Each year, Las Vegas plays host to the Nightclub & Bar Show (NCBS). By all accounts, the event is the nation’s preeminent gathering of bar and nightlife professionals — but this year it’s something even more.

Amidst unprecedented challenges, the confab is putting its best foot forward under a banner of “new possibilities, new growth, and new outcomes.” As businesses reopen across the country, setbacks will be spun into opportunity. And from June 28 through June 30, the Las Vegas Convention Center holds all the resources you need to bounce back in the critical months ahead.

In other words: If you’re in food and beverage, it’s something you can’t afford to miss.

Although the event itself encompasses a two-day expo and three days of educational seminars and workshops, it’s really the culmination of a six-month campaign. After the 2020 NCBS was canceled due to Covid-19, the organizers sprung into action launching Evolve. The free virtual program kept bar and nightlife professionals informed and engaged through the tough months of winter. It will remain active through April, a one-of-a-kind forum where hospitality voices from all corners are sharing what works and what doesn’t.

“Now that there are emerging signs of recovery, a vital next step is to bring the industry together in a safe, in-person environment and apply these key new learnings to get business back to work,” says Michelle Osborne, events marketing director for Questex, the parent company behind NCBS. “[We] will offer bar and restaurant owners the knowledge, energy, and new solutions they need to evolve their businesses.”

The educational program will offer attendees face-to-face access to some of the top food and beverage experts in the country.
The educational program will offer attendees face-to-face access to some of the top food and beverage experts in the country.

What does that look like, exactly? Well, the lion’s share of the action takes place at the Expo Hall, showcasing literally hundreds of exhibitors. There’s a Food & Beverage Innovation Center where you’ll encounter the latest trends and creations shaping the future of the industry. There’s an area dedicated to food service equipment suppliers, with access to live demos. Tastings, celebrity chef meet-and-greets, and product presentations will be ongoing from noon on both days of the expo.

Those expressly in search of employment opportunities will find plenty to mull over at the new Employment Zone. “It’s free to access and encourages hospitality professionals to discuss open positions within bars and restaurants in the local area,” explains Osborne. “Plus you’ll gain instant and free advice on important career skills including resume writing, interview techniques, and effective networking, as well as gaining critical insight into the needs of current employers.”

Of course, some of the best deals get signed when you least expect them. So kick back and relax at the Food Festival’s live Sports Bar, and definitely reserve some time for the White Claw Hard Seltzer Bungalow. Then beeline to one of the speaker stages, where some of the most prominent voices in the industry will be sharing key intel for 2021 and beyond. A few top names include Homan Taghdiri, co-founder and managing partner of Invictus Hospitality; David Kaplan, CEO and co-owner of Death & Co and Gin & Luck; and Chef Jennifer Behm-Lazzarni, co-executive chef of Red Fin Crudo + Kitchen.

“The educational program offers attendees face-to-face access to some of the top food and beverage experts in the country,” explains Osborne. “They’ll share valuable techniques and unique tricks of the trade allowing industry professionals the opportunity to gain critical skills and insight into the new dynamics of the much-changed bar and restaurant industry.”

Those in search of employment opportunities will find plenty to mull over at the new Employment Zone.

Of course, none of this could occur without an unwavering commitment to health and safety protocols. And to ensure that all attendees, exhibitors, and staff are never put in harm’s way, this year’s Nightclub & Bar Show will implement robust, state-of-the-art cleaning procedures. The expo floor itself will undergo regular and frequent sanitization in between sessions, with extra care afforded to high touch points. Hand sanitizer stations and disposable face masks will be readily dispensed out of clearly marked areas. NCBS has also adopted the latest standards for crowd density and social distancing set forth by state and local mandates. For a full rundown of all precautionary measures, visit www.ncbshow.com/besafe.

With that peace of mind, attendees are free to explore unencumbered, and make the most of this rare stage for networking and knowledge. To help you navigate, the dense schedule of events is color-coded, broken down by workshops, conferences, speakers and events — all of which you can monitor and customize to your needs through an intuitive digital interface.

On day one you could take in a workshop on successful leadership strategies prior to learning about the rise of zero-proof and low-ABV cocktails. Then attend a masterclass in e-commerce followed by a strategy session for working with social media influencers — all of this information amassed before happy hour even arrives.

“It has been an unprecedented year of challenges and we are committed to supporting the industry recovery,” adds Osborne. “We’re bringing leaders, innovators, and industry professionals together to find new opportunities and get back to work.” It all starts by getting back to NCBS. Registration is now open. You’ll currently save $200 on entry by signing up before May 17.

This article is sponsored by the NCBS