Category Archives: Sales

Thinking Differently About Mobile

The shocking truth is we’ve been thinking about mobile all wrong. I see it time and time again: people gushing online about how nightclubs need to create their own mobile apps to promote their venue. But this isn’t the case. It doesn’t make any business sense for every nightclub to spend the time and money developing and maintaining their own native apps. After all, very few of your customers are going to download these apps and keep up with your notifications. So let’s move away from the notion that mobile only exists as a way to push messages onto people, and realize that the true benefit of mobile in this industry is to use it as a tool to better manage your venue.

The key ingredient to a mobile management tool is that it has to be integrated into all areas of your club. We call this interconnectivity, which provides nightclubs the opportunity to manage all areas of their club through one central platform. When this platform is integrated across all devices – including web, phone, and tablet – you’re able to streamline operations, maximize efficiencies, and increase your revenue.

Here are 4 ways using mobile as a management tool will benefit your bottom line.

1. Better manage promoters

Too often, promoters are left to pave their own path in getting guests to come through your door. This doesn’t set your club or your promoters up for success. Instead, help them excel by providing them with a system that allows them to make transactions right from a mobile device. There are systems available that give all staff members – including promoters – a personal login to handle guest management and point of sale. Through this type of system, promoters can add guests to the guestlist, create a VIP reservation, or even sell a ticket to your event. It’s an easy solution for your promoters to sell in real-time and generate instant sales for your club. What’s more is you’re able to track the referrer of an individual customer, VIP reservation, or guestlist party. This makes it easier to identify not only who’s bringing in the most traffic, but also who’s bringing in the best traffic. And when you know your promoters are doing a job-well-done, you’re able to incentivize and reward them accordingly to keep them performing and maximizing results.

2. Increase sales with mobile point of sale

We alluded to mobile point of sale (POS) above, which is a major benefit to using mobile as a tool for your venue. You can couple your traditional POS system with a mobile POS system to allow your venue to collect more transactions than you’re currently doing, whether it’s by conducting pre-sales for mobile ticketing or collecting cover for general admission and guestlists. Not only does this help secure additional revenue, but it also optimizes your line and speeds up your night.

3. Collect important data on how your club is performing to optimize it for future success

The key to measuring the success of your club is by analyzing critical data – something a fully integrated technology solution can achieve. This system collects data from any area of your club, analyzes it, and presents it in easy-to-read charts in one central spot so you get a better understanding of:

  • How much money you made or lost over a given time period
  • Which days of the week are your busiest
  • What type of liquor you sell the most on a given day
  • How many tables are reserved a night
  • Which promoters are bringing in the most and best guests
  • Which servers are upselling the most and making the most tips
  • What types of promotions or events bring in the most traffic

4. Give guests a great experience

Continuing on the analytics path, a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s tied to your point of sale and integrated into your one main platform allows you to gather important information about your guests in one central spot. This means you can look up a guest in your mobile device and get access to critical information to provide them with an even better experience than they otherwise would have had. This information includes demographics, frequency of visits, average money spent per visit, and average group size. With your CRM system, you’re able to better identify guests in line, upsell guests before they walk through your door, provide personalized service, and improve marketing efforts.

5. Improve marketing efforts

Speaking of marketing efforts, getting your guests to interact with you via short codes and other SMS marketing techniques are a must. Because your CRM system tracks important customer activity, such as when they come to your club, how much they spend, what they drink, and how many people they bring with them, you’re able to send more targeted, personal and relevant messages to individual guests. This means you’re able to use filters to segment your customers into specific targeted audiences, which in turn means each audience gets messages that are 100% relevant to their habits. That’s powerful marketing, and that’s what continues to drive guests into your venue.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing for BookBottles. Contact her at

Technology Shouldn’t Slow Down Your Night

We recently discussed the need for nightclubs to retire paper guestlists. The solution? Moving over to a digital guestlist. Not only is it more efficient, but it’s also more accurate and full of in-depth insight your club needs to propel forward in the 21st century. Yet, many nightclub owners and managers respond to these types of messages with hesitation and fear – fear of the unknown, fear of change, and fear that technology will end up slowing down the speed of night. But after working with many nightclubs on switching them over to integrated digital solutions, I can assure you that technology has actually done the opposite of what they feared.

