As we enter September, a long-held tradition that is deeply tied to many in America returns.
That’s right- football season is back!
With the NFL in pre-season games leading up to the Season Opener featuring the Chicago Bears at home against the Green Bay Packers, we know that football fans all over the world are looking forward to tuning in to see their favorite teams play. This made us think… what is it about the NFL that keeps people coming back year after year? How is the NFL harnessing that anticipation and banking on repeat customers to be drawn in for viewership, merchandising and attendance? Is it the pigskin? Perhaps the spirit of competition. People like to see big plays and lots of points scored. Maybe it is the star athletes or even an opportunity to cheer on the home team. Whatever “it” is…they are doing it right. The NFL is big business.
In the event industry, we are extremely intrigued by this question. After all, we share many of the same goals with our customers that the NFL does with theirs. We are looking for long-term customers that will want to repeat their party year after year. We want them to have successful parties that increase in attendance. We want action and we want our client’s to score! Whether it is a customer appreciation party, a launch party – or even a holiday reward party, we want to see smiling, happy faces in attendance and winning experiences delivered.
What can we learn from the NFL’s incredible business model? Let’s start with building a loyal fan base. The NFL has some of the most die-hard fans. Fans in Philadelphia are passionate about their Eagles – while those in Pittsburgh use the “terrible towels” to show fan support for their Steelers. The New England Patriots have an extensive base, thanks largely to the dynasty they have built around Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Houston Texans are a passionate team, strengthened by their community support after the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey ravaged the community. Many will likewise remember the full crowds and outpouring shown for the New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Katrina. Through strength, outstanding performance and communal spirit, the NFL has done an incredible job of building an audience that follows its teams year after year.
In the event business, we do not have the benefit of some of the tools at the NFL’s disposal. We can, however, deliver incredible, memorable performances. In so doing, you will develop your own fans- and they will want to book your services year over year. Event companies can also create a spirit of community by reaching out to non-profits and offering casino style parties as a form of entertainment at their events. People coming together to rally for a cause is a fundamental principle of the NFL. Giving back to the community is another one. An occasional donation to a non-profit goes a long way toward building relationships with your future fans.
Another way event professionals can learn from the NFL’s business model is to consider going “BIG”. Take our home team (and America’s Team), the Dallas Cowboys. Among the most storied and valuable franchises in the world, the Dallas Cowboys built a larger stadium to accommodate greater attendance. ATT Stadium is a sight to behold – it’s expansive and impressive. It features state-of-the art equipment, technology and communications. No detail was overlooked- there is art, viewing areas and concern for guest comfort throughout. The same approach was used in constructing the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Those in the event industry should consider the same. Increase your inventory in anticipation of future business. Consider new technology- and embrace it. Look at your inventory and ensure that your presentation is stellar. Consider guest comfort above all else- and look to implement simple solutions that will go a long way to please your guests. Something as basic as comfortable seats can make a world of difference. Providing coasters for drinks or integrating a welcoming ambassador can set the tone with your clients that is inviting. Consider your presentation to be your stadium- and build it to accommodate your audience.
One of the greatest successes of the NFL is their prolific ability to license and sell their merchandise. Go to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, and you will find a sea of green jerseys being worn by “Cheeseheads”. Go to Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, and you will not only hear the crowd roar – you will see the Chief’s arrowhead on everything from gloves to beanies. In Miami, the Dolphins’ signature colors can never be mistaken- the teal and orange stand out against the crowd. Visit nfl.com and you can buy shoes, shirts, jackets, hats, jerseys and more.
In our line of business, consider offering variances that will create mass appeal. Use different themes so each year the group experiences a different facet of your services. For example, we may host a traditional Las Vegas or Monte Carlo themed event one year, and then migrate to Harlem Nights, Roaring 20s, Speakeasy, Gatsby, western, modern or a futuristic theme for the next casino party. Is that any different than the NFL offering a new style of jersey to its customers each year? After all, guests want the “latest and greatest”. Be sure you are supplying that and advertising that to your customers.
We are looking forward to an amazing NFL Season and thank the NFL for providing inspiration for our informative blog. The NFL is an organization that is synonymous with the best of the best. Find your team and build a winning guest experience for your clients! Be your best so you can stand out among the rest!
For those that have been watching the resurgence of classic MTV programs…Jersey Shore Family Reunion and The Hills…you have undoubtedly seen the promos for the MTV Music Video Awards. This is the biggest ceremony for MTV and this year’s performers feature some of the most dynamic music talents in the world. From veteran performers like Taylor Swift and Missy Elliott to newcomers like Little Nas X and Billie Eilish, we expect this to be an incredible awards show. This then made us think about planning and what an integral role proper event promotion plays in that process and the success of your casino event.
