With just over a month left to prepare for one of the biggest nights of the year — Halloween — you need to be thinking of ways to attract those devilish characters to your bar. First order of business: plan a stellar promotion! And you need plenty of marketing well ahead of time to get the ghouls and goblins to choose to celebrate the haunted holiday with you. If you don’t have any plans in the works just yet, or even if you just need to add a little something special to your batty bash, read on for some of our favorite Halloween parties of 2009, and watch for more Halloween inspiration, ideas and recipes in NCB Promo Power and on nightclub.com throughout October!
And if you are wise enough to already have your party plans set, we want to hear about them! Email us at [email protected].
A Nautical Night of Mayhem, The Anchor, Manhattan
Looking for a Halloween promotion without the masks, orange and black attire and wild getups? Then take a page from The Anchor in Manhattan, which offered its guests more than a classic spookfest last year, to great success. More than 700 people walked through The Anchor’s doors on Halloween dressed in nautical getups to match the bar’s sea-inspired theme, from pirates and sailors to surfers. Add to that a hot DJ, specialty Halloween cocktails using fresh ingredients and a bar full of single men and women, and The Anchor set itself up for success in 2009 and will ride that wave to an even bigger bash in 2010. www.theanchornyc.com.
Fetish & Fantasy at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas
More than 6,200 people arrived at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for its 2009 Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball. The event, held from 10 p.m. – 4 a.m., has been named “One of the Top 10 Events in the World” by the Travel Channel, “One of the Earth’s Best Bashes” by Stuff Magazine, “One of Five Events to Attend Before You Die” by Maxim magazine and “The World’s Wildest Halloween Party” by Bizarre Magazine. This year marks the 15th annual Fetish & Fantasy, and management has added more space for the bash, which will feature DJ sets, laser shows, stage performers and plenty of costumes. www.halloweenball.com.
The Underworld at The Underground, Chicago
Building on the wild popularity of vampires last year, The Underground turned into The Underworld for a two-night party. On Saturday, the subterranean space turned into The Coven, inviting guests to come as characters from “all walks of the undead,” and on Sunday, it became The Crypt, where guests walked in the light of All Souls’ Day Eve through skeletons, skulls, spirits and specters. www.theundergroundchicago.com.
Costume Contest at the Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas
Night of the Killer Costumes celebrates the creative, kooky and spellbinding costumes of Vegas club-goers with more than $100,000 in cash and prizes at stake. N9NE Group and Palms Casino Resort bring the events to Rain Nightclub, ghostbar, Moon Nightclub and Playboy Club. This year, it’s back, and guests pay an admission fee and enter to win prizes for their costumes, ranging from $10,000 cash to a night in the penthouse. Playboy Club is searching for — what else — the Sexiest Costume; Moon Nightclub looks for the Best Sci-Fi Costume; ghostbar seeks the Best Undead Costume; and Rain Nightclub is on the hunt for the Best Costume Ever. www.n9negroup.com.
31 Days of Halloween at The Barker Lounge, Denver
The Mile-High City’s Barker Lounge spends an entire month featuring Halloween promotions, ranging from weekly showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and themed drink specials all the way to a Monster Ball around Halloween and a “doggie” costume contest. Last year, the bar was decorated completely for the season by Oct. 1, as Barker’s Tony Fleith said last year, “the Halloween décor outweighs a drink special. I think of a drink special as an extra bonus for the customer to hang out in a cool environment for a month.” www.barkerlounge.net.
Meeting the Medium at The Temperance House, Newtown, Pa.
In 2009, The Temperance House in Newtown, Pa., attempted to help guests connect with the “other side” through a show by Joseph Tittle, spiritual medium and author of Messages from the Other Side, who connects people with their deceased friends and relatives. Additionally that weekend, there was a Retro Halloween party to which costumed guests got in free. www.temperancehouse.com.
Happy Hauntings at W Chicago City Center
Chicago entertainment and marketing company Global Adrenaline hosted The Haunted Hotel Halloween Costume Ball last year at the W Chicago City Center, transforming the hotel into a combination of a VIP nightclub, haunted house and hotel gala. The event was promoted throughout the city by putting a spooky take on the hotel’s “Do Not Disturb” signs on car, apartment and business doors. www.globaladrenaline.net.
Continuing Costume Contests at Baja Sharkeez, locations in California
The Baja Sharkeez locations in Southern California hosted pre-Halloween parties leading up to the big night on Oct. 31 (which conveniently landed on a Saturday last year). The entire week, different locations held preliminary and semifinal rounds, with the finals happening at the major party in Hermosa Beach on Halloween. To promote the event, Sharkeez customized a Cadillac hearse in a Halloween and Baja Sharkeez theme; the winner of the costume contest received either $3,000 or the hearse. www.sharkeez.net.