The 2011 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 8th and 9th. Attendees were club, bar and restaurant owners and managers, as well as many on-premise food and hospitality distributors looking for new alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to add to their portfolios.
No surprise, on-premise liquor and spirit companies accounted for the majority of beverage exhibitors; other categories included light and sound equipment, foodservice supplies, point of sale and merchandising signage, video games, and of course barware and furniture. On the beverage alcohol side, the trend continued from last year with a high number of new vodka and tequila entrants. Triple distilled, quintuple distilled, micro distilled five times, 88 times distilled (wow!), distilled from sweet potatos, and protein infused vodkas were all on the floor, with names like Devotion, Lixir, Vivid, KRU82, High Roller, VAD, YES, and Cougar Juice Vodka. And that’s just a small sampling.
While the economy seems to be on the slow and fragile mend, the overall size of the show was smaller than in past years. However, attendee and exhibitor numbers were up from last year, with exhibitors opting for the less-is-more approach in the square footage department. Aisles were crowded and the vibe positive.
“The caliber of guests was impressive,” said Jackson Zapp, the VP of Marketing for GTOX Hangover Blocker. “We received some great feedback from attendees and honestly think products like GTOX are proving the hangover cure/detox market is on the rise.”
Echoing that note, Catherine Brandt, the CEO of Rebootizer stated, “The NightClub and Bar show has been a great platform of promotion for Rebootizer. This is a first-hand place to promote a natural wellness product that helps people recover from Vegas Nights and more…it was a great experience for our company.”
Notable exhibitors absent this year included Anheuser-Busch/Inbev, Svedka Vodka, Heineken and Las Vegas based Rockstar. Even Red Bull had a very humble, quiet booth. Malternatives were completely absent, although given recent FDA guidelines, that’s not a surprise, as brands race to reformulate and repackage their existing lines.
Continuing that disappearing trend, though, was the actual number of non-alcoholic brands exhibiting. Energy drinks Monster, Roaring Lion, Xyience, and Liquid Ice occupied the largest booths in the category. Roaring Lion launched Bluphoria, an energy drink with Maca, and Oranj – a new bag-in-bag energy drink. Others taking out space included Shocker Energy and Shogun Energy. Over at Liquid Ice, they were busy promoting their new “The Boss” energy drink.
Hansen’s Monster Energy took a different approach this year and drove 18-wheeler trucking rigs into the show. The company hosted “Monster Hour” featuring the rock band Camp Freddy and 51Fifty on Tuesday evening, sampling the entire line along with new M3 Concentrate and Monster Hybrid. By far, Monster occupied the largest space at the convention but was long gone by Wednesday morning.
In the detox and recovery space, brands exhibiting included GTOX, Rebootizer, Last Round Hangover Support and Hang Over Joe’s. Dr. V. Feel Good energy shots and Dr. V Fizz, a vitamin infused soda mixer developed by a physician were also present.
Wednesday was much more subdued but not at all surprising. Overall, this year’s show was productive and worthwhile for attendees and exhibitors alike and many are already counting down the days till 2012.
Liquid Ice President Michael H. Lam sums it up well “We are pleased with how the event was organized and was also pleasantly surprised on the amount of attendees at the show. Our goals at this show were to showcase our new Boss Energy drink and that certainly was accomplished. We look forward to coming back next year.”
BevNET’s Nightclub and Bar coverage was sponsored by Rebootizer, the Detox Shaker.