Turning your bar into a hot spot requires hard work and creativity. Attracting a trendy crowd is not as easy as it seems. Sometimes crowds flock to places that really don’t seem that interesting leaving the more obvious choices deserted without explanation. Gone are the days when having the latest gadgets or being the first one to follow an upcoming trend was enough to gather the crowds. Nowadays you need to think outside the box, try new ideas, and then try some other newer ideas. Really be willing to reinvent yourself, forget about traditional strategies and avoid getting stuck in a rut. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Everyone loves bar games. Especially when they’re not just your typical beer pong. Originals are fine but adding a twist to them is the way to go. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Mixing an old school game with a trendy subject can enough to consistently attract new crowds. Don’t do a regular trivia night. Go for a Marvel-inspired trivia night the week you know a new comic book movie will come out. Likewise, you can set up Mean Girls trivia, Rick & Morty trivia, or even a 90’s inspired trivia. The trick to finding the perfect event is knowing your audience and seeing what interests them. When in doubt, you could even use your social media to directly ask them.
Think Outside the Niche
Your bar doesn’t have to only host bar-related events. You can partner up with people outside the industry. That is, you could open earlier one day so that a local movie club can have a discussion, or even have a live drawing session. Just think of what kind of audiences would be a good fit for your bar and reach out to the kinds of clubs or associations they typically like.
Do a Special “Night”
Most bars have “Ladies’ night” already, but that’s expected, and frankly, a little boring. If you really want to stand out, you need a different theme. It could be something as simple as a one cent beer night, or as elaborate as having a battle of the bartenders. You could even set up a cocktail class night, a wine tasting night, or a 60’s night. The options are basically limitless, and you could try several to see what kind of event get your community pumped. Just make sure the theme is clear and concise and that you advertise it enough.
You could sponsor an up-and-coming band, or be the only bar in town that serves a particular craft beer. The idea is that you think of other businesses that could help you out and that you, in turn, could help out. Partnering up with someone else will expose your brand to an entirely different fanbase. Just keep in mind that value has to go both ways so approach people that could truly benefit from the partnership.
There’s no way to know what the big trend is going to be and be ready for it. That’s why your safest strategy is creating a place that’s fun, creative and innovative regardless of trends. You want your bar to be consistently crowded, not just when you happen to use a trending hashtag.