“In New Orleans, we have our own definition of celebrity.” As New Orleanians, we’re more interested in the Trombone Shortys than we are the Lenny Kravitzes.
We define the term celebrity in a different way. This alternate definition creates value for the “traditional celebrity” in that it offers up a sort of privacy they cannot experience in any other city. In New Orleans, we have an uncanny ability to include outsiders as part of the family. We approach celebrities, not to ask for an autograph, but to buy them a drink or spark up a conversation.
Celebrities love coming to New Orleans. They visit the Big Easy to live the easy life. They enjoy the most diverse, delectable and often decadent cuisine in the nation from Camellia Grill to Galatoire’s. They’re immersed in a stimulating, vibrant nightlife environment known for its colorful characters and legendary cocktails from Ms. Mae’s to Pat O’Brien’s to Republic. And from Tipitina’s to the Maple Leaf to Jackson Square, they experience a rich musical and cultural heritage unique to the city of New Orleans. It is the total package.
These activities, packaged with some Southern hospitality, create memorable experiences and keep celebs coming back to the city.
“There is no such thing as overdressed!” A good first impression via a dapper appearance makes a huge difference. People always fret about what to wear and most of their hang-ups lie in not wanting to be “too overdressed.” Regardless of whether you’re going to Frenchmen Street for a Belgian beer at d.b.a. or to the CBD’s loa for an absinthe tasting, it never hurts to be dressed up. You can always take a jacket off, roll the sleeves up or have a shot of Jack Daniels to loosen the look.
“It’s about the experience.” As the entertainment industry evolves in a post-Katrina New Orleans, so do consumer tastes and trends. Today, guests are looking for more than just drink specials (still cheaper to drink at home) or good food (with the Food Network, we’re all cooks). Instead, the experience is really the product. Whether it’s through creative décor, enthusiastic staff or inventive cocktails, venue owners must transform their establishments to create an experience. Venues become art spaces thinly veiled as bars and restaurants.
“Introduce yourself!” As we move further into a technological age and communicate mostly through e-mail, text messages and social networking sites, human interaction has become less frequent. As such, our interpersonal communication skills, particularly in social settings, have eroded. People now are intimidated to talk to others in person. But this is New Orleans, a town built on personality and by characters, and so in this arena we have a leg up on the rest of the world. We can talk to and entertain anyone. So, if you’re nervous about approaching the person at the end of the bar, keep in mind that he or she is more approachable than you think. Just introduce yourself! Trust me. I’ve seen it done successfully a million times by now.
“Laugh now, cry later.” During a tough economy, nightclubs and bars remain the most attractive and affordable entertainment option for consumers. In times like these, consumers will watch the Saints at home on high-definition television. They will cook their own meals and dine at home. But the nightlife experience cannot be duplicated at home (unless you are willing to invite hundreds of people you don’t really know to your house and your neighbors are OK with your blaring Michael Jackson and Madonna until 2 or 3 a.m.). People inherently need to be social and the experiences and sensations derived from bars and nightclubs cannot be found anywhere else. So don’t fret about the $40 you spent on cocktails last night. You still saved $100 on your Saints ticket and $75 on dinner.