Trends 2011December 8, 2010 By: Emily Hanna Mayock, Donna Hood Crecca, Alissa Ponchione Night Club and Bar Magazine
High-tech Tables, Retro Design, House Music & More
Design and Décor
Retro is the future. Michelle Bushey, partner and creative director at Dallas firm 360 Design, is seeing more bars and clubs using exposed brick, vintage games like Pac-Man and chess as tabletops and reclaimed wood and furniture to create a clubbier and darker version of your parents’ basement; Bushey calls this “Rec Room Chic.” Here are other trends to note:
• It’s all about the “wow” factor, which demands versatility. Transforming seating options from day to night, creating small, intimate spaces, using sustainable furniture and energy-efficient yet decorative lighting are all on-trend design points that help create a comfortable yet stylish setting. Michael Werner, vice president of Kansas City, Mo.-based Leap Hospitality, says this allows the operator to constantly change the guest’s perspective of a space.
• Steven Lewis, principal of design firm Lewis & Dizon in New York, sees, specifically, that horseshoe banquettes are replacing the straight benches that place crowded tables next to each other. Guests are now seeking out a club with a more personal nightclub design.
• Future trends include an increase in retro stylings as well as a more “show biz” feel with a stage or performance area that gives operators the edge.
• Additionally, Werner recommends creating an environment that's enticing and comfortable for the ladies. “Women tend to influence the selection process when it comes to eating or drinking out.”
• From digital menu boards to at-table ordering, technology is the future. Werner says owners need to integrate technology into design concepts because they create efficient operations.
— Alissa Ponchione
Here are the top social media trends, according to Dave Sribnik, manager of trends and technology for MarkeTeam Inc., a Mission Viejo, Calif., F&B sales promotion agency.
• Be omnipresent and sign up for all social networking opportunities. Ubiquitous ones like Facebook and Twitter are important in retaining loyalty, while those gaining in popularity like Yelp and Foursquare offer insight into what your customers like and rewards them for it.
• QR Codes or Microsoft tagging are the future of mobile marketing. Using smartphones, guests scan a barcode that is on your bar or club’s napkins, glasses or POS, which takes them to your website, where you can offer coupons or discounts.
• Augmented reality combines smartphone camera capabilities and reality. Customers looking for a place to nosh or drink simply open their phone, snap a photo and overlay that photo on the map from the GPS locator, which will show where all the bars and clubs are in their vicinity.
• Personalized URLs and e-mails are the future. Instead of sending out a mass e-mail to your whole database, you can personalize text messages, e-mails and URLs with a welcoming message to the customer you’re trying to attract, making him/her feel like a VIP at your establishment.
— Alissa Ponchione
The top 5 trends we’re tracking for 2011:
1. Day-to-night, multipurpose venues. Nightclubs will use their space for other purposes, getting the most for their rent money, whether it’s with a dayclub, a restaurant or private event space.
2. Headlining house DJs instead of unknown talent — but where will they get their start? Hopefully this won’t discourage rising DJ stars.
3. Personalized spaces — where every guest feels like a VIP.
4. Nighttime pool parties (where applicable) — or just using the great outdoors in all seasons. “Pool parties this summer were going later and later…and lighting and visuals were added for those events,” says Deanna Rilling, reporter with Las Vegas Weekly. Clubs are using their outdoor space to extend the party poolside, on the rooftop or patio as long as possible.
5. Ultra-lounge/exclusive nightclub settings, even outside of Vegas: “I think that New York, especially, will always remain a lounge/ultra-club destination because there are so many different personalities in New York nightlife, and they speak to all different sorts of people,” says Pavan Pardasani, director of marketing for New York’s EMM Group. And by speaking to the right audience, you’ll rake in money all the way to 2012.
— Emily Hanna Mayock
One word: electronica.
Whereas many Las Vegas clubs used to be the only ones touting the dance music craze, smaller bars and lounges around the country are now starting to feature house music.
“Dance music is slowly taking over and will soon become what is considered mainstream,” says Sol Shafer, director of special operations and music for the electronica-focused Marquee Night & Day Club at the soon-to-open Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a brand-new hotel and casino on the strip.
This surge in nightlife stems from its swelling popularity in the music scene overall. “It’s crossed over to commercial music — your will.i.am, your LMFAO — everybody is crossing over, and it’s taking a huge turn, especially in the [nightlife] market,” says Zee Zandi, director of marketing and special events for Las Vegas-based Angel Management Group.
Live music also will make a splash, with performers helping to pack small- to mid-sized bars and clubs.
— Emily Hanna Mayock