June 2019

Alumni Events that will bring Everyone Home

Alumni events are a great way to reconnect with your old crew. We can help!

If you’ve been out of college for years, you know how difficult it can be to get everybody in the old crew back in one place for a good time. After all, it’s hard enough just to stay in touch. Most of your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters have moved away for work. Even the ones who stuck around are often too busy with their new kids to make frequent get-togethers possible. It’s hard enough to get a few people together in the same room for brunch, let alone your entire pledge class back together for a major event! So what are you supposed to do if you find yourself in charge of herding dozens—if not hundreds—of wayward alumni for that obligatory 5- or 10-year reunion? What kind of alumni events can you plan that can entice everybody to commit the time, energy, and money to show up? 

Alumni events… it all starts with preparation

Let’s face it: if you’re going to pull this off the right way, a rent-a-DJ at a depressing hotel conference room just isn’t going to cut it. Neither is some stuffy gala affair at an art museum. You don’t just want to get back together to catch up with everyone—you want to relive the epic party memories that defined your glory years! For that, you’ll need a proper venue. And if you’re looking for something in downtown Minneapolis, there’s no better place than here at The Exchange and Alibi Lounge. If you have a large group, consider booking The Exchange’s 7,200-square-foot nightclub space: we’ve got two full bars and a large dance floor for a night full of hard partying to the music of some of the best-known DJs in the country—all blasting on our state-of-the-art Funktion-one EVO sound equipment.

An epic reunion

It’s the perfect spot to pretend for a weekend that you are back in your college heyday years when you and your brothers or sisters used to party like there was no tomorrow. And even if you only manage to wrangle together a smaller group for your legendary reunion bash, you can still hit up The Exchange to mingle with the rest of the party-goers, buy tickets in advance for one of our many scheduled events, or reserve exclusive VIP seating where your group can enjoy private bottle service to ensure your special night feels as special as it should.

But The Exchange isn’t just a great venue for Greek life reunions. Are you a member of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association looking to put together a mixer for your organization? Part of a graduate student association looking to put together a meet-and-greet for new department members? A former cheerleader or member of the marching band? Former athlete? Go big and give us a shot! What better way to catch up with your old U of M teammates in style than with an official alumni reunion weekend full of great drinks and music right here in the heart of Minneapolis? Ski-U-Mah!

Partying is not your cup of tea? Don’t worry!

Of course, the intense nightclub energy of The Exchange might not be appropriate for every kind of event. If you’re thinking that you need something more low-key but just as high-end, the Alibi Lounge is the perfect fit. This smaller sister space to The Exchange is an elegant, high-class parlor where you and your friends, co-workers, fraternity brothers, or colleagues can sit comfortably and enjoy each other’s conversation as you sip on our delicious hand-crafted cocktails.

Our cozy leather couches are a perfect place to catch up with your old friends for hours while soaking up the glitz of the lounge. The atmosphere of the Alibi will let you feel like you are going big without having to go crazy on the dance floor. Even if your days of frat row raging are over, you can still party in a way that suits young professionals—with style and class. And don’t worry: even if you have a larger party, the Alibi Lounge can still work for you. It can accommodate up to 125 guests—that’s still a pretty huge reunion party! 

You don’t have to take our word for all this, though. Check out theexchangempls on Instagram to see people partying at The Exchange and Alibi Lounge every week. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. We’ll be happy to work with you to tailor an experience in either space that checks all the boxes for your unique reunion. Book your event with us today so you can come to make memories that more than live up to the ones you made in college! 


Be a VIP with Bottle Service at The Exchange

If you are a savvy party animal, you probably already know what bottle service is. But if you’re planning on becoming one, you’re in luck—today we are breaking down all the benefits of bottle service. We will show you how it works, and explore a few hacks from the party elite. At last, we will explain why bottle service is among the hottest bar trends today. And if you are on the other side of the bar, we will help you raise the bar so you can provide your guests with an impeccable VIP experience and the perfect night out. Learn from the best!

The first thing you need to know is that while it’s called “bottle service,” it’s not just about a bottle. It’s also about exclusive seating and other perks that make you or your guests feel like a VIP. Something else to keep in mind is that bottle service and “table service” are different things altogether.

