Every night is important, but Memorial Day helps bars and clubs gain exposure for the months to come. By offering three days of promotions, the long holiday weekend is the perfect time to capitalize on opportunities that can put your establishment on the map all summer long.
Matt Bendik, director of nightlife at The Modern Honolulu in Hawaii and partner of AV Hospitality in Los Angeles says “holiday weekends like Memorial Day present unique opportunities to profit because of the excitement the holiday can create.”
Currently, Bendik and his team are planning their ME2 Memorial Day event at Addiction Nightclub at the Modern Honolulu, which, he explains, “always falls on a special occasion or a national three-day weekend.” The event will bring in a mainland DJ or artists into Hawaii that culminates in a “really fun party.”
Jason Strauss, the co-founder of Strategic Group and Strategic Hospitality Group, as well as co-owner and operator of TAO, Avenue and Marquee in New York and TAO and LAVO in Las Vegas, says it’s all about big names. While still in the planning stages of what his clubs are doing during Memorial Day 2013, Strauss said the holiday is very “important for Las Vegas.”
“It tends to be the busiest weekend of the year that specifically targets a celebratory younger demographic,” adds Strauss. “For us, we own seven venues in Vegas, and it really is our most highly trafficked weekend of the year.” With so much traffic that can come through the door on this festive weekend every nightclub or bar should be planning some type of promotion to capitalize on guest traffic.
Memorial Day Advantages
The long weekend gives guests the chance to deviate from the normal pattern of life and owners the chance to bring in profits and big names. “We take advantage of these long weekends by staying open an extra night and bringing out artists that aren’t normally on the scene,” Bendik says.
Strauss says they capitalize on Thursday and Monday nights to stretch out the weekend. However, make sure “to balance the content so you’re not cannibalizing one night for another,” he adds. For example, Friday night at TAO, a big mainstream celebrity will perform and on Sunday, the nightclub will hold its standard Erick Morillo night.
Bendik warns, however, that when it comes to long weekends security can be an issue, so thorough planning helps mitigate those problems. Another problem, Strauss says, is people tend to spend money on programming their venues but don’t take enough lead time to make their plans or market them properly. He suggests starting planning around four to six weeks in advance. Potential guests like to plan well in advance, and if an owner doesn’t do that, they end up losing in the end, says Strauss.
Keeping Promos Fresh
As one of the biggest bar and nightclub days of the year, you have to be savvy enough to keep things fresh and exciting. You can do this by “focusing on staying creative and executing ideas that reflect a sign of the times,” Bendik says. For his team, it’s about staying relevant by “searching for the next best and newest thing that you can share with the community.”
“We change it every year based on what’s happening in pop culture,” Strauss says. “The methodology is the same, but the content is always different.” With good content comes profits.
“We never go into a night thinking about profit. We think about how we can throw the most amazing and unique party because people want to be around that king of energy—and to be honest—the money follows the energy every time,” Bendik says. “This is what we do. It’s the life we have chosen, and we cease all the opportunities we can to showcase our talent.”