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COMPETITIVE SOCIALISING: AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO SPEND YOUR NIGHT

POSTED ON September 20th


UK nightclubs have faced considerable pressure in recent years due to the number of clubs almost halving, as numbers have fallen from 3,144 in 2005 to 1,733 in 2015 (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)). The millennial generation, typically aged 18-35, appear to be less inclined to spend their evenings at a club venue, instead opting for alternative entertainment. So, why is this interest in nightlife changing? Rachel Stern of Colliers International’s theorises that “Customers are increasingly looking for something different to do, rather than just go out for meals or to the cinema”. In addition, 1 in 5 adults in the UK do not drink at all, meaning that a standard night out to a bar or club would no longer be satisfactory to a growing number of the population.  To conclude simply, the millennial generation are searching for entertainment for which they feel it is more worthwhile for them to spend their time, and their money.

What is competitive socialising?

This demand for new, innovative forms of entertainment has established ’competitive socialising’ as an emerging part of the industry. The concept of competitive socialising is based upon the combination of socialising and competition, typically within the environment of a bar, or a club. Within the UK, there have been many permanent and ‘pop-up’ activity-style bars and clubs, with different types of competitive activities ranging from mini golf to darts. In 2014, The Institute of Competitive Socialising found success with its group of pop-up golf venues, named Swingers, in London. Despite being initially open for 6 months, over 90,000 Londoners visited the adults-only venue to play golf and to eat and drink socially with friends. Swingers is now a permanent venue in London, and various mini golf-inspired chains have opened across the country as well. Matt Grech-Smith, co-founder of Swingers, explains that competitive socialising is not wholly targeted towards Millennials. “Our main age group is 25 to 50 – people with quite a bit of money who like to buy nice wines and cocktails,” he says, “but it’s not limited to that age group – we hosted an 80th birthday recently. It is an experience that speaks to everybody”.

Similarly, Bounce, a cocktail bar and restaurant combined with table tennis tables, already has 2 venues in London and one in Chicago and plans to open 20 more permanent venues by 2020.  Adam Breeden, CEO and founder of Bounce, states: “Being at the forefront of the social entertainment industry for many years means we can now encompass a greater range of concepts in different territories. Now is the time to leverage our extensive experience to bring to market more concepts within this fast-growing category as well as embark on a more ambitious roll-out plan.” Breeden is also the co-founder of All Star Lanes, a bowling alley which distinguishes itself as “boutique bowling” with food and cocktails, and Flight Club, a social darts-bar hybrid.

How Miles Smith can help you

It is vital that you understand the changing climate your nightlife, leisure and entertainment client’s are operating in and are able to adapt to their requirements and provide tailored insurance solutions to meet their needs. Miles Smith London Market Broking provides insurance schemes which cater for the evolving and developing nightlife, leisure and entertainment industries.
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