The key ingredient to digital solutions is that it has to be integrated into all areas of your club. We call this interconnectivity. If the technology between different departments of your club isn’t connected, the data and processes will ultimately be useless. After all, why bother with 4 different technologies if it’s going to add 4 different processes to your club? Those are the types of solutions that slow down the speed of night. Instead, look to a technology platform that streamlines all areas of your club into one centralized spot. Not only does this easily give you access to all club information, but it also increases efficiency across the board, gives you in-depth analytics about how your club is performing, and ultimately speeds up your night.

Here’s how you can use an integrated technology system to speed up your night while also increasing your profits.

1. Start small

Technology platforms are robust and come with a lot of bells and whistles. But just because it has everything you could ever want doesn’t mean you have to start using every feature right away. The reason technology, or any new system for that matter, seems overwhelming is because people think of it as one big overhaul rather than a series of small steps. Pick the features that you absolutely need today and blend it into your current operations (keeping that end goal of connecting your whole club together through this one platform). Once you get the hang of the new features you added, you’ll feel more comfortable about what technology can do for your venue and you will be ready to add more necessary features.

2. Give staff access to the platform

Once you’ve identified which features make the most sense for you, it’s time to unveil it to the team. The same platform noted above has the capability to provide individual logins to each member of your team. And, depending on that person’s role in your club, you get to choose what they can and can’t access, helping to keep your data more secure. Giving staff access (even if it’s limited access) to a technology solution that combines information in one spot is an efficient way to get everyone on the same page.

3. Train staff on the platform

Get all staff members together who will be interacting with the platform. Having everyone in one place makes it easy for you to introduce the system, show them how it works, and answer any questions they may have. After all, your customers interact with multiple members of your staff on any given night, so it’s crucial for each staff member to be adequately trained to handle any type of customer, including VIP customers, and work with one another to give the impression that your club is well run.

Customer experience is elevated when staff and departments are running in sync. While the customer can’t directly attribute their experience to a well-run system, they can feel the difference between a venue running each department in a silo vs. one that is interconnected. This helps increase customer loyalty and customer spending to keep you in business for years to come.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing at BookBottles. Contact her at

9 Steps to Throw a Good Party

Without a great party, you don’t have an audience. And without an audience, you don’t generate revenue. Follow these 9 steps to throw a good party for your guests while also generating profit.

1. Know your audience

The people you are throwing the party for should define your business model. This means you need to know your customers inside and out. It’s not enough to have a basic understanding of only demographics. You need to discover their idea of a good party, the music they like to hear, the alcohol they like to drink, and even the servers they prefer. Do your research and work with a partner like Vēmos who can offer these valuable insights.

2. Plan your event

Planning is one of the most important aspects of throwing an event. You need to first identify what you want to get out of the event, and plan accordingly to achieve it. The best questions to answer during this step are:

  • What is your goal?
  • What is your budget, and how much can you spend in each area of the event?
  • Is this going to be an event tied to a holiday or time of year?
  • How will you get the word out about this event?

Once you answer these questions, you have a better way of moving forward. You know exactly how may promoters you need, what staff members are responsible for, how much money you can spend on talent, what type of talent you need to hire, if you can offer drink specials – the list goes on.

3. Hire the right talent

Talent is a big portion of what lures people into your venue. But you need to make sure you hire the right talent. Do your guests prefer a headlining DJ or a local band? What type of lighting and sound equipment do you need to enhance the experience for your guests? Stay within your budget and plan for your audience to maximize profits and achieve your goal.

4. Price tickets accordingly

When it comes to a good party, it’s the experience – not the deal – that attracts guests. It’s critical to understand what your customers will pay in return for a good party. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short and maximize your revenue when at all possible. People understand and have been programmed to pay top dollar for major events, within reason. Take note, not advantage, of these opportunities if you seek long-term success.

5. Get the word out

You can’t spread the word until you’ve defined your audience. After all, it’s much easier to market and promote your party when you know exactly whom you’re trying to reach. The best strategy is to always keep your customers informed while maintaining a clear and consistent message in all your efforts. Use a multi-channel strategy to get the word out, such as text-message marketing, printed collateral, email updates, and social media. Just using one channel – such as printing flyers – will not do. Diversify your efforts, track returns, and adjust focus based on results.

6. Generate revenue, even before the day of the event

We’re talking about pre-sales. Every event or venue, regardless of size, benefits from the pre-sale of tickets and inventory. The best way to sell tickets in advance is to get everyone on board with a single platform. There are platforms available that allow you to create and manage an online event page, publish the page for consumers to purchase tickets, have the page integrate with a mobile app for promoters to sell directly from their devices, and track ticket sales and results along the way. This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue.

