what I was doing for them and I was getting a lot of people saying that I was the best wedding DJ they have ever seen. I was a little surprised but it really wasn’t any different than what I was trained to do in college and while in the radio and TV industry. I later came to find out that the majority of the wedding and event DJs out there have no formal training on how to emcee events as well as how to program music to generate the biggest listening audience. This has really set me apart from most of the wedding DJs out there.

So after I finished the wedding, I was getting calls from others asking if I would DJ their events. I wasn’t really set up to handle them myself at this time so instead I joined another company to have access to their gear and get additional training and experience. This company really took advantage of me money-wise. They were booking me out for far more than they were paying me but I was able to get some great experience. While working for them I was contracted to work events and became the preferred DJ (they always asked for me) for companies such as IBM, HBO, Pepsi, Magic Mountain, Disneyland and more. I was doing so well, I decided to go out on my own and start my own company and see if I can build my own client base. Music Man Event Professionals was started in 1998 with just me and the gear I was able to buy while working for the other company. I was extremely pleased to find that many of the clients that booked me through the other company had received word that I went out on my own and found me and contracted directly with my company. This was the birth of Music Man Event Professionals.

Here it is 2017 and Music Man Event Professionals is going strong. We are regarded as one of the best wedding and event DJ companies in Southern California. We have won the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award an unprecedented 8 years in a row. We are super proud of our reputation and are dedicated to ensuring that it continues on by continually providing the best service possible.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It really hasn’t been a smooth road at all. One of the largest struggles we have is the education of the public on how to shop for a wedding and event DJ when they need one. You see, there is little to no barrier to entry for this industry. There are no certification programs or anything to ensure a wedding and event DJ has the skills necessary to do the job. Instead, anyone with a music collection and a way to play it can call themselves a DJ and market themselves as such. So now the wedding and event industry is saturated with companies of people that have no idea of how to effectively execute a wedding, marketing themselves as wedding DJs and charging house party pricing. Then when it comes time for them to actually execute the wedding, the client is very unhappy to find out that the company/person they hired doesn’t have any idea what they are doing and at this point, it is too late. They have completely ruined their wedding. So the struggle is to educate the consumer on how to ensure the person/company they hire has the skills and experience to deliver the wedding they are looking for and to budget accordingly.

Another struggle is in trying to find good people to help join and grow our company. It is very hard to find good people that are reliable and dependable these days.

Music Man Event Professionals – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Music Man Event Professionals is a Wedding and Event DJ/emcee and lighting company. We mostly focus on what we call milestone events. These are events where the host really wants to ensure that they are successful and requires the help of a professional.

We are known for being able to emcee events in a manner that engages the guests (not so much like a stadium announcer) and gets them involved in the event through building a connection with them. We are also known for being able to pack our dance floors by playing only the best music from a wide variety of genres.

We are extremely proud of the fact that our clients really love our services and refer their friends and family members to us for years after we work with them. We are also proud of the fact that our clients love our services so much that they are willing to write great reviews for us on Weddingwire and Yelp which has helped us win the awards we have as well as build trust with people that have yet to use our service. For this, we are eternally grateful.

I think the thing that really sets me and my company apart from others is that I have the radio and TV training and experience, so the quality of the service we deliver is superior but also the fact that this is what I do for a living. I eat, sleep and live working wedding and events. I am always available to answer questions and help my clients and never have to worry about my “real” job getting in the way. This is my “real” job. Since this is my real job, I am also able to dedicate time and energy to improving my skills and abilities by attending workshops and conferences that others wouldn’t have the time to attend.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as having ecstatic customers who aren’t afraid to tell others that they should use our services because they had a great experience themselves. I love hearing from clients that we really made their guests feel welcomed and that the whole crowd had a great time. Ultimately, that is what drives our financial success too!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Gavin Wade

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Alexa and Drew

    June 26, 2017 at 17:09

    We used Music Man Events for our wedding and he was fantastic! This article sums him up perfectly. Great job!

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