Nightclubs have been providing glamour and excitement since they started and are the backbone of the entertainment sector. However, although globally nightclubs are a $25bn industry, since the 2008 economic crash, nightclub attendance has been steadily falling in the UK.
There are, however, innovative tech solutions emerging that are helping to bring in a new era for nightclubs.The nightclub ecosystem is made up of three main players – nightclubs and promoters account for the business, while clubbers make up the consumer side. Customers are funnelled into clubs by promoters, who are usually the mediators between venues and their clients.
Inevitably, promoters hold most of the cards.What limits all parts of the ecosystem, however, is the relative shortage of technological solutions to connect clubbers with promoters, who ultimately bring in customers for venues.
Meanwhile, clubs themselves need to move away from offering a generic, uniform experience that, aside from changing up their music and layout, could really benefit from some cool technology.
Social media hasn’t been enough to reverse the decline of nightlife. While early attempts to advertise and facilitate guest lists were successful, Facebook invites, flashy Instagram posts and teaser tweets from club brand managers are simply not filling dance floors anymore.
But new innovative companies are trying more radical ways to incentivise nightlife revellers to carry on clubbing. From cryptocurrencies to VIP booking apps, some clubs are wowing their customers and setting themselves apart from the competition by throwing experimental tech into the mix.
For instance, Nitechain, a blockchain-enabled company, is seeking to reward clubbers with cryptocurrency when they frequent venues, bring friends and recommend, review and share with other users.Figaroo, seeks to solve the difficulties surrounding VIP table bookings, which make up a colossal 60% of club revenues, given that it costs a minimum of £1,500 to secure a table in London and $3,000 in Miami.
Elsewhere, promoters have a hard time finding customers and filling tables.Nightclubs can innovate their business strategies with apps which allow promoters to connect with invite-only customers, who can in-turn connect with other users, book tables together and split the costs.
The success of some clubs in the industry also forces other venues to up their game.
Companies such as Zuzor offer interactive displays, which transforms the walls into enthralling light shows with clubbers copied by cartoon counterparts as they unleash their dance moves.
Apart from the dance floor, companies like TableFX, spinTouch and Touch Magix are providing interactive bars and tabletops that respond to touch. So clubbers spot a dragonfly perched on their hands, digital silhouettes gazing back at them or colourful waves caused by placing down their bottle.Such technology-driven ideas, not to mention all those yet to make their debut, offers hopes of a new age for nightclubs and indeed the entire nightlife industry.
We’re already seeing innovative changes in the ways which promoters and venues find their clientele and eye-catching technology is already adding a captivating new visual element to the venues themselves. And I’m confident that we’ll be able to reverse the current trend, usher in a clubbing renaissance and see new generations of people dancing into the early hours.