Are You Ready Yet!?!March 12, 2013 By: Kristen Santoro
For what you might ask? For the 28th Annual Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show that is!
It’s only a week away and the excitement for the biggest, most exciting and most important bar, nightclub and beverage event of the year is overwhelming. For me this will be my third time hitting the Strip for the event and each one has always been better than the last. I do however have some advice for any new attendees to the show. One, get plenty of rest this week, two, pack comfortable shoes along with your dancing shoes and three, stay as hydrated as possible while in Vegas.
The exhilaration (and exhaustion) of such a massive occasion, where 34,000 hospitality industry professionals and 600 brands/companies come together in the entertainment capital of the world for education, tastings, awards ceremonies, exhibitions, happy hours and parties is incredible.
This week as I hunker down in my office fine-tuning all of the last minute details I can help but think about all of the exciting things that will happen this year. Maximizing every moment at the NCB Show is a must not only for me but for all attendees, exhibitors and speakers. Here are just a few of the events on my schedule that you should be sure to attend next week:
1. Celebrity Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Five-time Grammy Award winning artist CeeLo Green will be bringing TY KU Premium Sake & Spirits to Las Vegas for the opening ribbon cutting ceremony of the NCB Show. Green will join Jon Taffer Star of Spike TV’s hit show “Bar Rescue,” on Wednesday, March 20 at 12:00 p.m. to officially open the show floor. After, make sure to stop at the TY KU booth to sample this premium sake.
With more than 70 educational classes taught by today's industry-heavy hitters there’s tons of information to soak up! Featuring sessions and panels focusing on bar management & bartending, promotions & marketing, social media, operations & management, beer, food & wine and customer experience & liability, the show provides a wealth of learning experiences whether you’re new to the industry or a vet. I’m particularly looking forward to hearing the three keynote presentations that include Jim Koch from the Boston Beer Company on March 19, Nick Shepherd from T.G.I. Friday’s on March 20 and my boss Jon Taffer on March 21. Additional can’t miss sessions are the workshops, Top 100 panel and session in the NEW social media track.
3. Exhibit Hall
With so much to see on the show floor you need to make sure that you have a strategy in order to make the most of your time. I plan on hitting all of the pavilions first including NEW this year the S.K.A.M Artist pavilion (I’m very excited about this) in addition to the Craft Brewers, Emerging Brands and New Products pavilions. These specialty areas along with all the other companies featuring the hottest products, trends and technologies, you’ll want to wander the aisles, trying out all of the new goods and business solutions available.
4. Welcome Kick-Off Party
Seriously, come party on us! All attendees, exhibitors and sponsors are invited to our Welcome Kick-Off Party at Caesars Palace! We'll be serving up hors d'oeuvres, featured drinks, entertainment and the best networking opportunity out there. This cocktail party is our way of getting all attendees, exhibitors and sponsors together! So jumpstart your NCB Show experience with us on Tuesday at the beautiful Caesars Palace Pool!
5. Back-of-House Tours
Home to some of the nation’s most extravagant hospitality venues, Las Vegas is the perfect place to see the inner workings of some of the best venues not only in the country but the worlds. These tours provide the lucky attendees expert insight into all facets of running a high-volume venue; everything from staffing to VIP services and ordering liquor to multi-unit ownership. Tours include Hyde, Señor Frogs, Krave Massive, Golden Nugget, Wirtz Beverage and No. LV Bottling Co.
6. Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” Happy Hour
Now, I watch each and every episode of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, I am even lucky enough to see the behind the scene shoots of some of the episodes, and I am still amazed at how much the experts know about the industry. Fortunately, you’ll have the chance to meet these incredibly talented people and the man himself, Mr. Jon Taffer, at the “Bar Rescue” Happy Hour, sponsored by Spike TV, Diageo and bevIntel from 6:00PM to 9:00PM on March 19 at LAVO in The Palazzo.
7. Two Exciting Cocktail Challenges
Shake It Up! Spirit of American Cocktail Challenge sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits, Shake It Up! is one of the nation’s largest bartending competitions. Thirty-five up-and-coming mixologists will duke it out demonstrating skill, flair and creativity for a chance at $25,000 in prize money! The competition will take place on the exhibit floor Main Stage on March 20.
The United States Bartender’ Guild 2013 Tequila Challenge sponsored by Don Julio during the challenge, taking place on the exhibit floor Main Stage on March 21, bartenders must create a classic Mexican drink (Margarita, El Diablo, Paloma or Sangrita) but with a twist. It should be inspired by his/her hometown and utilize ingredients unique to that region. Attendees will have the chance to vote on their favorite cocktail!
8. Nightclub & Bar Awards Presentation
I am thrilled to be presenting the Nightclub & Bar Awards to all of the well-deserving winners this year. Come on, who doesn’t love walking a red carpet and feeling like a celebrity? Join me on March 20 in congratulating Nightclub & Bar’s 2013 Bar, Nightclub and Vegas Category Awards Winners. As the premier nightlife-industry recognition program, the Nightclub & Bar Awards celebrate the cream of the crop. Watch all of the hard-working examples of originality, artistry, enterprise and prosperity finally get their due!
9. Platinum Parties
Nightclub & Bar produces three over the top Platinum Parties each year at some of the most extravagant nightclubs on the Stip. These private events are exclusive to NCB attendees and feature complimentary sponsored product and incredible entertainment. Year after year, NCB Platinum Parties attract celebrity hosts and top notch DJs. They are always an NCB attendee favorite so I plan on getting there as early as possible and so should you!
These events, of course, are just the tip of the iceberg. Join me and thousands of others in Las Vegas for the hottest nightlife and networking event of the year, and be sure to stay tuned for much, much more NCB Show coverage on Nightclub.com. You’ll find me in the NCB Booth #711 when I’m not dashing back and forth to events, so make sure to stop by and say hello!