Keeping a business going means always thinking of ways to get customers in the door. With many other options for bars, an owner still needs to be thinking of creative bar promotion ideas to drive customers in the door.
20 Examples of Bar Events You Can Host in 2020
Below is a collection of different events that a bar owner can host that can help bring customers on the days when the bar isn’t regularly busy.
1. Trivia Night
Trivia nights are a great way to bring customers into a bar. Having a dedicated night for trivia will have customers planning their week around attending.
Themed trivia nights are a big hit. Popular cult shows like The Office, Friends, New Girl, or Game of Thrones are sure to bring fans of shows willing to prove they know the most about their favorite shows.
A trivia league will keep the excitement going for several weeks. Teams that attend every week can have a running score kept and at the end of a set time – a month, a season, a year, – the team with the most points will win a grand prize. Smaller prizes, like $5 or $10 gift cards, are great prizes for weekly winners.
Additional Resource: How to Host a Trivia Night
2. Bar Olympics
Nothing makes drinking more fun than competition. A Bar Olympics event allows patrons to relive their party days of running the beer pong table or teaming up to play flip cup.
Encourage groups to form a team, pick a country, and show their spirit as they compete in bar games from Jenga, Shuffleboard, Cornhole, and more.
3. Charity Fundraisers
Everyone is looking to support a good cause. If customers can help a charity while enjoying a beer, everyone wins.
Charities are continually looking for fundraising events. A bar owner can contact various charities to see if they’re interested in hosting an event. Non-profits have large followings that they can reach out to on social media, email, and phone calls to invite to the fundraising event.
4. Bar Crawl Stop
If the bar is in a popular spot, it might be a good stop for a bar crawl. Bar crawls bring patrons to bars just by having them be on the stop list. Connecting with other bars in the area will help make sure all stops align on the bar crawl schedule.
5. Singles Night
A large population of bar-goers is single customers. These customers go out in the hopes of meeting a potential partner. Hosting a singles night, and provide them with an opportunity to meet others with the same goal.
At a lock and key event, attendees are given a lock or a key and told to find their match. The matching is an excuse to have people mingle and meet one another.
Many singles games can get customers mixing and meeting one another while having a drink at the bar.
6. Couples Night
A couples night is like a singles night but for those that are already romantically attached. Couples games, like a faux dating show, or two-for-one specials, are perfect for couples to get a night out who may not usually get the opportunity.
7. Business Networking
Professionals are continuously looking to meet others in their industries. A business networking night is an opportunity to bring professionals in to mingle.
Targeting specific demographics like young professionals or industries like finance or advertising will help draw a crowd. Professional groups are often looking for locations to host their next networking event, and alcohol is nearly always included.
8. Theme Nights
Neon jumpsuits, high ponytails, and a heavy dose of Madonna. An ’80s night gets all the people excited. Switchout the clothes for flannel and grunge, and the ’90s are back.
Theme nights aren’t limited to decades. A Back to School night in September will bring everyone out wearing their first day of school clothes. A Great Gatsby night is the bee’s knees.
9. Sports League
Most bars already have dart boards or pool tables. Setting up a league around these events will help. Drive customers into the bar regularly.
Bars without games already can invest in corn hole or ladder ball sets to create their league. Beer pong is also a popular league event.
Namaste at the bar.
Alcohol isn’t the only thing that can loosen people up. Yoga and beer events let customers get a workout in before having a beer with their friends. Nothing is better after a workout than a cold brew.
11. Live Band
Many local music acts are looking for their big break. Customers can listen and dance to live music while seeing their friends.
If the bar wants to switch things up, the owner can try new genres of music. An acoustic performance will likely draw a different crowd than a rock band.
12. Sip and Canvas
Sip and Paint classes let customers go home with a piece of work that they made themselves. Many instructors will come to bars to teach these events on behalf of their organization.
Got a new brew on tap? Inviting customers to a tasting of the latest drinks will provide them with an exclusive VIP-type experience. In addition to this, a tasting is also an opportunity to try out different recipes that aren’t ready for the public.
14. Bar Education Class
Some enthusiasts are interested in the education of cocktails. Knowing how the different liquors interact with one another can help customers take their mixology to another level.
Different nights can have different themes. Some people are interested in the history of whiskey, while others might be more excited to learn about beer.
15. Sports Viewings
Is there a big game coming up? Maybe there’s a pay-per-view fight. Hosting an event around sports viewings can be an opportunity to pack the bar.
Having additional events like a chili cook-off can enhance the experience of the game. It’s essential to get into the spirit and remember that customers come to have fun.
16. Karaoke Night
Customers can put on a show and sing their favorite songs all night long. Liquid motivation can turn anyone into a superstar.
Karaoke DJs often travel to different bars with a speaker set up, but systems like TouchTunes make it easy for a bar to add a karaoke night to their weekly schedule.
17. Eating Contests
It’s no secret that Americans love to eat. There’s also a curiosity around who can eat the most. Whether it’s pie, hotdogs, or shrimp, somebody will be interested in competing to see if they can eat more than anyone else.
18. After Party
A big event needs a big celebration. Perhaps a famous musician had a concert, or a significant sports event just ended. If a bar is in the same area, it can serve as the after part headquarters for everyone that attended.
19. Celebrate Unique Holidays
A Google search for “What holiday is today?” will return whatever national holiday is currently being celebrated. There are unique holidays for every day of the year. A party for National Superhero Day (April 28) or National Selfie Day (June 21) will be sure to draw crowds.
20. Rally around your city
What’s going on in the city? Many cities have events calendars, and a bar that is involved in the community will have the support of the community. Hosting events related to the community will help the bar become a part of the city.
Additional Resources for Your Bar:
Start Serving Food in Your Bar – without a Kitchen
Increase time spent in your bar by serving a full food menu to your customers – at no cost.