What’s Going On in Vegas

If the Nightclub & Bar Show’s pre-event tracking stats are any indication, the post-recession recovery in the on-premise could be gaining traction.

Attendee sales for the March 12-14 event in Las Vegas, as of late January, were 60 percent ahead of last year, which saw a total of about 31,000, according to Jon Taffer, president of Nightclub & Bar Media Group. Exhibit sales, he says, are tracking 25 percent ahead of last year’s edition, which drew 613 exhibitors to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Among the highlights at the major on-premise trade show and conference are pavilions dedicated to craft beer and new brand innovation, as well as social media marketing education.

Exhibitors this year include The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, MillerCoors, Avion Tequila and a host of craft brewers including New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Stone Brewing, Alaskan, and others. For the second year the event is working with the Brewers Association to present a craft beer pavilion.

 “Last year we started our relationship with the Brewers Association, creating our craft brew pavilion, and it’s just exploding,” says Taffer, who’s also the star and executive producer of the Spike TV show “Bar Rescue.” “We’re really excited about the pavilion this year.”

Also for the second year the show is hosting an emerging brands pavilion.“It’s an innovations pavilion and it’s all new products that you’ve never heard of before: spirits brands, beer brands, technology products.”

Dispensing and pour control technology vendors like TurboTap and Easybar also will be showcasing their latest. Merchandising and promotions solutions also will be prominent.

Additionally, there will be programming tracks dedicated to social media marketing, as it becomes an increasingly critical component of on-premise strategies. Highlights include sessions titled, “Facebook: Are You Tapping In?” and “Utilizing Social Media Discounts.”

“People think they understand [social media]; they post something on Facebook and they expect it to work,” notes Taffer. “We’ve identified Facebook 101 classes, social marketing 101, social marketing 201 classes, for those who are starting out, for those who are really trying to understand what social marketing is about and how to do it—as well as for those who are doing it and not attaining the kind of results they need to achieve.”

Conferences and workshops begin on Monday, March 12 and the exhibit hall is open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14.  For information on the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Show or to register, visit ncbshow.com.

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