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The 2010 25th Anniversary Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 9th and 10th. Attendees were club, bar and restaurant owners and managers, as well as on-premise distributors looking for new alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to add to their portfolios.
ATC Group Refrigeration Solutions, sponsor of BevNET’s coverage of the show, was busy showcasing their custom-designed coolers in countertop, barrel, glass door upright, and open air models to prospective new clients, for both on and off-premise venues.
Although on-premise liquor and spirit companies accounted for the majority of beverage exhibitors, other categories included furniture, electronics, foodservice equipment, and Point of Sale and merchandising signage. On the beverage alcohol side, a high number of new vodka and tequila brands and some lifestyle-branded products dominated the mix.
In a sign of continued economic instability and uncertainty, the actual square footage of the show floor considerably smaller in scope than last year, along with a drop in the number of flashy and expansive booths. It seems to be the norm as many companies are playing the “wait-and-see” card or spending their marketing budgets elsewhere. Notable exhibitors playing hooky this year included Crown Imports, Heineken, Pepsico, Red Bull, and Rockstar.
Continuing the downward trend were the number of new energy drinks in attendance; stalwarts Monster, Roaring Lion, and Liquid Ice occupied the largest booth presence in the category. Wave Energy Drink, however, made a splash with a large tropically themed booth near the entrance to the convention hall.
While the actual number of exhibitors was lower, attendance seemed higher than in 2009, especially on March 9, with extremely crowded and congested aisles. Attendees seemed positive and upbeat, wanting to sample every possible new beverage and concoction. Exhibitors in attendance seemed very pleased with the quality of attendee and potential new business leads.
Over at the Roaring Lion booth, an ecstatic Sean Hackney, Managing Partner, echoed those sentiments. “In a year where there seemed to be less overall booth space, our doubling down at the NCB Show proved to be a huge success for Roaring Lion. The 1000-square foot booth attracted in excess of 500 solid leads from what we feel was an increase in both quality and quantity of attendee traffic verses 2009.”
“The down economy allowed us to bring the entire company to Las Vegas to interact with existing client base, while mining new business. It also afforded us Elvis, a Magician, a Lion, and an Acrobat to work the show floor and provide everyone a bit of entertainment.”
There were a growing number of anti-hangover and recovery drinks pushing their formulations to attendees, including Afterparty, GTOX, NoHo, and Resurrect Anti-Hangover Drink. Not surprisingly, these booths were jammed with attendees ranging from bar and club owners to distributors looking for potential new mixers, hot products to carry, or perhaps, just out of necessity, a personal hangover remedy from the prior night.
According to Sean Stephenson, VP Sales and Marketing of NoHo, “We were very impressed with the attendance at the show; our booth was slammed on Tuesday! We will definitely be back.”
Likewise Jeff Jonke, VP from Fusion Premium Energy’s Resurrect Anti-Hangover, was impressed with the caliber of foot traffic at the show. “The Nightclub and Bar show was everything we thought it would be and more. The reception that we received was overwhelming from both nightclub and bar owners to the distributors that were there looking for the next big thing. We’re pretty sure they found it at our booth; we were swamped from the opening bell until the end. Our plan to get Resurrection in the hands of everyone now includes retailers and distributors from every state as well as the international crowd that we met during the show. The show could not have been better for us.”
Wednesday was a bit slower which should not be too surprising considering the Las Vegas lifestyle. Yet, overall, this year’s 25th anniversary show was productive and worthwhile for attendees and exhibitors alike. Hackney sums it up well, “Love the show. This year was great!”
Here’s a sampling of other products we saw at the show this year:
• Afterparty, a new recovery beverage without caffeine containing White Willow Bark, Milk Thistle, Prickly Pear extract, and decaf Green Tea in a 16 oz. can in two flavors: Cranberry-Citrus and Mangosteen-Passion.
• Blu Energy Drink, an international energy drink in an 8 oz. can.
• Dream Water, a zero-calorie all natural sleep water containing GABA, Melatonin and 5-HTP formulated to produce a natural relaxed state of mind available in an 8 oz. bottle.
• Lotus Energy Drink, a premium healthy energy alternative loaded with antioxidants in an 8 oz. can.
• Shocker Energy Drink and Shot, a lifestyle brand with a clothing line available in a 2 oz. shot, 8.4 oz. and 16 oz. can.
• Tequila Tamer, a premium non-alcoholic tequila chaser.
• Wave Energy Drink, an all natural energy drink with lower caffeine and carbonation sampled 4 oz. cans at the show; available in Regular and Sugar-Free in 16 oz. cans.
• Xyience Energy Drink, launching two new flavors in the next couple of months.