By: James Green and Michael Visgilio
A glut of alcohol, delicious bar food and three nights in Vegas — the Nightclub & Bar Show might just be the most fun you can have at a “work conference.”
But if you peer past the good-time vibes at the event, which kicked off Sunday at the Las Vegas Convention Center and wraps up tonight, you might get a glimpse of the amazing machinery that supports the enormous nightclub and bar infrastructure throughout Sin City.
This year’s trade show, which featured more than 500 supplier exhibitors, offered trainings, parties, bootcamps, workshops and even certificate programs.
New products and impressive bar food/beverage ideas stole the show within exhibition areas thanks to delicious and tempting displays.
Although many of the staple, flagship brands like Corona and Bacardi had a highly visible presence, several newcomers added variety and flavor to this year’s show.
Miguel Lopez, a “boutique” tequila manufacturer and distributor, noticed the shift.
“It’s a challenging but exciting time to be in the beverage industry. Change is certainly in the air,” he said.
Lopez, who said he grew up in the tequila industry with parents involved in the business, emphasized that “market pressures and new strategies” have caused his business to “reevaluate and modify long-standing practices” within the company’s operations. He declined to provide further details on his business or its exact operation changes, but he said that being surrounded by individuals within the industry provided a certain morale boost.
“At the end of the day, we’re stronger than ever,” he said, gesturing around the venue.
For industry novices, the event afforded key insights into the elaborate minutiae of running highly successful bars and nightclubs.
Conference sessions reviewed everything from how executives can hyper-localize cocktails and efficiently design bars to how they can use basic customer psychology to increase sales.
In fanciful, elaborate displays on the exhibition floor, some companies proved that business and pleasure are as great a pairing as jack and Coke.
Scorpion Tequila was among the businesses to resort to fun and exciting strategies in marketing their libations.
The scorpion distillery “dressed” their bottles in tiny Mexican regalia, to include a poncho and sombrero.
The entertaining marketing ploy was certainly not off brand. Looking for the worm at the bottom of these bottles? Look again, those are actual tiny scorpions! But don’t worry, they won’t bite. They’re just enjoying the plethora of alcohol — not unlike the rest of the guests at the Nightclub and Bar Show.
(Photos by James Green and Michael Visgilio)