Category Archives: Trends

Looking Beyond the New Year

The biggest night in nightlife is here. You have promotions going on, big-name events, and countless guests to appease. The planning, preparation, and execution is a whirlwind to say the least, and it’s only natural to want to take a breather the first few days of the year and get back on track. But the best thing you can do for yourself during this time is think big picture and set yourself up for success for the coming year.

The first step is to reflect on this past year and how your club performed. There will be areas that are great and need little to no improvement, and there will be others that aren’t so great and need a lot of work. Discover why the well-performing areas went the way they did and see if there’s anything to draw from it. Perhaps it’s a good system, a key employee, or a crucial tool that contributed to the success. If you can pinpoint it to something specific, you’ll likely be able to apply it to the areas that need work and create a good strategy for the year ahead.

If you’re having a hard time reflecting on the past year due to little or no data (trust us…you’re not alone), then you have direct insight on what your new strategy needs to be. In fact, the biggest trend in 2014 is big data and technology in the nightlife scene.

We know, technology is daunting, but it’s easier than you think, especially when you take it in small steps. It also can bridge the gap between operations and performance. With the right tool and provider, you’ll be able to discover:

  • Your club’s overall performance, such as total sales, number of VIP reservations, number of guests on the guestlist, and number and types of bottles sold. This can be showed on a to-date basis, or be broken out by day, month, and so on.
  • Which servers and promoters brings in the most reservations, makes the most tips, and closes the most sales through upselling, pre-selling or cross-selling.
  • Who your guests are – their name, contact information, top liquor purchases, money spent to-date, number of reservations, and average group size.

Without the use of technology, your venue won’t have access to this type of data. Not only does this help you better track performance, but it helps you increase customer experience to keep them coming back and spending money at your venue. And we can all agree that profitability is the key part of any New Year strategy.

So here’s to 2014, the year your venue will boost revenue, profitability, service and experience. All because of one simple concept: technology.

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

Capitalizing On Mobile Trends

There’s no doubt mobile is changing the way consumers and businesses operate and interact. Smartphones are now one of the most critical tools in our lives, and that likely won’t change anytime soon. With the release of the new iPhone 5, the new iOS 7 update, and the upcoming Android KitKat software, smartphones are only getting smarter. That means consumers are going to become more dependent on their smartphones in years to come.

Below are three of the biggest benefits consumers are seeing as a result of smarter smartphones, followed by how your nightclub can fulfill your customers’ mobile needs.

Trend: Better Internet Connectivity

Consumers are able to connect to the Internet at a faster rate than ever before, even without the use of wifi. This means your customers are continuously searching on the web to see what the hottest hangouts are, where the nearest clubs are, and where their friends are.

What’s your move?

  1. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, either by auto-formatting it to fit on a mobile screen or by creating an entirely new mobile website.
  2. Include attention-getting promotions and clear calls to action at the top of your mobile website. Mobile users scan for the most important information. If you bury your promotions, they may never come across it.
  3. Get involved in mobile apps to communicate directly to your customers. You an either create your own native app, or partner with a technology platform that can manage customer relationships on your behalf.

Trend: Tighter social media integration

The boom of social media is becoming more prevalent with smartphones. Not only do popular social media channels have native apps for consumers to use, but they are also now more tightly integrated with the devices themselves. This means customers can post updates, pictures, and check into hot spots faster than ever before.

What’s your move?

  1. Create a business page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Foursquare (at the very least) and update your pages regularly with promotions, news, and points of interest.
  2. Allow consumers to digitally check into your venue on platforms such as Foursquare and Facebook places. These checkins show up in your customers’ feeds and can drive more traffic to your club.

Trend: Mobile commerce

Mobile commerce has grown 30 percent year-over-year and is expected to continue in years to come. Your customers are accustomed to paying for goods and services through mobile and have enjoyed the convenience of this channel.

What’s your move?

  1. Offer mobile payment. There are services available to your club that allow servers to complete VIP transactions at the table as well as collect cover charges at the door right from a mobile device.
  2. Integrate pre-payment options on your mobile website for customers who are making reservations online.
    Tie your mobile transactions into your club results. More information on that can be found here.

Mobile has gone beyond the realms of text-message marketing, though this channel is still important for your club’s success. Stay on top of mobile trends to ensure your club is interacting with your customers in meaningful ways.

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

Top 5 Trends For Nightclub Owners

Maintaining a lucrative business in the nightclub industry isn’t easy. You need to stay up-to-date on industry trends and offer the best experience in the biz. Here are 5 trends top nightclubs use to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Know your customers

People are a part of your product. The better people you have inside your club, the better the party. But to get the best people in your door, you first have to know which type of people you want to attract and thereby represent your club. There’s no shame in saying no to those that don’t fit your criteria. The best clubs implement a dress code, recommend specific times for guests to arrive and demonstrate a strong ratio of both gender groups.

From there, treat your customers with respect and show them you really care. Don’t sell out high-profile customers. Clientele of high importance go to elite clubs where they feel safe and can relax, yet are treated by staff with the personal VIP status they deserve. Having a good customer relationship management (CRM) system that is tied to important analytics can help your club achieve this. The more you know about your audience, the better service and experience you can offer to your clients, and the more likely they are to return.

2. Appear exclusive

Instilling an exclusive concept in people’s minds gives your club an edge; a desire; a reason to want to party at your venue. Those that get in are part of the hottest group around. Do this by focusing on your target audience. Letting only those that fit your criteria through the door provides a better inside experience than simply letting anyone in. Top clubs turn relatively ordinary experiences into extraordinary ones, appearing as incredibly desirable. They know their audience, they treat them well, they appear inaccessible to everyday pedestrians, and they make themselves the talk of the town.

3. Get in tune with top musicians

The trend of electronic music of multiple genres isn’t only sweeping the nation, but is a sign of class and status in the nightclub industry. Top clubs welcome electronic music sensations, and get on the bandwagon of in-house performances. In fact, 88.3% of Nightclub and Bar Magazine’s 2012 Top 100 list feature DJs, 73.6% host live entertainment and 80% offer a dance floor. The DJ is the new rock star, so it’s worth investing in the right one to play the right music.

4. Improve operations

Let’s face it – it’s not efficient to operate with pen and paper. So why do you still use it? Too many clubs still use written guestlists, handwritten bottle service orders, and scan photocopies of patron’s IDs. It’s nearly impossible to track results this way, let alone effectively communicate across staff and offer exceptional client experience.

There are services available that top clubs are using to streamline operations and maximize profits, such as guestlist management software, reservation management software or CRM systems. In fact, there are solutions out there that offer the whole gamut in one spot. These solutions give you better insight, increase efficiency and revenue, and ultimately lead to a better customer experience to keep them coming back for more.

5. Offer the latest and greatest

Society is becoming savvier, which means people expect the latest and greatest at the tip of their fingers. Is that what your club is offering? It’s easy to get too ingrained in your own venue that you look past the lack of technology, dated décor, and overall aged experience. Offer sexy technology solutions for your clients to interact with. Have some eye candy – staff, models, and dancers – to get them excited. Install state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. Keeping trends top-of-mind will help ensure longevity and class.

Whitney Larson is the president at Vēmos. Contact her at