Last week I had an awesome, but exhausting, experience at the annual Nightclub & Bar Show (convention and trade show) in the always fun city of Las Vegas!
Along for the ride? My “Director of Awesomeness” / “Right Hand Man (Who Doesn’t Get Paid)”. That would be my boyfriend – Nick. (He was on vacation from work and never passes up a chance to go lose some money in Vegas, which as a result, paid for our $200/night hotel – yay!)
I will recap some of the more enjoyable conference education sessions I attended (and provide a “how not to” on the one disaster of a session I attended) later here on the blog… but today, I wanted to start recapping my last day of trade show – checking out the show floor!
My Director of Awesomeness joined me at the show on Wednesday for a day of checking out the newest brands, services, and the like – all slingin’ their goods to the nightclub and bar trades. The unofficial motto is “work hard, play hard”… and honestly, that totally fit the bill. I was barely able to stand by the time we got to about the 150th vendor, but I promised myself I was going to make it all the way across the show floor to visit my friends from South Carolina at the Firefly Vodka booth – (Hi, Matt!).
So without further ado, here are the brands that I liked the most from the show. (This is not to say there weren’t tons of other great vendors, but as you can imagine, many were geared toward security, lights & sound, other bar operations, etc. — all things that a marketer and event planner can appreciate — but don’t really have much to do with my day-to-day work.)
I met these folks after seeing about 20 other booths and since we didn’t receive a tote bag on the way into our show, and I neglected to bring a bigger bag myself, my hands were FULL. (Nick’s, too.) I was amazed that this was the first, and the only, vendor to provide eco-friendly tote bags (actually, any tote bags at all). I saw them from across the way and made a beeline for them. Genius! Just because they had the foresight to bring bags, they have my vote.
GoCruso.com is creating a “social networking site for the food service industry”. They had a really impressive booth and staff, so I’m pretty surprised that the site isn’t up yet – as of when I’m writing this post.
Festive straws and stirrers to work any event’s theme! (Private label/custom products available!)
Never let the rind spoil a good Corona! These guys were smart enough to send show-goers home with samples… I’ll be sure to try it out next time we’re at the beach.
Nick LOVED this vendor. (There were two that stood out that he really liked – one of which will stay a secret for just a tad longer as one of my clients is going to be introducing it to the local market soon, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise!)
A cute and inexpensive way to add lighted-pours to bottles. Fun holiday décor, no? Could also be fun way to add spunk to a dark bar.
Display buzz, tweets, mentions, and more. What I really love about this company? They charge an affordable one-time fee — no monthly recurring fees!