An opportunity to provide quality entertainment awaits the proactive publican, with patrons actively searching for a venue to watch live sport on the big screen, live music and mid-week trivia.

Ways to entertain a customer at their local has taken grand strides in the last few years, with publicans reaching into their bag of tricks and pulling out events to satisfy any demographic. The need to provide a range of entertainment options has become even more paramount as restrictions generally continue to ease across the country.

A sports-crazed nation

2021 is shaping up to be a an exciting year sports-wise, with the NBL and NBA is already underway, AFL and NRL are kicking off shortly, Super netball is tipping off in May, the domestic and international cricket season is in full bloom with a T20 world cup scheduled later this year, not to mention all the days at the track. For all the rev heads out there, the MotoGP, V8 Supercars and Formula 1 are all gearing up to be thrill-seeking seasons.

The Aberdeen Hotel in Perth is already drawing in customers by hosting the biggest events the sporting world has to offer. By placing multiple viewing platforms throughout the venue, it allows patrons to watch a multitude of different matches unfold at once. For attracting customers in the post-COVID era, the Aberdeen’s entertainment and live sport viewing set-up is setting the benchmark.

Companies throughout Australia are joining together to enhance the live sports experience in venues. Last month, Foxtel joined with the MatchPint website and mobile app to help publicans communicate sport schedules and broadcast times to its customers.

For publicans, the app is developed to help increase attendance and communicate promotional deals to customers. Foxtel national manager – licensed venues Greg Bohlsen said nothing is more Australian than a beer at the pub with mates while watching live sport.

“Which is why Foxtel is delighted to be working with MatchPint and our venue partners to bring fans closer to the game… and the beer tap.”

“Getting more sports fans into pubs, more often is what we are all about and when you think of sport in a venue you think of Foxtel. We can’t wait to work with Foxtel’s customers across Australia to help connect them with fans looking for venues and help them market their week of sport in minutes,” Head of MatchPint Australia, Jonathan Richards added.

Live music hits the high notes

Another historically popular entertainment option for patrons is live music. As venues re-open many Australian artists are itching to get back on stage. The venue that meets this expectation or surpasses it, will bring in the crowds of all ages.

On the forefront of live music entertainment has been Sydney’s Botany View Hotel, which offers something for their patrons each night of the week. The Botany View’s rooftop area features a full cocktail bar and open-air seating and is home to a recently updated music entertainment area. It offers a holistic entertainment experience with the addition of DJs, karaoke, and trivia.

“The Botany View has a rich history of live music and almost all the staff who work here from management to bar staff to kitchen are musicians so it’s in the blood,” Botany View Hotel general manager Luke Reimann said.

“We recently completely upgraded our stages, sound gear, lighting and even invested in a couple of pianos to give the venue a much-needed boost in production value. We support young local talent like no other around plus the diversity of our live performances from jazz, alt country, blues, indie, electro makes us quite unique.”

Gallagher Hotels have also pushed the status quo for pub entertainment in Australia, offering a range of live music and a vast range of live sport viewing options for its customers. Gallagher Hotels’ Terrigal Hotel venue manager Trent Bridger said entertainment is crucial to enticing patrons to your venue, with different forms of entertainment drawing different crowds.

“That’s why it’s important to have different offerings. Music has been a massive part of the hospitality industry for years and will continue to be for many to come, whether it be rock, jazz, blues. Even DJs all have their own following.

“Different genres of entertainment work for different venues. Our entertainment caters for a broad age range, but our goal is to get a more mature market, one that is much more family-friendly.”

The Speakeasy Group operations manager Greg Sanderson added that his venues plan to capitalise on trending spikes in on-premise popularity by focusing on live music, targeting bigger group bookings.

“We’ve already seen a boost in booking sizes, but the return of live music from eased restrictions will be a big focus for our group going forward. Both our Nick and Nora locations in Sydney and Melbourne are going to be introducing live music for the first time in February.”

This article first featured in the March issue of Australian Hotelier. You can keep reading it below.

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