A sign at the entrance to the convention hall read “no cameras” but the reality was that last week’s Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show was covered by the worldwide media, and cameras were definitely were part of the coverage. I stood next to a local photographer who reported for a British publication, and all of us reporting on-line, of course, always have the potential of a worldwide audience..with pictures. Additionally, not one of the people I asked about pictures and videos had objections.
But more important than a disregarded sign was the contents of the trade show, one of the most interesting and fun trade shows held in Las Vegas. The audience is comprised of those folks who own or run nightclubs and bars. Products included the liquors one sells; the glasses, menus, napkins, straws and coasters that go with; the music being played; the furniture for customers; the systems used to track business; the equipment, games and lights that create excitement; the background checks on employees and the insurance coverage that keeps everyone whole “in case”. The show floor featured loud music, and the mess on the floor in a couple booths demonstrating confetti was massive.
Attendees tended to be young. However, several older folks in wheelchairs were also roaming the Las Vegas Convention Center aisles, and they had a time of it. Some of the aisles were so crowded, one wondered if the wheelchairs would just disappear or if breathing room would ever be a possibility. The dress code for visitors on the show floor, incidentally, was “professional/casual business attire”. Maybe, as the accompanying video shows, business attire in the nightclub industry includes very short shorts.
I ran into several Las Vegas entrepreneurs. One was on the verge of hiring 60 people, and one who had been forced to lay off people during the recession was back up to pre-recession numbers. A third was a Vegas newcomer who within a year has built what she called a thriving business.
The Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show is produced by the Nightclub & Bar Media Group and is owned by Questex Media Group. The President of the Media Group is tall (and sometimes loud) John Taffer who is also known as the star of the Spike TV program “Bar Rescue”. This year, he was accompanied to the trade show ribbon cutting by five-time Grammy Award winning artist CeeLo Green who is also part owner of TY Ku Premium Sake & Spirits. The event conference included more than 70 educational classes taught by “industry heavy hitters”.
The Nightclub & Bar event was accompanied by what the convention called “Vegas-Style fun”. That included a welcome party at the Pool at Caesars Palace, passes to the “best clubs in Las Vegas”, parties at Hyde, Marquee and TRYST nightclubs, a Top 100 party honoring the TOP 100 revenue-producing nightclubs in the country and $25,000 worth of prizes at the Shake It Up Competition for up-and-coming mixologists.