Unfortunately there’s no clear-cut recipe to creating a successful nightlife venue. Much like any other startup ventures, there’s a lot of trial and error that will bring highs and lows. An immense amount of effort goes into getting a club off the ground and keeping it running and continually bringing in revenue. From ensuring there’s interest in your bar and occasionally charging a cover for special events, to making sure that your staff is all on the same page when it comes to delivering the ultimate level of customer service no matter the night, there’s plenty to keep in mind. But when it comes to any sort of promotions tied to your business, there are some core characteristics you must keep in mind.
1. Be Open to On-premise Sampling
Everyone’s experienced on-premise sampling. Be it at a bar, restaurant or hotel pool, there’s been an instance where you’ve been approached by someone offering up the latest liquor or beer created by “X” brand. Everyone enjoys a free sample. What does something like this mean to your venue? It’s the opportunity to team up with a brand and potentially have a profound impact on your audience’s consumption behaviors at no cost to them, according to Rudy Duthil, founder of the Results Driven Agency, a Miami-based agency specializing in grassroots marketing and alternative targeted media solutions. While this can go for other venues outside of the nightlife realm, it’s especially effective in this industry seeing as “what [the audience] consumes defines who [they] are and creates the outside world’s perception of [them].”
2. Pay Attention to the Numbers
This may sound extremely redundant and obvious, but when it comes to looking at a spreadsheet with the breakdown of your return on investment, far too many owners and operators don’t dig into the specifics behind their revenue. But when you’re promoting a specific event, but it a weekly or a special one-off that you’re hoping to create a lot of buzz around, be sure to take into account the “intangible” criteria as Duthil says. “Some intangibles would be consumer comments and venue management feedback,” he says. Yes, the numbers of drinks and bottles sold are just as important, but those measurables are a lot easier to track.
3. Stay True to Your Word
Promoters are and should be an important facet of your business and promotional strategy. Too many venues tend to treat promoters as freelancers and not honor their word, rather than building that relationship just as you would with any full-time employee. According to Duthil, this is a common pitfall. Many venues promise these promoters the world, but “under deliver on their end of the agreement,” he says.
4. Don’t Over-promote
Tweets, Facebook posts, flyers on cars, and radio promotions. There are a slew of ways to get the word out regarding what’s taking place at your venue. But keep in mind that there is such a thing as over-promoting something, “unless you keep the promotional ideas fresh and new with each activation,” says Duthil. “Nightlife consumers are very fickle,” he says. “One day you’re hot and the next you’re not. Therefore, if you are going to be promoting your brand consistently it is important that you keep your programming and concepts fresh.”
Want more promotional tips that impact your bottom line? Send your marketing manager to the Nightclub & Bar Show to attend the Marketing & Promotions track to get expert advice from industry frontrunners on promos that work.