1. Do you have a specific playlist in mind, including some "must haves?" If yes, that's a vote for DJ
2. Do you go to concerts as a couple regularly? If yes, that's a vote for LIVE BAND
3. Do you rock out to oldies, funk, classic rock, swing jazz, and some modern bands too? If yes, that's a vote for LIVE BAND
4. Do you love Hip-hop and modern pop? If yes, that's a vote for DJ
5. Are your guests on the young side (ages 18-35)? If yes, you've got a generation Y (Millennial) party. That's a vote for DJ
Exception: If your youthful crowd is into jam bands, you should get a LIVE BAND and consider letting them pitch tents in the yard, for safety.
6. Are your guests on the ...ahem... mature side (ages 41-85)? If yes, you've got Gen X and Boomers. That's a vote for LIVE BAND
7. Is your event space small? If yes, that's a vote for DJ
8. Is your event high-profile or formal? If yes, that's a vote for LIVE BAND.
Pro Tip: Even if it's a fundraiser, please budget for entertainment!!!
9. Is your event casual, BYOB or likely not a dance party? If yes, that's a vote for DUELING PIANOS, a novelty act that encourages requests, sing-a-longs and ... ahem... tipping.
10. Will your event have less than 30 people? If yes, that may be a vote for neither LIVE BAND nor DJ as either may appear to be a bit of overkill.
11. Are you on a limited budget? If yes, that's a vote for DJ. Great LIVE BANDS cost 3-4 times more than a great DJ.
12. Do you have a strong budget for entertainment? If yes, get TWO LIVE BANDS! Your first one will play 2-3 hours with light entertainment to set the mood of relaxation, paired well with cocktails and dinner. Your second band is your headliner (expect to pay more and get as big a name as you can afford) and they will play 2-3 hours of intense partying! Remember, to pull this off, you need two separate band locations. (No they can't share)!
Have fun out there!