In the case of MTV, they have put commercials and Breaking
News lead ins on their network for the past month or so. If you have watched an MTV program, you know
the VMAs are coming. MTV has also
strategically included press releases and scheduled exclusive premiere
performances to entice viewership. They
have also selected the effervescent Missy Elliott to receive their Video
Vanguard Award, the equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement award.
So how does this correlate to the party business? Well, specifically for the casino party business, we can relate. We encourage our clients to spread the word across multiple platforms to advertise their event. Granted, most of them do not have their own television network. But they do have other (here comes the pun), channels, that they can utilize to their benefit. This can include internet marketing, message boards, mailed invitations and group emails.
Another way a party planner can use some of the tricks of the trade is to have an exclusive element that adds intrigue to the party. This can be achieved in the theme, or by offering an award. Perhaps this is an opportunity for a product launch or to make an exciting announcement. Why not enhance that process by creating a veil of mystery? People are much more likely to devote their attention to something if they are intrigued. MTV is advertising an exclusive World Premiere for Taylor Swift. We know that Ms. Swift is an incredible performer (we are super-fans), we can’t wait to see this! After all, she brings “it” every time. Find your “it” and do the same.
One of the best ways to enhance attendance at an event is to
bring in a special guest. With the VMAs,
bringing in Missy Elliott will undoubtedly lead to a different viewership than
the people who are typically watching some of the regular programming like
Catfished or the Rob Dyrdek-hosted Ridiculousness. Now, MTV is more likely to attract a larger
cross-section of the population. Take Billie
Eilish, the newest phenom and youngest nominee at 17. Many of her fan base are considered Generation
Z. This generation was born while Missy
Elliott was producing hits like “One Minute Man” and “Work It.” By having the multi-generational viewership
appeal, MTV is betting on a huge audience.
This strategy can also be used at events. Select a speaker or guest that will appeal to
a cross section of the population.
One other observation we have made is that MTV has been relentless in their promotion. Despite having seen their commercials multiple times, we continue to see ads being run. If you consider the “Seven Times Rule”, which is a fundamental concept in marketing, then your target audience needs to see your advertisement/invitation seven times for it to be memorable. Social media has changed a lot of our perception- so it is important to remember to include a social media strategy across different platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We want you to experience success at your next event. The most well-thought out event can end in disaster if no one attends. Try some of these strategies when planning your next casino party, and let’s see if you can create a “winning” outcome by doing so!
Recently, in a dinner conversation, the following question was posed. “If you could have a room at the Bellagio or a room at the Circus Circus, which would you choose and why?” Interesting question, and perhaps even more insightful were the answers provided. We thought we would share the conversation and how it applies to our industry.
The first dinner guest was quick to chime in. “Well, Bellagio, of course.” When prompted, he discussed the benefits of choosing Bellagio. First, the name itself is comforting. It is a brand, and it is well known. The amenities are refined, and you are guaranteed to be well-treated. You can situate yourself in luxury, it’s easy on the eyes. The people are generally happier, and the setting is serene. You can relax and enjoy the moment.
These refrains were echoed by additional dinner guests. Some adding in that at the Bellagio, you could expect to be professionally greeted, that they had water waiting for guests upon check-in. That there was thought given to their first impression, and that they placed an importance on service. Another talked about the appointments of the casino and how no detail was overlooked- down to the branding and the logo. “They are so proud of what they built that they stamped their name on it. They are not afraid to tell you who they are.” Another guest pointed out the fountains- and how with Bellagio, they don’t want you to just be entertained, they want you to “be dazzled”.
The conversation then moved on to the Circus Circus. One dinner guest mentioned that they would consider this as a first option- because in their opinion, their money would be stretched farther. With lower table minimums, they could play longer. With less pricey meals, they had greater budget flexibility to buy desserts with their meals. They were okay with a compromise of quality in exchange for a monetary savings.
It was at that point that a different dinner guest, a man of few words, opined the following sentence. “What if your perception of these benefits at Circus Circus is wrong?” Everyone turned to listen more intently. “I’ll give you an example”, he said. “Having been to Circus Circus, I’ve seen the crowds. It is a misconception to believe that you can get on a $5.00 table that readily. See, they may advertise a $5.00 table, but there are only a few available. Often there is a wait for them.” This brought up a great point and turned the entire direction of the conversation to this one point. Is perception of lower price inhibiting you from experiencing greater value?
Consider this- the person choosing the Circus Circus experience will most likely spend less money. But will they waste more time? Will they experience longer lines, less entertainment, and perhaps even never have the chance to play as they wanted? Do they really save money if they do not have the experience they planned to have? Is it worth it to spend a little more to be guaranteed an ability to play, to know that you will not experience some of the frustrations you would otherwise encounter with a budget provider, and to relax and enjoy the experience?
