The 2016 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, held March 7-9 in Las Vegas, celebrated a momentous year with a cutting-edge convention floor, new beverage brand activations, product and technology exhibits and enhanced educational programming including breakout sessions, workshops, keynotes, celebrity brand appearances, certification and off-site trainings as well as networking events for visiting bar and nightlife industry professionals from throughout the United States and internationally over the course of the three-day event.
“Our purpose is to create an unrivaled experience for bar, nightlife, food and beverage owners and professionals,” remarked Thom Greco, chairman of the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show Advisory Board. “2016 was one of the best conventions yet – from the diverse expo hall floor to the celebrities in our business, reinforced with more than 90 educational sessions – this event continues to embody everything our industry represents. We will continue to grow throughout this coming year and next year’s convention with attention to trending spirits brands, the expanding craft beer segment, sports bars and other sports-themed food and beverage venues and expanded educational opportunities, with the integration of beverage and food programs becoming an increasingly important component of our industry.”
The 2016 expo hall floor officially opened as “Nightclub & Bar Show Day” on Tuesday, March 8 with a red carpet and ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Academy Award nominated actor Chazz Palminteri, “Iron Chef America” winner Cat Cora, Actor John O’Hurley, Chef Brian Duffy, Comedians Ron White and Alex Reymundo, ABC’s “The Bachelor” Haley and Emily Ferguson and additional beloved Las Vegas celebrities.
Leading brands, three specialty pavilions and 218 new exhibitors took to the comprehensive show floor with hundreds of suppliers. Several unique products showcased include:
· The world’s first champagne gun from King of Sparklers
· Humboldt’s Finest Cannabis Infused Vodka
· Spirited Ice Cream by Momenti
· Benny’s Original Meat Straws
· KissMeter, a coin-operated relationship analyzer
· LytePost, the next level of stanchions
This year’s educational lineup featured more than 90 breakout sessions and two new featured tracks, Nightlife and Industry Trends & Research, making it the most extensive conference programming to date. Emerging bar and nightlife trends and educational workshops included:
· Pulling the curtain back on music licensing issues
· Pouring with speed and accuracy
· Turning your staff into sales superstars
· Twitter for business
· Yelp me: challenging hospitality datasets
· Back to basics – returning to the foundation of hospitality
· Creating and implementing a successful staff training program
· Staying ahead of social media trends and effectively reaching tech-savvy millennials
· Guide to opening and operating a successful bar
Attendees gained insight into successful business plans at keynote sessions hosted by industry leaders that included:
· “Iron Chef America” winner Cat Cora and Bar Magician Tobin Ellis discussing their passion and success, latest food and beverage trends and more
· Jimmy Bernstein, founder of Howl at the Moon, discussing the inspiration behind his original concept and what it took to grow it
To enrich the educational aspect at this year’s show, attendees had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by participating in new certifications and off-site trainings including:
· ServSafe Manager Training with Timothy Moulson, president and CEO, Term Management
· National HOST Security Training with Robert Smith, CEO, Nightclub Security Consultants and Richard Bistline, law enforcement liaison, Nightclub Security Consultants
· Whiskey Tasting & Cocktail Creation Training with Bobby Gleason, master mixologist, Beam Suntory and Iain McCallum, master ambassador and spirits education, Beam Suntory
· Lighting Training at Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub with Charles Obert, technical director, Tao Group
· Mixology Training with Nectaly Mendoza, owner, Herbs & Rye
· Back of House Tour at LIGHT Nightclub at Mandalay Bay
In partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild, the Shake It Up! Cocktail Competition featured top bartenders from around the country competing for the opportunity to represent the United States in their respective categories at the World Cocktail Competition. Winners included:
· Classic Winners
First: Egor Polonskiy, Chicago, IL
Second: Juyoung Kang, Las Vegas, NV
Third: Annie Williams, Columbus, OH
· Flair Winners
First: Danilo Oribe, Las Vegas, NV
Second: Dario Doimo, Las Vegas, NV
Third: Rodrigo Delpech, Las Vegas, NV
To complete the convention’s full experience, attendees mixed and mingled at exclusive networking and nightlife events featuring live entertainment and product tastings at top Las Vegas venues including Hyde at Bellagio, Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay, LAVO Casino Club at The Palazzo, XS Nightclub at Encore, Gold Spike and LIGHT Nightclub at Mandalay Bay.
The annual Nightclub & Bar Awards winners were recognized from across the country who have demonstrated expertise in the industry, professionalism and sales success. Also awarded at this year’s convention, Entrepreneur’s Awards Program honored emerging small businesses producing innovative products for the bar and nightlife industry and Johnson & Wales Student Fellowship Award Winners.
Thanks to expert behind-the-scenes leadership, (view advisory board list HERE) attendees and exhibitors were adamant about voicing their enthusiasm. To read their comments, visit http://www.ncbshow.com/media.
The Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show events are attended annually by over 30,000 owners, operators and industry professionals and will return to the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 27-29, 2017. For updates throughout the year, visit www.ncbshow.com.