Las Vegas and the 28th Annual Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show once again made for the perfect cocktail at this three day extravaganza that took place March 19-21, 2013. Who better to lead the festivities than Jon Taffer, star of Spike TV's "Bar Rescue" and president of Nightclub & Bar Media Group, who shared his wealth of knowledge while attendees were treated to some of the newest and tastiest libations along with the hottest trends in the industry?
Jon could hardly contain his excitement about this event, which began 28 years ago with 80 booths and 200 people and now has the seams of the Las Vegas Convention Center ready to explode.
“The show floor is up 30% over last year! Las Vegas has 7 of the 10 biggest nightclubs, Marquee does 90 million dollars, XS does 90 million, TAO does 70 million, Las Vegas is the nightclub capital of the world,” Jon said. “But those are not the only night clubs, there are clubs for every person and every budget.”
As you already know if you have ever seen “Bar Rescue,” Jon knows how to help bars and nightclubs succeed. Creating an experience is important for any nightclub to succeed, he said, and having a DJ that is a draw is important as they can have as much cache as a rock band these days. Making great drinks is always most important, and Jon pointed out that flavored liquors have really taken over. He also pointed out that to succeed you need to take advantage of technology and stay up with what is out there.
“Everything is so mobile now, you can make reservations, order your drinks, pay your bill and communicate with your friends,” Jon said. “What business are we in (show attendees)? Not the hospitality industry....the REACTION business! Everything we do is a process, not a result. You need to create a reaction through your product/presentation. Use drinks as a vehicle to connect and create a reaction.”
A popular exhibitor at the show, 360 Vodka was showcasing their unique line of Vodka flavors and letting people know about their eco-friendly company. Among the many initiatives that 360 Vodka has in place, one of the best has to be the “Close the Loop” program. The bottles use swing-top caps and you can mail them back to 360 Vodka with their postage-paid envelope (made from 100% recycled paper), and they will reuse the cap. In addition they donate $1.00 to Global Green USA, and to date they have received close to 50,000 swing-top caps back. This smooth vodka has such great flavors as Georgia Peach and Mandarin Orange, which are perfect for mixing cocktails, but it is the unique flavors that will wow your taste buds. How about buttered popcorn vodka, glazed donut or double chocolate—talk about opening the doors of mixology! And, the flavors are spot on to their name. For more information on Vodka 360, visit: www.Vodka360.com
This may very well have been the year of Tequila at the Nightclub and Bar Convention and the smoothest of them all had to be Demetrio Premium Tequila. This 100% Blue Agave tequila from the Guadalajara region of Mexico recently won the 2012 TEQUILA.net “Best of the Best” Lowland Blanco Tequila Award. Another unique tequila that was being showcased was Dirty Tequila. This great tasting tequila is flavored with cinnamon and pineapple, really providing a great combination and showing that tequila can take on many different flavors.
A few of the other noteworthy items on the Nightclub and Bar Convention floor included: CeeLo Green and his TY KU Premium Sake & Spirits, MillerCoors getting everyone read for summertime with Leinenkugal’s Summer Shandy, Kahlua showcasing their new Kahlua Midnight, a great combination of Kahlua and rum that is a great mixer or smooth enough to go down straight or on the rocks. Getting to see TurboTap in person was a real treat, it does pour the perfect beer in seconds, I really wonder why this is not in every bar. There were plenty of taps pouring out a wide assortment of beer, but it was great to see Pabst Blue Ribbon on hand as their rebirth continues. Looking for fresher ingredients to mix in cocktails, Les vergers Boiron fruit purees make for the perfect addition to any bar or club. Fresh and natural, anyone would be happy to taste all of the flavor that Boiron adds to their drinks.
One of the most unique items of the convention was the introduction of “Tea of a Kind.” What separates this from other teas or any other beverage is that it uses the patented “Gizmo Closure and Delivery System,”an innovative, pressurized bottle cap design that infuses a drink with fresh, preservative free ingredients upon opening. While many drinks claim to have any variety of vitamins and antioxidants, those things diminish when diluted in pre-mixed beverages that sit on the shelf.
With Tea of a Kind, everything is kept in the cap and when you twist the cap to open your bottle, all of the ingredients burst into your bottle and mix, creating a fresh and healthy drink that has only 20 calories per bottle and comes in Peach Ginger Black Tea, Citrus Mint Green Tea, and Pomegranate Acai White Tea. Be one of the first to give this new product a try and you will be hooked. For more information on “Tea of a Kind,” visit: www.TeaofaKind.com
While the show itself was impressive, the list of party locations gave guests the chance to experience the best that Las Vegas has to offer in terms of night clubs. The well-attended Nightclub & Bar Show Welcome Kick-off Party took place at Caesars Palace Pool, and then the three platinum parties were held at: Hyde at Bellagio, Marquee at Cosmopolitan and Tryst at Wynn. It would be hard to top that threesome.
The 28th Annual Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show was a huge success for everyone in attendance. Whether it was trying to spread the word about the latest cocktail, how to make sure you get the most bang for your buck in the business world, or just looking to stock your bar with something new and fresh, there was knowledge to gain and drinks, well, to drink. These three days are a combination of education, fun, parties and entertainment, and overall it is just one big festive event that was as smooth as the drinks that were being served. 2014 is a year away, but waiting to see what is in store for the industry over the next year will likely bring an even bigger audience in next year.
For more information on the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, visit: http://www.ncbshow.com