4 Ways Nightclub Managers Can Outshine Their Competition

06/07/2016 04:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

In the United States the food, beverage and nightlife industry generates over $710 billion in sales, and as much as $26 billion in revenue a year. Needless to say it’s a lucrative business to be in. With so many nightclubs aiming to out-do their competition, how do you stay ahead of the game? What can you offer to your guests that other nightclub owners aren’t? And most importantly, how can you ensure that your nightclub is the number one place to be?

I looked at some of the top nightclubs in the world to examine exactly what it was they were offering that set them apart from the rest. What kind of music were they playing and what atmosphere were they providing for their guests? Most nightclubs make most of their revenue on weekend nights, and some aren’t even open during the rest of the week. It’s important to really stand out in the minds of your guests to lure them back to your venue every time. You have to turn them into advocates so that when the thought of going out pops into their heads, your nightclub is the first place they think of attending..

Here are some strategies you can consider:

1) Provide a Sustainable Atmosphere

It’s true. Sustainability is very “in” right now, and with the majority of club-goers being millennials, one of the most socialist generations to date, it’s important to transform them into advocates of your brand and your venue. It’s one thing to attend a club that will offer a good party, but if attending that club also means benefiting the earth in some way, you’ll be placed very highly in the books of your guests. Beta Nightclub in Colorado offers exactly this, and on top of that, the venue boasts a 5,000 square foot botanical garden.

In fact, according to a study by Nielsen, millennials are the generation most willing to pay more for something if it’s sustainable.

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2) Offer Your Guests Something ”Shiny”

Whether you provide your guests with the option of tasting the finest liquor offered to mankind, or whether you provide them with a digitally programmable vodka bottle that is controlled via bluetooth, people will remember you. Offer your guests the opportunity of acquiring something that will make them feel special and stand out from the crowd. For instance, Sparkler Superstore supplies exciting bottle service sparklers to nightclubs that can be added as an accessory. Something as simple as a bright light can have people coming back and talking about your brand.

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Another option is offering special promotions to your guests. The Living Room Bar in Minneapolis hosted a Martinis and Manicures event, where guests paid a small fee of $20 for a martini and well...a manicure.  It’s a way for the manicurists to promote their businesses, and for the guests to enjoy a cocktail while getting glammed up. Think of what kinds of irresistible promotions you can put together for your guests.

3) Create a Unique Atmosphere

Limelight  was a club in New York City that was held in an old church, and which was notorious for the not so holy activities which took place behind closed doors. The unique setting of the club transformed every night into an exciting experience for it’s guests. Oasis Aqualounge in Toronto is another example of a club that boasts a very...interesting experience for it’s guests. The club has a heated outdoor pool, and was inspired by the European-like spas of the Czech Republic. The point is, an atmosphere that makes the guest feel as though they are entering a completely new world is bound to be memorable.

4) Treat Every Night Like an Event

Lastly, you’ve got to treat every night like an event. Part of creating an exciting nightclub experience is providing a sense of exclusivity to those who make it into your venue. Create a dedicated events page that you can drive traffic to, and set your promoters up for success by properly training them on how engage with your guests via social media. Chances are people won’t stumble upon your event by chance. You need to get the message out there. Invite influencers to your nightclub that people look up to. Make your events desirable by playing to your niche audience. For inspiration take a look at some of the most popular events in the world: Technofeminism plays to their audience by highlighting female individuals in the electronic industry. Yes Yes Y’all is a monthly event that provides a safe space for the LGBTQ community. Figure out who you want to attend your venue, and cater your events to fit those people’s interests. You can cater to different types of people every night of the week if it’s within your bandwidth!

The point is you want to make your nightclub the place to be. In order to stand out, you’ve got to build an environment that is fun and exciting, which people won't forget about. It's also incredibly important to develop a marketing strategy, and build up an online presence. After all, if the majority of your guests are millennials, the fact is that they spend most of their time online and on social media. To differentiate yourself from others, leave your guests with a small gift or token that they can remember you by. This will create a trigger for them, and they will remember your venue over others. Providing something as simple as a free bottle sparkler to anyone who orders bottle service, or offering a promotion like Martinis and Manicures are great examples of a small gesture that can go a long way.