Trade Shows

The Nightclub and Bar Show opens this week in Las Vegas. It’s considered by many to be the foremost trade (on premise) show in the business. That is, for those who can recollect what transpired while they were at the show.

Seriously, my own experiences with the show have been good. From a supplier’s standpoint, it’s an opportunity to showcase new products, new drinks and other innovations. It’s also a chance to see and mingle with the trade and get a first hand sense of the state of the bar business and what’s on their mind.

So, a supplier’s presence among the nation’s bar and nightclub owners and managers is a bit like chicken soup – it may not help the business but it certainly won’t hurt. There’s much to be said for a presence at this event. Probably explains why there are more large suppliers there this year.

In any event it’s “Vegas,baby.”

Which brings me to a show I attended last week at the Javits Center in NYC, The 3rd Annual New York Wine Expo. It’s a wine tasting event for consumers who paid roughly $75 for admission, less with a discount. Regardless of what they spent, all attendees were determined to get their money’s worth in sips.

I’m amazed that it survived the first 2 years. Consumers, who staggered from exhibitor to exhibitor, seemed less interested in learning about the wines shown than in comparing the alcohol effects from one country to another. So I couldn’t understand why the wines bothered to exhibit. “It’s about the last day and the trade,” one exhibitor told me. So I went on the last day and to my surprise, it seemed like some business was being done. Lesson learned for me – only go to trade shows.

Next posting: The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) convention. Any stories to share?

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