From March 7-9, the NCB Show took over the Las Vegas Convention Center with a series of educational seminars and workshops (not to mention an energetic exhibit floor). Here are some worthwhile nuggets and notable events from the conference program:
Maria Miranda, creative director and principal of Miranda Creative, discussing the benefits and how-tos of creating a successful Facebook fan page at her "Facecbook With a Twist" seminar. From creating your own Facebook personality, to updating your tabs and photos, Miranda's advice will help any bar or club grow their business. Some quick advice: Always respond to comments and questions from fans in a timely manner; it makes your fans know you care and will grow your business and the frequency of your business.
At the Preventing Prohibition seminar, Sarah Longwell from ABI, talking about the downsides to universal ignition interlock. She said by adding ignition interlocks as standard equipment on all cars -- which is the goal of the MADD and NHTSA movement -- it's a slippery slope to an eventual zero tolerance alcohol policy. What does this mean for your bar, restaurant and club business? People can't go out and have a drink with dinner, meaning your revenues go down. Learn more at interlockfacts.com.
Charlotte Voisey from William Grant & Sons USA extolled advice on how to get more people in your bar, club or restaurant. One way: low-calorie cocktails that entice health-conscious customers to imbibe. Voisey said such offerings mean "you're providing for people to come to your bar without the guilt trip."
Dirk Smith, President of Sports Destination Network, Inc., discussing the 162-game baseball season at his "Promoting a Home Run Season with Baseball" at The Hospitality Sports Marketing Conference, part of the NCB offering. Because you know the game schedule by November, you can work on promotions, getting people into your bar on slow nights. His answer to the age old question, "Do you play sound with sports games?" Smith says during big, local games, you should. "It's a constant battle people face, but it adds to the atmosphere and ambiance, especially on slow nights," he said.
Jon Taffer extolled attendees to "hire for the smile" when interviewing bartenders, servers, hosts and even managers during his "Taffer's Best Tactics to Empty the Competition" Workshop, part of NCB University. You can train for just about any position, but you can't teach a smile, he noted. Hire for personality, and your entire customer service level will rise.
Invest for success, even in hard times, was the message of Howard Weiss, director of pool and nightlife operations at The Pool After Dark at Harrah's Atlantic City. During the Top 100 Panel, he shared how Harrah's is installing an additional bar and is planning on some outdoor water features at the Pool After Dark to insure the venue can adequately service the large volume of guests and also keep them coming back as competition heats up in AC.
What's the best way to put on a successful nightclub promotions? Robert Casillas, president of the Monsoon Group, said during his "Promo Powerhouse: High Impact Promotions to Implement Now" that one way to get things running is with a good team and by establishing relationships with the community, especially with local bloggers and writers.
Shock Jock Tom Leykis, radio host of The Tasting Room, started off Day 2 of the Show by dishing out some good branding advice. "Provide entertainment that people can't get from other venues, so they don't have to go far for affordable drinks," he said. That wasn't all, in this economy, he reminded, "You can't be the best bar or club, you have to be the best Showman."
What was your favorite topic and who was your favorite speaker? Post a comment and let us know -- we're already planning next year's Nightclub & Bar Show conference program, so we need your input!