We do not intend to disparage the Circus Circus, by any means. In fact, having recently played there, we found their dealers to be exceptionally friendly, their gaming to be as expected, and their guests seemed genuinely happy. We use them as an example of a lower cost provider by comparison only. We have tremendous respect for their Veteran’s Program, and they are a very family-friendly establishment. Check out their Splash Zone if you have not done so already!
The point of sharing this conversation was to share insight in to what we learned. Sometimes saving money does not equate to saving time. Often we place an importance on price without considering value. Aesthetics play an important role to many – and can bring about a more favorable experience. Service is crucial, and making sure you are treated as a treasured guest is the best way an establishment can thank you for your patronage. Consider these aspects when making your next consumer spending decision. If you are choosing for a group- that is a tremendous responsibility. Make sure your selection reflects the core values of your participants, and is not decided upon solely by cost basis.
When planning a successful charitable event there are a few things you should take into consideration to make it an enjoyable experience for your guests and profitable for your cause.
Get the Word out!
Advertise your event. There’s nothing worse than throwing a party and having no one show up. You can’t raise the money without the interested guests! So, let your team know about the event. Use social media to your advantage and make sure you ask people to “Save the Date”. Postcards are a great tool if you have a mail list. Email your group as well. Bright, eye catching graphics, or photos that highlight the cause are beneficial.
Set and goal and publicize it. People are more likely to respond if they feel there is a mission behind the request. Make it attainable. People want to contribute- and they are more likely to do so if they believe that their contribution makes a difference. Some groups use visuals- like the thermometer graphic, or a pie chart. Percentage graphs are great too. Announce your goals in the invitation. Set expectations early so guests accept invites knowing that the will be asked to spend.
Location Really is Everything
Events are more likely to be successful if you choose the right location. Find a place that is unique. Guests will often RSVP if they are going somewhere they have never been, or if it is an exclusive venue. Choose central locations- picking something a great distance from your core attendees is not recommended. Make it as convenient as possible for your guests.
It’s the little things
They say the “devil is in the details”. Check the temperature of the room – guests have to be comfortable to stay – and spend. Rain in the forecast? Make provisions for a valet company, and include a welcome mat. Someone slipping and falling is not going to benefit the benefit.
Do sound checks beforehand- make sure that any announcements can be heard in the back of the room. Impassioned pleas falling on deaf ears is not a pathway to success. Consider thank you notes at place settings- guests will open their wallets if they feel appreciated for their presence. Ambassadors at the doors greeting guests is also another way to make people feel more welcomed and comfortable.
Okay, so you have the people there. How do you keep their attention? What can you do to make them stay? This is an especially challenging situation if guests do not know each other, or know each other only casually.
A great emcee can break the ice. A fantastic DJ or band can get the crowd moving. Entertainment is the key to engagement. The more enjoyment the guest has, the longer they stay and the more they spend.
Casino nights are especially popular for this use- because the guests are entertained while mingling with others. There is also a choice in gaming or participation that appeals to the individual, so there is no obstacle to participation or hesitancy to do so.
Most casino games naturally attract crowds, and games can accommodate as many as 20 at once, depending upon the game. This is a great way to attract your crowd- and keep them there!
We provide award winning event experiences. If you are planning a charitable event, or any event to celebrate life’s special occasions, contact our event specialists to learn more.
Have an itch for gambling? Maybe you’re feeling nostalgic for an old Vegas trip. If you’re living in Texas, you won’t find the full experience of getting all the riches of winning off a simple game of 21 or craps.
Texas laws are very strict. Texans and any visitors are only legally able to gamble on horse races, Greyhound dog races, lottery tickets, slot machines, and scratch-off tickets.
There are ways to still have fun and there are exceptions to this rule. Entertainment companies can set up mock casino experiences- with the look and feel of Las Vegas, without the risk. Entertainers serve as “dealers” for several types of events- everything from corporate events, after-prom parties and even home casino parties. Guests can enjoy the gaming experience without truly ever wagering so much as a penny! The best one in the state of Texas is, of course, Elite Casino Events.
There is actually one casino located in the state of Texas on Native American lands.
If you love playing house games, remember never to accept any legal tender. In the state of Texas this can get you in some trouble very quickly.
Baccarat is a game that uses six to eight decks of cards with a hand dealt to the dealer and one dealt to the player. There is about a 50/50 chance of winning with this card game.
To win this game you must have received the highest hand. The number range is from 0 to 9. You can also bet on a tie which has a HUGE payout of 9 to 1. With that being said, this game gives you the best odds at the casino.
