I am not joking but it somehow seems like everyone in Cairo is now an expert about running clubs and bars.
No joke. You walk into a bar or club or something and it seems that everyone is willing to offer advice and criticism about how the place or the night could be better. Obviously the most common comments are the “oh, they should only target the older crowd” or “they should’ve gotten this DJ, he would bring a great crowd”
So since every one is putting in their weight to run a successful club/bar in Egypt, Fishie thought why the heck not join the game.
Before we go further into these tips, this is not about any one club existing specific, this is actually about what if fishie is doing ITS own hypothetical club.
Tip #1: Screw the Egyptian clientele. They are not loyal customers, they shift when the next new thing opens, so stick to the foreigners. How do we get that, well hire a PR person who can go contact the embassies. This PR person should be a person who is from outside the scene, as the foreigners are not within the scene in the first place.
Tip #2: Obviously the foreigners would amount to only so much of your clientele, so you do eventually have to depend on Egyptians. Egyptians like many other races on this earth, require constant stimuli. But they require it much more than others. So changing the color scheme of our club every season (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring), keeping the club the dynamic, ever changing, every evolving. Keeping them constantly stimulated, constantly wanting ever more.
Tip #3: Guilty pleasures. Everyone has a guilty pleasure, play on it. For us, we pretend to be all cool and westernized and shit, but deep down we all love the Arabic beat, as long as it is not over abused.
Tip #4: There is a new generations of Egyptians emerging who are musically educated, their age range is between 20-26, they know their DJs by name, they know the difference between what DEEP house is and TECH house is (something that I honestly don’t know). If you want to attract this new generation what you need is to host a DJ who can speak their language.
Tip #5: When using marketing channels like CairoGossip and others, do note we are a COMMUNICATION channel, i.e. our job is to get the message that you want delivered to the audience, however it is the job of the club owner to ensure that this message is sexy, and by the message I obviously mean the night that is being organized. Let me give you an example, getting a DJ who played the other night in some other club and saying its big news that he is playing in yours on a certain night isn’t sexy enough. Re-wording with hot words, etc, is just dressing it up and unfortunately for us people are smart to see beyond the dressing up, so we need to add more meat to our nights. So other than getting the DJ, having offers on the drinks, offers on the bouchon, getting other live entertainment would go a long way.
Tip #6: Entertainment, let’s start with the DJs. Egypt has now became a little bit more sophisticated where you have more than 20 really good local DJs who can deliver good sounds. Mix that with weekly international DJs coming in for certain club nights. The Egyptian outgoing person has gotten used to it, so to go the next step, its no longer about the dj. DON’T GET ME WRONG THE DJ is important. BUT IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT THE DJ. It is also about what comes along with the DJ. A live violinist, a percussion show, a certain visual effect… and oh of course how can I forget the most important element… CUSTOMER SERVICE!
Tip #7 Find your niche. Egypt’s nightlife has became very competitive; it is no longer about one or two clubs being on top. No, now there is more than one venue and more than one club to go to per night. Hell, a person has almost 4-5 choices to choose from on the weekend. So find your Niche and stick to it. For me for example, Fishie I love indie music, I love unplugged music, I would personally organize a night that revolves around that theme, I know at first it wouldn’t have much of a crowd, but I know if I stick to it, invest effort into it, that it would echo across the scene and the people who actually like minded like me would come to this night.
Tip #8: Building on tip 7, do not be a follower, be a leader. Create something new, something that hasn’t been done before and avoid the recycling that happens in Egypt, i.e. using a club night done somewhere else and calling it something else and expect the crowd to come to it. And when you create this new theme, this new night, know that it might start off a little rocky and might not have a lot of people in the beginning. Don’t be afraid and ditch it quickly, if you truly believe in it, then make sure those handful of people who came to it are having fun. Stick to it and eventually you will find more people hearing about it and coming to it.
Tip #9: This for me is probably the most important point, ensure that the venue has a persona. If I had my own club I would have ensured regardless of what different theme nights I have had created, regardless of what I am doing in the club, that through it out it all the club would have a persona and would stick to it. For example if the club persona is to be luxurious I would keep playing on that… but me being fishie, probably my club would have a playful persona.
At the end of the day, these are Fishie’s 9 Tips, but I never owned or managed a club, so I really don’t know what is best. Along with everyone else talking bullshit on the scene, I have no experience whatsoever in managing a club. Our money is not invested in it, so we can talk all we want, but when push comes to shove, do our words really matter?