NDML Client Stories: BONGO’s BINGO

What is Bongo’s Bingo?

Bongo’s Bingo is a wild social extravaganza, offering nights of pure escapism and drama. Blending the delights of a club night out with the anticipation of the nation’s favourite pastime, bingo, Bongo’s Bingo have found the winning formula.

They continuously sell out iconic venues in 50 locations around the world, including O2 Academy Leeds and the Wesleyan chapel in Manchester. Here you’ll find traditional bingo, dance-offs and rave intervals, with no barriers and no limits.

Truly a shock to the sense, Bongo’s Bingo has cut itself a unique slice of the night-life cake, they have pushed the whole industry to be more immersive, more experiential and more incredible. Bongo’s describe themselves as the definitive bingo experience – and after attending one of their events, NDML are right there with them.

We spoke to Bongo’s Bingo Operations Director, Jess Hellier about Bongo’s Bingo’s recent success. We question how multiple lockdowns and COVID restrictions have affected businesses, and what their opinion is on the future of live nightlife entertainment. They also give their view on NDML’s service and the importance of building a relationship with your broker.

NDML’s 10 questions for Bongo’s Bingo

1. How did Bongo’s Bingo originate?

Bongo’s Bingo was founded in 2015 by Jonny Bongo and Joshua Burke who were both running separate events in Liverpool.

The entertainment we provide stretches across most music genres and we have customers of all ages, from 18 to 92. We include lots of different elements into our shows, bingo, dancing, singing, quiz questions and more.

2. What has been a special moment for you in the lifetime of Bongo’s Bingo?

It’s got to be doing our largest ever bingo to 4000 people in Manchester Central. Our panto series in Liverpool has been brilliant as well. And the ABBA themed New Year’s Eve night, The Winner Takes It All, definitely topped the year off.

3. How has COVID and the lockdowns affected your business?

We have had to reschedule 100’s of events again and again which has been incredibly difficult for us to do. Customer service has been the biggest challenge through it all because of the confusion of the rules and what people can and can’t do.

4. How has the company acted since the lifting of restrictions?

We have opened in line with all the rules, as soon as we were allowed, we ran socially distanced events and then we haven’t stopped going since then.

5. Do you see the appetite for live performances growing?

People have definitely wanted to experience more but I think it’s been a bit of a struggle to get back to sell out shows as everyone has so many plans now that everything has opened up. There is a lot more competition and people are booking events much further in advance.

6. How have your facilities and venues changed since opening? Any COVID adjustments?

Some venues are operating COVID passes and others are back to normal, most venues have changed their ventilation or at least have extra policies in place to increase air flow.

7. How has your experience with NDML been to other past insurance providers?

A breath of fresh air! Having such a demanding role within the company and having multiple policies in place, it can be difficult to keep on top of but Michael is very patient and always explains everything very well.

When we need additional cover, the team has worked incredibly fast to get this sorted for us.

8. How did you first build your relationship with NDML?

I believe I was emailed and asked for a chat to hear about what NDML did. I was sold when the pandemic hit and I saw NDML as big players in helping companies in our industry.

9. What surprised you about NDML’s service?

Very personable. I think I have a great relationship with Michael Dawson our Account Handler.

10. Are you happy with NDML’s service?

Absolutely, I have already recommended NDML to venues that we work with.

The importance of building a relationship with your broker

Thank you to Jess and Bongo’s Bingo for providing a snapshot of their experiences of the past year. The feeling that the appetite for live performances are there and the competition is growing, we have found, is shared by many operators in the nighttime industry.

Not only that, but the feeling that their is an importance to having a personable relationship with your broker is also widely recognised. NDML prides ourselves on building that personal relationship, and we are overjoyed to hear Bongo’s Bingo confirming what we already know to be true; NDML are big players in the industry who are hear to help.

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