The history of baccarat derives from France, where it first appeared in the 19th century, this lead to other similar table games like Macao and Jagpi.
Minimum bets for this game can be quite high with high rollers placing huge bets on a single hand! Casinos can win or lose millions of dollars a night due to this game. Private rooms are also utilized due to the high stakes of the game.
This is the game most favored by James Bond himself! He is seen playing this during the movie Casino Royale in 1953. In the 2006 adaptation of the movie the game was replaced with Texas Hold ‘em due to the poker boom.
There are 3 different variables of baccarat the first one is commonly referred to as “Banco” which is known as the North American baccarat this is strictly a game of chance and doesn’t require any skill or strategy. There is also “Chemmy” and “Banque” variation of the game. If you have a chance to deal this game learn all three versions of this game!
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to winning at the casino.
Did you know that approximately 80% of adults have gambled at some point in their lives? Casino gambling can be a highly addictive hobby. Of the 80% of adults that have gambled, 2-3% of this number have experienced compulsive gambling addiction. While this number may seem minimal, considering the population of the United States alone exceeds 318,000,000 people, this equates to nearly 1.5 million Americans with serious gambling addiction issues.
People rush to the casinos for the thrill of the victory. On the craps table, a guest can bet on “snake eyes” (1,1) or “boxcars” (6,6) and be paid 30-1 odds on their bet. Some casinos, like the Horseshoe in Louisiana, will permit up to 100x odds behind the pass line. Roulette also offers high odds- with a 35-1 payout on a single number win. 3-Card Poker will reward a winning straight flush with a 40-1 payout. These are the more traditional games.
New games introduced with even greater payouts have only further enticed gamblers to the casinos. Galaxy Gaming introduced “High Card Flush”. This game offers payouts of up to 8,000 times the bet. Other games like “WPT Heads Up Hold Em” offer bad beat bonuses, for players with strong hands that are beat by an even stronger dealer hand.
Some of the older games have been revamped to include stronger payouts. For example, now you can incorporate the “Fire Bet” in to craps. This bet pays out as the shooter progressively makes points, establishes new points, and then continues to make them without a “7 out”. Not all tables have them, but you are sure to find them in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Bally’s and the Hard Rock. 3-Card Poker has also seen some lucrative additions. Some establishments have added in the 6-Card Bonus, which plays the dealers three card hand and their own three card hand to make a complete 5 card hand. There are some astonishing payouts for this. For example, a straight flush will offer a payout of 100x. For a $5.00 bet, that’s $1,000.00! Other tables have progressive jackpots, which enable the player to earn huge returns on low wager bets. There are specific conditions that apply to each game. For example, 3-Card Poker will pay the progressive on qualifying hands. Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em progressive requires that the player “flop” the qualifying hand in order to receive a payout.
Player rewards are other ways that casinos are appealing to consumers. “Comps” as they are referred to in the industry include everything from free meals and lodging, to actual free play. Invitation-only slot machine tournaments are tremendously attractive. So are blackjack tournaments and free car giveaways. Often, vouchers are mailed to the guests inviting them to the casino. that will include certain dollar offers in “free play” from the casino. Other casinos offer specific free play options to their rewards club members. For example, at Winstar World Casino, $25.00 in free play is given to players earning a Diamond Flush at any of the card gaming tables. This is a limited offer, and is only valid on certain days, but the mere attraction of this free play is enough to drive visitors to the casino to take part in the promotion. In Bossier City, LA, BoomTown Casino offers a free play bonus if you are able to locate a specially-identified chip from playing within the casino. These are strategically placed in the dealer chip trays, which naturally, means that you must buy in to receive chips.
All of these enticements are created to appeal to certain centers within the brain that trigger euphoria and addictive traits. Many groups, such as Harvard Medical School, have studied this phenomenon. One of the more powerful findings came from Massachusetts General Hospital, where the Division of Motivation and Emotion Neurosciences Center found that rewarding people with monetary gains, similar to a gambling environment, created a response within the brain not unlike that of a cocaine-addict receiving a dose of cocaine. While some expert opinions vary, many believe that the addicted gambler will often have lower than normal levels of nor-epinephrine. The condition is severe enough to be included in the DSM IV Manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Having the “urge to gamble” is okay – as long as it is enjoyed responsibly. Thankfully, there is help available! For those with the hankering to play, consider a mock-casino environment provided by a local casino party planner. This will satiate the appetite for gaming without actually wagering real money. For others with more serious issues, toll-free numbers are prominently displayed in casinos that will offer assistance any time. Gamblers Anonymous is an excellent resource for those affected as well. Please wager responsibly – make certain that your casino experience is a positive one.