In the December issue of Nightclub & Bar, we asked experts to peer into their crystal balls and predict the top trends among various segments of the on-premise industry. Nightclub Confidential’s Bryan Bass gave his top picks for 2010, from musical formats to social media marketing.
House music is seeing renewed energy and devotion at the country’s top nightlife venues, a trend that will continue into 2010. “After the dramatic success we’ve had with peak weekend performances from DJ Erick Morillo, we’re going to start doing regularly scheduled house music events at TAO,” confirms Jason Strauss, co-owner of TAO and LAVO in Las Vegas and Marquee and Avenue in New York City. There are also rumors that Strauss and gang will be opening a LAVO in New York formatted with a house music focus, establishing house music as a bona fide trend. With Southern California becoming a hotbed for house music and even palatial venues like Miami’s LIV, which switches from open format to all house at 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays, raising the beats per minute, house music looks to have a big effect in 2010.
The Great Outdoors
Forward-thinking operators will drive the success of untraditional venue locations like pool decks, rooftops and indoor/outdoor spaces. Las Vegas already is the capital of “daylife,” but operators in San Diego and San Francisco are following the Vegas day-club formula with similar profitability. Skyward, new rooftop venues in New York at the Gansevoort and Standard hotels are having stunning success, proving the age-old adage that a great view never goes out of style. “People really enjoy being open to the elements, especially when you have the weather to back it up,” adds Cy Waits, managing partner of Tryst and XS nightclubs in Las Vegas, both of which offer indoor/outdoor experiences and whose newest venue, Drai’s Hollywood, will also feature a large rooftop nightclub. “There is something very different about partying outdoors and 10-plus stories above the street; it makes people feel special and women especially enjoy it.”
Art in the Club
In this economy, fickle club-goers are demanding their dollars go further, and entertainment is one way to offer greater value. We see more nightclubs incorporating live acts and finding unique ways to integrate entertainment into the venue. It seems natural that Hollywood, Calif., nightclubs are out in front of this trend, as both Playhouse and Voyeur have opened in recent months with performance-driven focal points. In Las Vegas, Paul Oakenfold’s performance-driven Perfecto Vegas continues to pack them in every Saturday night. We also are seeing more artistic-geared promotions as marketing directors come under increasing pressure be creative in a hyper-competitive marketplace.
Look for more venues to experiment with social media marketing in 2010. While it’s a busy and somewhat convoluted playing field, one promoter noted that his Facebook guest lists have the highest rate of return, as far as people who actually accepted invitations to attend. Furthermore, venues are getting more creative about how to use these tools within their space. For example, TAO Nightclub in Las Vegas held a “Tweasure Hunt” where clues were tweeted for a real-time treasure hunt, allowing club-goers to become interactive with the venue while the winner took home a $5,000 prize.