Nightclub Themes Done Right



We've all been there. Caught in situations where we're having guests over for special events. Be it the Super Bowl, season finale of Sons of Anarchy or St. Patrick's Day, one thing's for sure…your home better look the part.

But while it may make sense to theme certain get-togethers at a house party, that's not always the case for your business.

There are home run opportunities to take advantage of - the Halloweens and New Years Eves - but with a keen eye on pop-culture and a creative flair, themed events don't have to revolve around obvious dates on everyone's calendar.

"We feel that themed events can be held all throughout the year as long as they make sense and people can relate to it," says Thierry Pomies, co-founder of Service Professional Intelligence, a New York City-based consulting firm that specializes in serving nightlife, restaurant and hospitality venues. With extensive experience running the gamut of lounges and nightclub, his years of experience surrounding themed events is unparalleled.

Rather than focusing on those big holidays that everyone anticipates, there are plenty of other opportunities to create themed events.

"A popular film comes out, go with it and see if you can throw a party that's linked to it," he says. "World Whisky Day today? Why not do a prohibition party? The possibilities are endless."

Your business may primarily cater to the public, but don't sleep on private events that can be just as lucrative. Making the distinction between what a "corporate events and promotional events" is an important step.

"The approach is very different," says Pomies. A lot of the preparation revolves around timing, says Eugene Abreu, co-founder and CEO of Manhattan-based Privileged Marketing Group. "If you want exclusive talent, they need to get booked in advance," Abreu says. "I would say give yourself a minimum of eight weeks prep time and know you will have to come up with money up front before."

Like many other aspects of your business, your budget will play a big role on your event. While some venues have those few mega-bottle service spenders that can make up the costs associated with just one night, the reality is most don't have the luxury of having that kind of clientele.

"The true challenge in our business for most bars and clubs is to be able to give patrons an incredibly fun experience with a rather modest budget," Pomies says. "This is when being surrounded by creative minds bears its rewards."

Abreu agrees on the team aspect related to execution. "You have to have the right people in place to bring your concept to life."

But not all venues should pull the trigger when it comes to themed events and there are key specifics to stay away from. With the level of competition always on the rise, it's important to separate yourself from the rest of the pack and attempt to reinvent the wheel, Pomies says.

It's important not to "recycle" themes or come off "being tacky or vulgar" to your audience, he says.

"You want everyone to have fun, be comfortable and enjoy the energy that the theme brings to their night," says Pomies. "This is why it is important to really think it through, tweak the angle, and rearrange the details until it feels right."

At the end of the day it's really all about the bottom line, so before making any drastic decisions or putting forth any marketing efforts it's essential to have expense and profit projections, Abreu says.

"Don't go in over your head, unless that's your intention," he says. "If you want to make a profit, you should manage your expenses carefully and if you have to scale down to make it work - that's what you do. Or go with a different theme."

New to the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Show, nightlife professionals will have their own track dedicated to Nightclub! Check out all the conference program has to offer at