Ideas for Theme Night Events for Pubs

Office workers toasting beers at a pub.
Office workers toasting beers at a pub. (Image: nyul/iStock/Getty Images)

Pubs represent refuges from daily grinds. Patrons forget about looming workplace deadlines, misbehaving children and escalating bills -- at least temporarily. Creating a vibrant social scene is essential to attracting new customers and keeping regulars interested. Hosting theme night events can build buzz for your brand, while distinguishing it from other pubs, bars and taverns in your area.

Twisted Calendar Events

Who says that Halloween and Oktoberfest should stay confined to October? Celebrating events during odd months adds flair and makes their real-world arrival even more exciting. Host Christmas in July and hold ugly sweater, tree decorating and beer cap ornament-making contests. Combine holidays into creative mashups such as “Valenween”, which embraces elements of Valentine’s Day and Halloween.

Costume Events

Dressing up can help patrons shed convention and express their creativity. Invite guests to “Big Star Costume Ball," and encourage them to arrive at the pub dressed as their favorite big and small screen personalities. Dedicating nights to iconic or trending personalities can ensure variety and attract lookalikes from surrounding areas. Clever movie-based costume theme nights can entice a 90s-loving patron to strut her stuff as Elle Woods from “Clueless” or a secret “Star Wars” Fan to make his first public appearance in stormtrooper garb. Award prizes for creativity and likeness. Serving coordinating food and drink also can boost sales. “James Bond” Night needs Martinis. “Sex and the City” night needs Cosmos.

Competitive Events

Leave wet-shirt contests and beer pong to college bars. Pub patrons expect and deserve more than lowbrow theme night events. Choose games that require minimal setup and that can be easily adapted to group or tournament style play. Rapid-fire rounds of Jenga, Uno, or Connect Four will spark interest as pub patrons flex their reasoning abilities. So will traditional games such as pool and darts. Modify classic games to meet the unique needs of your pub. For example, pubs with trivia lovers can make original pub trivia game questions based on local likes and landmarks.

Niche Events

Pubs should strive to meet the needs of their followings. Repeat business is how you stay in business. Investing in your base keeps them loyal. Pubs in towns with active sports fan bases should incorporate jersey nights into their list of ongoing themes. Do the folks in your town flock to nearby art galleries? Sell works by local artists by displaying them on your walls with discreet labels to indicate their prices. Pubs in towns with avid book lovers should add book signings to their list. Fully satisfying your patrons means they are less likely to frequent your competition.

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