Created by two men with almost 60 years of combined industry experience, ShowClub VIP is an automated software/hardware system that’s designed to, among several other things, supplement a club DJ.
In the March issue of ED Magazine’s cover story, its co-founders Heiko Langrehr and Jeff McClelland explain how ShowClub VIP saves clubs money with a product that’s as easy to navigate as Netflix.
Revolutionary technology is sweeping through gentlemen’s clubs across America, creating a new dynamic that can save owners and managers money and improve quality for clubs across the board. Digital automation may be common these days in the retail and service industries, but for it to show itself in gentlemen’s clubs is truly a game changer. Through ShowClub VIP, gentlemen’s club operators can utilize a transformation that only technological progress can deliver.
The power behind ShowClub VIP isn’t just in what it can do—which we’ll get to—it comes from the minds behind its success. ShowClub VIP’s Heiko Langrehr and Jeff McClelland have nearly 60 combined years in the club industry. Heiko’s roots go back to his days as a DJ in the mid-‘80s in Europe, while Jeff has been operating his club, Ten’s Showclub in Tucson, for 29 years. The fruits of their partnership have manifested themselves in the capabilities of their product and the quality of service they provide for customers.
What exactly is that product? ShowClub VIP is a non web-based, innovative operations management system that is readily customized to individual clubs. The strategy behind ShowClub VIP, which was developed over a decade ago, is a management product designed by club owners, for club owners. This automated software system promises to improve costs and accounting inefficiencies.
But there’s so much more to the system than just being an automated DJ. It provides support to management through integrated features that can clock employee hours, store data, collect money, track each entertainer’s performance, and distribute funny money with a unique barcode on each bill to protect against fraud. And ShowClub already has one of the biggest names in the industry—Deja Vu/Hustler—willing to speak on its behalf.
“ShowClub VIP is the superior DJ system,” says Deja Vu Services’ President & CEO, Jason Mohney. “It can do so much and it really keeps the whole operation a little more organized. Heiko and his team can do customizing as well, so ShowClub VIP will operate seamlessly in any business. As an added bonus, Heiko can tune up your total sound and lighting to bring your guest experience to the top level.”
“My favorite part of the ShowClub VIP system is my ability to control the music, energy, and vibe of dozens of clubs right from my cell phone,” adds Deja Vu Services’ Operations Director, Ryan Carlson. “With ShowClub, we have 100 percent control of what goes in the song library at each club (which is identical across the country now), and that makes the club experience more enjoyable for all guests, which generates more revenue for the locations. Our nighttime DJs now don’t have to focus on building playlists. Instead, they can focus on running the show, table touching, and getting involved on the floor and on stage.”
Just how far is (Heiko) willing to go for his clients? When a massive power failure brought ShowClub’s system down at a club in New Orleans during the peak of storm season, Heiko was on a plane from Tucson within two hours that day to fix everything. His dedicated, hands-on approach is just part of what defines ShowClub VIP’s approach to customer support. Their 24-hour customer-service policy ensures that someone is able to assist any client, and contracted hardware teams are lined up and ready at a moment’s notice.
It’s important to note that ShowClub VIP isn’t only for large, big-money clubs and club chains. Instead, as Heiko explains, it’s designed for clubs of literally any size or capacity. And just because it features advanced technology, that doesn’t mean it’s hard to operate. Heiko notes that ShowClub VIP’s user interface is as simple as using Netflix, and its simplicity means less time training how to use it.
“ShowClub VIP has been extremely easy to use and learn,” Carlson adds. “The training curve is about 20 minutes, and if you have teams in place with positive attitudes, they will jump on board immediately because they will see how much better the guest’s experience is. This is as true for a club that does $15,000 per week as it is a club that does $1,000,000 per week.”
VIP customer service
Radical innovation is coming whether people want to embrace it or not, but the key to selling new technology is ensuring that it works properly—and isn’t a massive headache to install, learn and operate. After all, anything ‘new’ is typically met with skepticism, especially in the gentlemen’s club industry.
Others have attempted to create a similar product, but co-founder Jeff feels as if ShowClub VIP has a leg up on their competition. “Some others may offer the software, but you have to go out and buy all the computer equipment and put it all together,” he says. “So at the end of the day it becomes a daunting task for somebody who’s not a computer expert.”
“We sell everything with our system, so we know it all works properly together,” Heiko adds, noting that ShowClub’s is a turnkey system. “We’re not going to ask a future customer of ours to get a shopping list and try to pull equipment together. If that equipment fails, the perception will be that our system failed. Turnkey means getting everything from us; software, support, the on-site installation and on-site training.”
