Promote to Win

Recovery? What recovery? It’s been a tough summer, with unemployment remaining over 9%, job creation much slower than expected and gasoline prices staying fairly high. All of that affects how much and how often people spend on drinks and nightlife entertainment.

There is good news for our business, however. We’re in a unique position: Bars, nightclubs and restaurants are all red hot and comfortable. Let me explain. Donna Hood Crecca

Bars, bartenders, nightclubs, DJs, venue owners, distillers, brewers, drinks bloggers, etc., are smokin’ hot right now; we’re media darlings, thanks to everything from the ongoing cocktail renaissance to the craft brew explosion as well as reality shows like Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.” Bars are the “it” scene, and bartending and bar owning are hot professions (ask any bartending school owner if enrollment is up, and the likely answer is yes).

Bars also are comfortable: They’re places that provide Americans a much-needed respite from the trials and tribulations of today’s hectic, harried daily grind.

Even with these elements in play, you’ve got to hustle to get guests to spend their somewhat rationed and definitely hard-earned dollars in your place. The impulse may be to discount deeply, but the real solutions lie in promoting effectively.

In fact, pros who are reporting growth, like Nightclub & Bar Next 50 (page 30) operator Larkin Stallings of Houston’s Triangle Entertainment, credit a constant stream of engaging promos as well as ongoing investment — of time and energy, if not cash — in keeping venues fresh for their success.

To help you drive fourth-quarter sales and jump-start 2012, we’re bringing you even more promotional know-how and inspiration:

• Spike your promotion plans with great live entertainment (page 15), seasonal beers (page 20), alcohol-free options (page 12), plus more in this issue.
• In September, we’ll present the 2012 Promotions Planning Guide to help you map your success plan for next year.
• Get your weekly fix of promotion ideas by subscribing to e-newsletter NCB Promo Power (free at
• Hit the new and improved every day for our Promo Calendar, latest news on supplier programs and articles and blogs on everything from social media to sports promos.
• Finally, plan now to attend the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, March 12-14, to find the products, services and experts to make your promotions work for you.

See you at the bar!



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