1. If it isn’t already on your radar it should be: The 27th annual Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show surfs into town March 12-14 on a wave of booze, beer and—no doubt—hot new energy drinks at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Your badge gets you access to the convention floor where more than 600 exhibitors will be showing off their brands. Additionally, there are seminars, breakout sessions and back-of-house tours to get your creative juices flowing. NCBShow.com.
2. Of course, the real fun begins when the sun goes down … NC&B is known for its accompanying itinerary of insanely over-the-top parties, some of the best convention affairs this town will see all year. Not to be missed are the Kick-Off Party on March 12 in the Octavius Ballroom at Caesars Palace, and the Top 100 Party on March 13 in Marquee, hosted by Ne-Yo and Malibu Red. Purchase your Club Pass and Platinum Party tickets before March 9 to receive discounts at NCBShow.com.
3. Tao Group was the big winner in this year’s Nightclub & Bar Awards, with Marquee taking the awards for both Mega Club of the Year and Ongoing Promotion/Party/Event of the Year, and Tao winning both Nightclub of the Year and Single Promotion/Party/Event of the Year. Wynn Resorts also made a great showing with Encore Beach Club being named Dayclub of the Year and XS’ DJ Afrojack named Resident DJ of the Year.
4. On the convention floor, your badge also affords you access to the annual Shake It Up! cocktail competition and the $500 balloon drop as well as the Craftbrewer Pavilion and the Emerging Brands Pavilion.
5. Not officially part of the convention programming but well-timed is Speed Rack, a cocktail throw-down for women by women where speed and accuracy are key, and all proceeds benefit breast cancer research. The winner of the March 11 event, 3-7 p.m. at the Swingers Club in downtown’s Plaza Hotel, will move on the finals in New York. Speed-Rack.com.
6. Said to be “the world’s first pop-up speakeasy,” Social Mixology by BarMagic of Las Vegas celebrates three years of cutting-edge underground mixology with Blowout, a hybrid of cocktail culture and raucous private party, March 13 at the Royal House. BarMagic’s Tobin Ellis cautions that entry will be granted solely on the quality of your intricate, thoughtfully rendered, dramatic hairdo or creatively adorned baldpate. Join the fray at SocialMixologyVegas.com.
7. In the meantime, some special events will be popping up around the 2012 Universal Whisky Experience at Wynn (UniversalWhiskyExperience.com), including an intimate five-course Glenfiddich scotch pairing dinner March 1 at StripSteak ($80, in Mandalay Bay, 632-7414), a Casa Fuente Spirits Society members-only tasting of Glenfiddich’s rare and well-traveled Cask of Dreams on Feb. 29 (6-8 p.m., in the Forum Shops at Caesars, join the club at CasaFuenteSpiritsSociety.com), a six-course wine and cocktail paring dinner March 1-2 at Comme Ça that culminates with a glass of Rémy Martin Louis XIII ($495, in the Cosmopolitan, 698-7910), and a Samuel Adams Brew Master beer-pairing dinner March 2 at Lagasse’s Stadium ($55, in the Palazzo, 607-2664).