7. Avoid double-booked VIP tables

The best way to keep track of reservations to mitigate double-booked table is through a central technology platform to which everyone has access. This means any of your employees or partners can log into the system with their personal username and password, add a guest reservation for a specific night, identify remaining tables for the night and select the most appropriate one. Tables that are already reserved won’t show up in the system, which means they’re never double-booked. Not only that, but the person who refers a guest for a reservation (ex: a promoters) is the person who makes the reservation. They don’t need to email anybody to make it happen or jot it down on a piece of paper to hand to the hostess. It’s all streamlined and centralized to maximize efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

8. Be a good host

Your event efforts must continue, and perhaps even spike, during the night of the event. Treat everyone like VIPs, from the bottle buyer to the general admission guest. Focus on service levels and make them feel appreciated no matter what. Your guests will not only continually come back, but they’ll also tell everyone they know about their experience. This sets you up for success for the long run.

9. Analyze results to better prepare for the next event

The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze the data. If you got on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event.

At the end of the day, revenue is a byproduct of the value of your party. Make sure you first and foremost throw a good party, then be constantly aware of your guests, surprise them from time to time, and treat them with the service they deserve to keep them coming back.

3 Hot Summer Trends

Staying up-to-date on industry trends and offering the best experience in the biz are two of the best ways to stay relevant in an ever-evolving nightclub industry. Stay on top of these 3 hot summer trends to continually wow your guests.

1. Continued emphasis on dance music

Electronic dance music (EDM) has had a large commercial appeal in the nightlife industry over the past couple years, and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon. This upbeat music style brings people into your venue who are looking to have a good time, and it can oftentimes be packaged together with other types of summertime music. Some clubs have even reported mixing slower EDM beats with classic relaxing summer jams for their early-evening crowd, proving to pique interests in patrons who would have otherwise never considered enjoying the EDM genre. Getting creative with summer dance music will allow you to reach a broader audience and connect with your most important guests all while boosting your bottom line.

2. Impressive drink selection

Simplicity is out when it comes to cocktails and drinks, and during summer it’s all about complex refreshing cocktails. Take your standard mojito and spice it up with Malibu Island spiced rum, add a blood orange to your typical margarita to give it a bold flair, or offer a white fruit-infused sangria flora for that tropical burst. These cocktails are not only going to cool your guests off during the hot summer months, but will also be sure to wow them to want more.

3. Digital ticketing for summer events

Big name events are plentiful during the summer in the nightlife industry, and more and more venues are turning to digital ticketing systems to help them better manage and stay on track. Digital ticketing is an online platform that incorporates ticketing into the rest of your efforts, giving you that full 360-degree look at how your venue is performing. This platform enables you to:

  • Create and manage an online event page
  • Sell tickets to consumers right through the page via an e-commerce system
  • Integrate the event with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices
  • Track ticket sales and results along the way
  • See how often a certain individual buys your event tickets and for which shows

This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together in one centralized spot to maximize ticket sales and revenue. What’s more is you own your ticketing data, allowing you to analyze results to better set yourself up for success in the future.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing for BookBottles. Contact her at

Staffing Your Venue Part 3: The Internal Team

We previously discussed the importance of properly staffing your sales team and your promoters. Now, it’s time to talk about staffing your internal team.

Your internal team is comprised of your hosts, servers, bartenders, cooks, bus boys, and managers. They’re what keep all the moving parts – well – moving. Without your internal team, your night could be an utter disaster. Yet, too many owners cut areas of this staffing department in order to cut expenses – a mistake that could cost you your venue.

The Internal Team

There’s a fine line between expense control and service deprivation. How many times have you found yourself in an amazing nightclub, filled with eye-catching décor, but waiting to get a drink for a half hour? Now, your once great impression has turned to a deep distaste.

As an owner or a manager, this is your worst nightmare. All the hard work put in to creating the party is undermined due to an understaffing issue. Take these steps to ensure you’re fully prepared.

  1. Watch your bars and tables.
  2. Adjust staffing to accommodate levels of business.
  3. Track trends, upcoming events, and major happenings that might spike levels.
  4. Add satellite bars if needed.
  5. When in doubt, overstaff. It is much easier to cut than to call people in.

Guests should have a drink in their hands at all times. Staff accordingly to make sure this happens. While it may sound expensive to have adequate staff, it’s even more costly to understaff. Every second a guest is waiting for a drink is a dollar you’re not taking to the bank. And if they wait long enough, it may turn in to thousands.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing at BookBottles. Contact her at