By Dianne R. Davis
Photos by Dianne or Burt Davis
The 27th Nightclub and Bar Convention & Trade Show Held in Vegas
I've never seen so many mini cups and glasses. And they were full of samples of the multitude of drinks being served at the 27th annual Nightclub and Bar – NCB – Show, the group's most important bar, nightclub and beverage event of the year. The annual convention, held at the LV Convention Center from March 12-14, brought more than 31,000 industry professionals, including owners and managers of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, and resorts. What a perfect convention for Las Vegas.
Most conventions include industry seminars and this was no exception. Attendees could brush up on the art of making the perfect cocktail or learn how to insure their bars against lawsuits.
Toby Keith and Group President John Taffer posed for photos after
the ribbon cutting to open the Nightclub and Bar Convention.
What's a Vegas based convention without celebrities. Toby Keith cut the ribbon to open the show as well as to showcase his new brand Wild Shot Mezcal which he assured everyone is available at his I Love This Bar & Grill in Las Vegas and around the country.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice, pictured
with Rapper Coolio showcased her new sparkling wine "Fabellini" live.
I stopped by to watch “Shake It Up”, billed as The Battle of the Mixologists. It was fun and light-hearted, but it was business for the participants eager to be judged to have demonstrated skill, flair and creativity. The judges were a who's who in the field and winning was a feather in the caps of the bartenders who were also competing for cash prizes totaling $25,000.
The more than 600 exhibitors included not just adult beverage
companies, but the partnered industries such as specialized
furniture and lighting, accessories, and some clever bar games.
Visitors could get samples of various vodkas and tequila infused with all manner of flavors. Whip cream with alcohol was also available as were a variety of craft beers. After the convention day ended, there were happy hours at places like the Sugar Factory at Paris, Lavo at the Palazzo, Blondies at Planet Hollywood, Gilley's at Treasure Island and First Food & Bar at the Palazzo. Other parties that we heard about were held at XS, Marque, and Tao.
A special note. I appaud the powers that be. The security people checked IDs to be sure that those entering the expo were of drinking age. We want Vegas to be fun, not fatal, and this was a good example of industries working together. NCB – all around job well done. See you next year.