Bingo goes Bongo in Brisbane

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Bongo Bingo Article ImageIf you haven’t heard of Bongo’s Bingo, it is part rave, part bingo and a whole lot of fun! Co-founder Jonny Bongo launched the concept in 2015 and since then Bongo’s Bingo has travelled to Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, London and now across Australia.

DWS and CTA sent a team to investigate this new phenomenon for you to see if it is applicable to the club and hotel industry. We spent some time at the Tivoli, attending their recent event in Brisbane and it was definitely an experience!

We made our way to the historic Tivoli for the Brisbane debut and we weren’t disappointed. The music included everything from Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran to Cyndi Lauper and the Bee Gees. It didn’t take long for the sold-out crowd to get into the bingo-rave swing of things!  A trivia question was held at the end of each Bingo game, offering the opportunity for one punter to win via a lucky door ticket draw, if the ticket holder answers the question right – winner winner chicken dinner. Being shy is not an option as winners were invited up onto the stage to become fodder for the entertainment.

Victorious participants won everything from big cash prizes ($100 – $1000), to a jumping castle, plus some thoroughly ridiculous surprises on the night. In order to get the full value of the evening, you really do need to immerse yourself in the experience, popping in with the intent of holding a conversation just won’t work out when the table dancing starts. While not something you would attend every week, it certainly lends itself to a fun occasional night out.

The night we attended attracted a broad demographic, running the age gambit from the 20’s market through to Baby Boomers, groups of friends and colleagues who got all dressed up and a definitive crew of English and Irish who were already familiar with the European experience. All in all, a good mix of people enjoying a great night out.

With larger than life MCs calling out numbers, playing hands-in-the-air, dancing on tables and some healthy competition thrown in, it really is a great night out and a fantastic new spin on old favourite. If you are interested in seeing what a Bongo’s Bingo night looks like, then watch this video for a sneak peek!

Looking at the experience from a venue point of view, a scaled down version could quite quickly lose its appeal, as would hosting the same event every week/month. There is definitely potential for fundraising, or a novelty event, possibly even a themed, dress up party night (think Halloween, 80’s or even New Year’s Eve), i.e. once, maybe twice a year.

Whatever format you choose you would need to carefully consider your target market, are you looking to draw in a whole new demographic to expose your venue further to a different crowd, or perhaps you would encourage your existing demographic, reinvigorate your local market to discover you all over again. Possibly you could use the event to spice up an existing entertainment offering for your members and guests. Either way you may need to educate the crowd familiar with the event that dancing on the chairs and tables is not part of the thrill!

Space is important, the Tivoli has a 700 – 1500 pax capacity, pending configuration, and it was full! So, understanding the size of the room in relation to the numbers you can host, appropriate prizes, plus how this loud visual and audio entertainment event will impact on the rest of the venue, will be serious factors to review before considering a Bongo’s Bingo night in-house!

The Bongo’s Bingo crew have already promised to come back to Australia, so perhaps a live sitting before you consider hosting is worth a trip for you and the entertainment team on their next tour to help make up your mind.

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