Shannon Dupont first started her career at the same time that the nightlife scene we know today was beginning to take shape. In this time, Shannon became the first ever female VIP host, and continued on to be directly involved in many of the most important nightclubs that have opened throughout the past decade. Dupont maintains an impeccable reputation amongst the industry and continues to be an important part of evolving our nightlife to bigger and better things.
JC: What were your original goals in the industry, and did you ever expect to have such longevity in customer development?
SD: My goals were just to work in the industry to pay off my college loans while I was pursuing a Master’s in Psychology. What I didn’t know at the time was how well my psychology training would help me advance so quickly in this industry; it helps with knowing how to work with people in nightlife.
JC: What is your secret for staying so passionate and on top of your game?
SD: I truly feel so blessed to have worked with such amazing people here in the industry, and, still after 13 years – I truly love what I do.
JC: What advice do you have to women newly entering the nightlife industry?
SD: If you work twice as hard as everyone else and stay focused, you will earn everyone’s respect. Most important advice I can give is that if you want to have a career in this amazing industry you have to find balance in your personal life.
EVOLVING VEGAS NIGHTLIFE.
JC: Over the past three years, I’ve noticed that many more women have joined management, customer development, and marketing roles within Las Vegas nightlife. Has the proverbial gender barrier been broken, or is that only really beginning?
SD: Over the past 3 years? I thought I broke that gender barrier back in 2000, when I became the first female host.
JC: How has the actual Las Vegas nightlife customer evolved over the past decade?
SD: Ten years ago, the nightclub customer flew under the radar. We never knew what he did for work or if they were married. We never announced their arrival in the club or how many bottles they bought. Today it’s definitely different, there are so many more options for the customer and everyone knows who they are and everything about them. It’s a much more competitive environment for that same customer and he has many more options today.
JC: You’ve been involved in the openings of some the most iconic Las Vegas clubs. In your opinion, what is necessary to a venue to thrive over and above others?
SD: The clubs are constantly evolving and the entertainment may change, but one thing that I have noticed never seems to change, and that all successful clubs have in common, is that the staff love their jobs and are always having fun. Fun is contagious and the customer will always come back.
JC: What emerging marketing and programming trends do you anticipate throughout the next few years?
SD: The nightclubs have become the new concert venue and the DJs have become the new rock star. You are going to see a lot more entertainment programming integrated into today’s modern nightclub. I believe you will be seeing this very soon.
JC: Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” recently announced his DJing schedule. What is your opinion on celebrities who occasionally book themselves as DJs? Should they be applauded for expanding their range, or are they really just disrespecting career entertainers?
SD: Today’s DJ does more than just play music. They entertain us as well. If people want to come see him entertain, more power to him.
JC: Are you able to discuss upcoming projects?
SD: I am very excited about my new project and will be announcing it very soon. All I can say now is it’s a dining and nightlife experience. Stay tuned opening this summer.
JC: Inevitably, someone reading this wants to someday do what you do. What advice do you have for them to be successful in a similar career?
SD: I always like to hire staff that if they weren’t working in a nightclub they would be in one anyway. You have to love the industry because it’s a lifestyle that you can’t do part time.
JC: Give us some names of people you believe are under recognized in Las Vegas nightlife, and why they deserve props?
SD: There are so many people behind the scenes that we never see in the clubs that keep the nightlife industry going that deserve to be recognized. I have to mention my long time friend John Theiss who worked closely with me as my Asst. Director of VIP Services at Rain/Ghostbar, Rehab, Vanity, Blush, and Surrender. Truly one of the nicest guys in the business.