Ultra Bar - Transforming An Ultra Event Venue




Challenge
A busy and fabulous Downtown DC nightclub wants to reinvent itself to attract daytime business and social events. How do you approach an entirely new clientele and convince them to host their corporate functions in this space?

Insight
The owners of Ultra Bar have a fantastic space. The space consists of 5 levels, 5 bars, and 4 DJ booths – each with its own individual design and event capabilities.

Yet by operating strictly as a nightclub – Ultra Bar was dark and dormant during its off hours – which were quite extensive as the usual hours of operation were only Thursday through Saturday nights. Though this provided a healthy revenue stream with an established customer base, it also resulted in many hours of lost revenue opportunities every week.

Though opening the space up during additional hours for corporate and social events had previously been optioned – corporate meeting planners were not necessarily drawn to the space, despite its bountiful opportunities.

Action
Ultra Bar’s website featured the typical highlights of an evening on the town – nightly drink specials, photos of massive parties and beautiful attendees. Though the interior of the space was well highlighted, there was no particular section that focused on the wants and needs of corporate meeting planners.

The first order of business was to create a sister site – www.UltraBarEvents.com - to cater to the meeting planning industry and other clients looking for a large and unique venue for events of all kinds. The site was heavily researched, and highly optimized to allow space seekers to locate the information quickly and easily.

Next, we leveraged relationships with an award winning catering company, R & R Catering to form an exclusive partnership. A specialized menu for business events and corporate functions was established, and posted on the new site.

To further illustrate the versatility of Ultra Bar as a venue for all event types –an extensive photo shoot was arranged. By utilizing a wide variety of lighting, décor and accessories, each level of Ultra Bar was turned into a different event – theatre, corporate meeting, holiday banquet, product launch party, and more. The 12-hour photo shoot included capturing the space in as many different looks and themes as possible, highlighting the chameleon like effect the space incurred.

In conjunction with finalized pictures of the space, floor plans were also included on the site. This enabled meeting planners to have the specs they needed for each level right at their fingertips. Additional notes regarding lighting capacity and other audio-visual equipment were included as well.

Another way in which we assisted the public in visualizing Ultra Bar as more than just a nightclub for an evening on the town was to call upon the history of the building itself. Our research uncovered the illustrious past of the space – from its construction in the 1920’s it has housed a wide variety of businesses. At one time it was home to Columbia National Bank and a seminary before its current incarnation as one of DC’s finest clubs.

Following the launch of the new site, www.UltraBarEvents.com - an open house was held. 600 of Washington’s most elite meeting planners were invited to tour the venue, sample the food and beverages and gather information on its upcoming reinvention.

Success
The success of Traci Allen Inc.’s efforts was immediate and measurable. Off hour events increased by 400% in the first three months of scheduling the open house and the website launch.

Additionally, an entirely new level of clientele was secured to include corporate bookings from Accenture and Lufthansa, and special events such as an Inaugural Brunch honoring President Obama.