LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For the first time in more than two years, the Nightclub & Bar Show is back at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The bar and nightclub industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, which is why these businesses are so happy to be back in person for this show.
In terms of turnout, show organizers say they expect more than 7,000 attendees, which is about 15% fewer guests compared to 2019's show.
It's a diverse crowd of exhibitors, showing off a wide range of products. Picture everything related to nightlife including alcohol, distribution, lighting, bar games and so much more.
This event is in its 35th year in Las Vegas and organizers couldn't be happier to host it in person.
"At the end of the day, a one-year or two-year pandemic is not going to people from eating out and drinking and socializing. That's what we do as human beings," said Alexi Khajavi, the president of travel and hospitality at Questex company, which oversees the show.
"And so, for us to be able to get all these people back together, do some business, learn a little bit about the industry, it's just a pleasure," Khajavi added.
BUSINESSES WITH TIES TO LAS VEGAS
There are quite a few local companies in attendance at this year's show and many more with ties to the Las Vegas market, including Koloa Rum Company.
Based on the island of Kauai, one of their main goals is to bring their line of rums from the Hawaiian Islands to the "Ninth Island" of Las Vegas.
Recently, Koloa partnered with the Las Vegas Raiders, so you'll be able to taste their rums at Allegiant Stadium this fall, at Raiders games and at concerts and events. Koloa employees say the reason they wanted to be at this show was to grow their brand in Las Vegas and across the country.
"With our new partnership, we thought it was a great time to re-launch the brand in Las Vegas and actually have some interactions with the nightclub and bar owners and buyers," said Farrah Aviles, director of sales and marketing at Koloa Rum Company.
"Las Vegas is considered the Ninth Island," added Aviles. "There's a lot of Hawaii presence here and the Raiders have a beautiful new stadium. It's a great organization. There's a lot of great synergy between Hawaii and the state of Nevada."
Koloa's rums are already available in Las Vegas. You can buy them at some local liquor stores, including some Total Wine & More and Lee's Discount Liquor locations.
NEW TECH ON DISPLAY
There's also a ton of new technology on display at this year's show. For example, 13 Action News came across Jevo, the first fully automated Jello shot maker for any bar, restaurant, or casino that wants to make and sell Jello shots in bulk.
It's basically the Keurig for Jello shots.
You can pick your settings and fully customize the kind of Jello shot you want to brew, then you fill the Jevo with the necessary ingredients and in about four minutes, you have a tray full of Jello shots ready for the fridge.
Tom Gayton, the director of sales and operations for Jevo in Nevada, explained his goals for showing off the machine at this show.
"We've reached out to a lot of the casinos and the bars out here, and it's all about getting exposure, like anything else. And people just need to know they're there. If they don't know it's there, they're not gonna ask for it. If they start seeing Jello shots in these fridges everywhere, more and more people are going to begin to try them," said Gayton.
Jevo leases its machines to casinos, bars, and clubs starting at $299 per month with everything included.
It's just one of so many new inventions that are helping the bar and nightclub industry bounce back after this pandemic.
The Nightclub & Bar Show runs through Wednesday, June 30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.