Bottle service vs. table service

First off, table service is a specialty of restaurants, while bottle service is a trend from the world of high-end nightclubs. When it comes to table service, the dining experience is led by the server. The server is there to take food and drink orders, relay those order accurately to the kitchen staff, and finally to deliver the food when it’s ready. The guests don’t need to put in any effort; they can just sit and enjoy the pampering. Bottle service, on the other hand, is taking this kind of pampering to a completely different level.


One of the main perks of bottle service is that you get to skip waiting in lines. Rather than wading through the loud crowds at the edge of the bar, you’ll be sitting comfortably in that roped off the area you always see in movies—you know, that part that looks like it must be reserved months and months in advance. Here you get a unique chance to party in a private area with drinks right there exactly when you want them. And exactly how you want them, too: with bottle service, you are completely in charge of how your drinks are prepared because you can prepare them yourself.

You won’t be left completely to your own devices though, so don’t worry if you’re no mixologist. You will still have your own dedicated service assistant who will do everything from keeping your inventory stocked to helping your prepare that next round of celebratory shots for your party. Bottle service buckets usually contain everything you need to craft the best cocktails. You and your friends will be able to enjoy a wide selection of premium liquor, mixers, and garnishes. And if it’s not in the bucket, you can always ask!

Marketing for bottle service

Las Vegas pioneered bottle service, but now bars and nightclubs across the world are buying into this growing trend. What bars and clubs are discovering is that bottle service is a great way to more directly connect with their loyal customers. It is also an opportunity for them to expand business by attracting new customers who are looking for more than the average bar or club experience. Consider making VIP tables and small seating areas become your establishment’s little oases of awesomeness because both you and your guests could be having the time of your lives!

But do you really need bottle service for your club? Is it worth the money and effort to provide it for your customers? It might seem risky to you to provide a service that for a lot of patrons might be a once in a lifetime type experience, after all. How often will your customers use it? Will it make you money? While there are a lot of variables involved, there are a few things to keep in mind.

What is the perfect equation for bottle service?

Bottle service is often priced using the minimum spend method. What this means is that each table reservation is committed to spending a predetermined amount of money for the reservation. This protects you as an owner because you be guaranteed a certain amount of money every time the service is used. This will help you manage labor and inventory costs, as well as help you minimize risk.


Another factor involved here is, of course, the time of day and week you are planning to offer these services. Your club is more than likely far more crowded on the weekend, so you might think about only offering bottle services then. To boost interest, you could consider hosting a celebrity or booking a popular band—maybe even offering a meet-and-greet session with these VIPs as a premium addition to your bottle service. You might be surprised by how many customers would be willing to shell out thousands of dollars for this kind of opportunity, allowing you to easily cover your investment and profit handsomely.

More security…

One thing to keep in mind, though… You will probably need to make some changes to the way you run security at your club if you implement bottle service. VIP areas are more private parts of your establishment. It is possible that certain unpleasant situations with intoxicated guests might get out of hand before security at the door, for example, has seen that anything is amiss. Consider having someone with an eye on your VIP areas to avoid that rare scenario when someone stumbles into a roped-off section where they’re not welcome!

Once again – advertise!

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of marketing. Advertise your hot new events via flyers, maintain your social media presence with event posts and updates. Create a special offer to generate the interest you might not otherwise receive. For example, consider giving special benefits to customers who have reserved your VIP space for a bachelor or bachelorette party.


These large groups often pool together to book a place where they will spend a lot of money on the bride or groom to be. So when they’re there, don’t waste the opportunity to make your mark on them. Offer them discounts, or simply add that complimentary bottle or your finest to their bucket. You can bet they’ll remember this kind of treatment and will keep your club in mind when it is time for their own party. It’s no secret that your guests want to feel wanted and special, so offer them something they will remember. It will do wonders for your venue.

Final thoughts

Bottle service is an awesome way to obtain loyal customers through a VIP service. It doesn’t require much effort or risk. All it really amounts to is having your employees changing the side of the bar they’re on… And it usually ends up offering a really interesting and entertaining experience for everyone in attendance.

Now that you’re an expert in Bottle Service 101, we are pleased to inform you that we here at The Exchange are having a BOGO offer all summer long on our bottle service! So if you still don’t get the hype, come see us. We can show you how it works, first hand.



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