ANTIOCH DAILY LEDGER
Dean Lesher - Newspaper. Antioch, CA
Hire disc jockey Jeff Oliver to entertain at your event and he'll bring ling remover, toothpicks, a hair dryer and a glue stick.
Oh yeah, and some music, too.
Don't worry, the lint remover isn't part of his act. Rather it and more than 100 other everyday oddments are personally prepared and packed into Oliver's event emergency kit.
Designed to supply clients with oft-forgotten necessities, the kit becomes handy when a wedding party member overlooks toasting glasses or when dance hall restrooms need air freshener.
"The kit has gotten so big that I have to take inventory to know where everything is, "says Oliver who has run his Antioch-based entertainment business full-time since 1986.
In a highly competitive industry - where bargain-minded party planners don't always understand the difference between experienced DJ's and cousin Harry the amateur announcer - Oliver is determined to set himself apart.
The result, colleagues say, is creative, service-minded steps that provide an example for any business looking to win customers amidst tough economic times and stiff competition. The emergency kit is just on tidbit in his extensive bag if tricks Oliver calls extended services.
"That guy, he's always thinking of ideas, "says Jeff Lodge, president of Oakley-based Bridgehead Catering.
Whether it's a high school reunion, wedding or corporate affair, Oliver can play ethnic music from Greek to Peruvian, and of course the newest hits.
He can also provide props for air-band enthusiasts and set up computerized lighting.
Want to show your guests how to cut the rug? Oliver can teach the Electric slide, achy breaky, swing, jitterbug, limbo, stroll and 14 other dances.
"He makes the whole reception because he's so involved," says Nancy Pittman, who did the chicken dancer at her daughter's wedding at Humphrey's restaurant in Antioch.
He'll also design event fliers, supply low-cost decorations and print personalized list of event locatoins with details on everything from parking spaces to kitchen capacities.
"You have to go the extra mile. Money and survival aren't falling into anybody's lap. Jeff see's that," says Sheri Cole, owner of Rhapsody in Romance bridal shop in Danville, who recommends Oliver to her customers.
But Oliver says his attention to detail isn't prompted purely by steep competition. He'll tell you he has been that way from the time he got his start in the early '80's as a banquet supervisor at the Concord Hilton.
"I washed the dishes, cut vegetables, cleaned carpet, set up thousands of tables and greeted the guests", he says. "I really care about people and I just want to make them happy"
Some of his ideas for the emergency kit came from trouble-shooting during those times. "I was always using tape, thumb tacks and etc.," he recalls.
DJ Jeff's Emergency Kit: To each event, Oliver brings a trunk with items designed to meet his clients' last-minute needs. Among other things, his inventory includes: Guest book, toasting glasses, Nylons, toothpicks, hair dryer, hair spray, shoe polish, breath mints, towelets, static guard, air freshener, safety pins, bottle opener, eye drops, lint remover, glue stick, shoe horn, packing tape, stain remover, wire, iron, etc.
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