“ShowClub VIP is the superior DJ system. It can do so much and it really keeps the whole operation a little more organized. Heiko and his team can do customizing as well, so ShowClub VIP will operate seamlessly in any business. As an added bonus, Heiko can tune up your total sound and lighting to bring your guest experience to the top level.” – Deja Vu Services’ President & CEO, Jason Mohney
Another advantage that Heiko possesses is his degree in electrical engineering and how-to knowledge of the system. On top of his academic background, Heiko’s years of experience from his days running a sound and lighting company provide him with a unique set of skills. He isn’t just a guy sitting on the sidelines overseeing profits at the expense of someone else’s work.
Just how far is he willing to go for his clients? When a massive power failure brought ShowClub’s system down at a club in New Orleans during the peak of storm season, Heiko was on a plane from Tucson within two hours that day to fix everything. His dedicated, hands-on approach is just part of what defines ShowClub VIP’s approach to customer support. Their 24-hour customer-service policy ensures that someone is able to assist any client, and contracted hardware teams are lined up and ready at a moment’s notice.
This sounds great—but how does it actually SOUND?
ShowClub’s second-highest expense is its voice-over production department (after coding). Maybe that’s why ShowClub VIP’s automated DJ sneaks its way past even a trained ear, for its ability to be as an authentic as on-site jock.
Jeff tells the story of a veteran DJ who was caught off guard while visiting his club. “He says, ‘hey man, this is a great mix of music, who is in the booth? He wanted to go introduce himself, and I kind of chuckle to him and I said, ‘Well listen for a little while. And then you tell me what you think of them then.” Fifteen minutes later, Jeff returned and the DJ was still impressed. ‘I said, come here, I’m gonna show you where he is.’ I walked him up to the touch screen and I said, ‘This is it.’ He said, ‘No way — not possible.’”
When asked how their product sounds as good as it does, Heiko is quick to note that the ShowClub team takes pride in their studio production assets. “We have voiceover artists who record everything in sound studios, then it goes into post production, then it goes into editing, and only then does it get sent out to the clubs,” he says. “So it’s quite a process, and that process doesn’t end until the end result is perfect.”
Also, at a manager’s discretion, the automated DJ announcements can be changed to a different voice-over artist to create the illusion of multiple DJs working on separate shifts. Any time a manager desires a new promotion to be added onto ShowClub VIP, it can be put into the system seamlessly.
“The idea was to offer management every tool possible to control the energy and party in their room, while offering a consistent, high-quality and reliable means of advertising to the club patrons,” says Jeff. “The system will play advertisements in the rotation with the slide of a finger and will accurately deliver that ad every time without fail.”
“My club is a small club, so I was nervous that this was a luxury that we couldn’t afford. Trust me when I say, being a small club makes this purchase as close to a slam dunk as you’ll ever get. The install was seamless, Heiko was on time and very professional. ShowClub is really a step above the rest. The entertainers love the music selection and most of all the intro and outros that honestly sound like someone is in the booth. This might be the best decision I’ve made.” – Alex Alexopoulos, owner of Club Alex’s in Stoughton, Massachusetts.
And if the owner or another staff member wants to throw themselves into the mix? “ShowClub addresses that specific need by offering a wireless microphone, so whoever is emceeing the party can jump on the mic for any impromptu addition to the club’s entertainment and show,” Heiko adds.
The future of the business?
Technology is proceeding forward at an unprecedented rate in the digital age. Perhaps soon, even dancers may be competing with robotic AI entertainers, but Heiko claims that’s for another generation to handle. But for ShowClub VIP, the future is now. They firmly believe they have a product that puts the power back into the hands of club operators with consistency and quality. Best of all, it boasts the ability to do all of this without compromising what Jeff and Heiko call the “heart” of the club atmosphere—the party.
“We really looked at this business to see how can we tie everything together to make a gentlemen’s club run a lot more efficiently,” says Heiko. “ShowClub VIP is the DJ. ShowClub VIP is HR. ShowClub VIP is funny money. ShowClub VIP is marketing. We have all kinds of different avenues addressed in ShowClub VIP and they all work with each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re a big club or a small club, you’re getting everything you need to run your ‘show’ from us.”
But don’t just take Heiko and Jeff’s words for it. Their customers are happy to sing ShowClub VIP’s praises.
“My club is a small club, so I was nervous that this was a luxury that we couldn’t afford,” says Alex Alexopoulos, owner of Club Alex’s in Stoughton, Massachusetts. “Trust me when I say, being a small club makes this purchase as close to a slam dunk as you’ll ever get. The install was seamless, Heiko was on time and very professional. ShowClub is really a step above the rest. The entertainers love the music selection and most of all the intro and outros that honestly sound like someone is in the booth. This might be the best decision I’ve made. It fits in so well with where the industry is heading, and I’m excited to see where this system takes us.”
For more information on ShowClub VIP, call (888) 250-4718 or visit ShowClubVIP.com.