Who hasn’t been there, right? You’ve found yourself sitting in a meeting or in front of your computer trying to come up with an idea for a thing to do to move the needle. The solution, if you work in casino player development, often involves putting together a plan for bringing people through the doors of your casino. Increasing player visits and/or the amount those guests play is, after all, the primary function of a host team. Here are a few tried and true events or games that you can freely borrow (or modify or giggle over) for use in bringing your best players to see you. Enjoy!
- Who can earn the most points? A competition. This is a perfect (non) event for those big players who aren’t interested in gatherings or elaborate meals; you know, the ones who just want to play. Select a group of good players and a time frame during which you want to drive some extra play, then communicate The Points Challenge to those players. The player who earns the most base points during the time frame you’ve designated WINS! Pros: drives revenue from good players, not very labor intensive, has an “exclusivity” factor, doesn’t have to be expensive. Cons: no excitement factor, only moves a small group of players, requires timely database or IT support.
- Come find me and choose your prize. I’d like to meet you. Not so much an event as a “dialogue,” this works fabulously for hosts who have players they’ve never met face to face. Set a time frame and communicate to the host’s players that if they find him on the gaming floor during that time frame they can choose an envelope which contains a prize. Print up a variety of prize vouchers, and have the host randomly put them into envelopes, several of which he can carry on his person as he walks the gaming floor during the specified time frame. Things to decide: the prize pool, expiration dates of the offers, whether the host may “reluctantly” allow the guest to exchange his prize for something else if he isn’t happy with his lot, and whether players may play more than once during the event. Pros: gets hosts face to face with guests, hosts are visible on the gaming floor, they can also be tasked with sign-ups and working the high-limit areas during the envelope time frames, other guests see and are intrigued. Cons: hosts aren’t on the phones while they are on the floor, difficult to communicate prize pool to potential participants to incent visitation, other guests see and can’t participate, some “wasted” productivity is a possibility.
- Choose your prize, social edition. Choose a varied group of players and send an invitation for a cocktail party (or ice cream social or cigar party or whatever works in your market) and let the guests know that each of them will have an opportunity to choose a prize at the event. Theme is important for this event, as it will determine the method by which patrons will choose a prize. Is it St. Patrick’s Day? Have the guest draw a chocolate coin from a plastic cauldron. Are you closer to Easter? Have them choose a plastic Easter Egg. In mid-Spring, put fake money on a fake tree and have guests choose a “leaf.” The possibilities are endless. Every choice wins the player a minimum prize of some sort (think $5 value), but some choices are specially marked (with a number or a colored sticker) to award a bigger prize. Celebrate the big winners, so people know the prizes are being won and to create excitement. Pros: volume can drive revenue, hosts are interacting with guests, guests interact with one another, everyone wins. Cons: labor-intensive, can be expensive (depending on F&B and labor costs) and revenue flow-through may suffer if volume isn’t solid.
- Win a prize, game show edition. This, too, has many variant possibilities, and can be as expensive and elaborate as you want to make it. Choose your game and emcee, theme and prizes, then use your per person cost to determine the list of invitees. This is a good opportunity to invite guests who are about to level up, who might level out, or those you haven’t seen in a while. Go all out and produce a Dealmaker show where guests dress up and choose from among several hidden prize options, or have a Price-a-Rama where they have to play a game to see what they’ve won. Video games work well, too. Use your imagination! Pros: high excitement level, generates buzz, creates interaction with and among guests. Cons: requires tons of planning, can be expensive, takes players (and staff) off the floor for a while.
- Choose a gift gathering. A double-tripper. Decide who you’re going to invite and how much you want to spend on each gift. Put together a selection of gift items in that price range (look for high perceived value and low actual cost, obviously), then prepare an order form to be given to each guest at your event. Have a few samples of each item available, and send an invitation for guests to come to the property to make a selection on a specified date and time. At the gathering, guests can touch and feel the gifts, schmooze with your staff, and order the item of their choosing, knowing what day to come back (a second trip!) and pick it up. Decide whether there will be a wide or narrow window for ordering and for pick-up, and whether hosts will be allowed to “hold” items for a later visit if good players can’t make it in during the scheduled time. Pros: staff/player interaction, guest choice and goodwill, two trips per player. Cons: requires tons of planning, labor-intensive, could get expensive, leftover items need storage/disbursement.
- Sit-down dinner. A conversation starter. If you have a steakhouse, close it and host a private party for your very best players. If not, arrange with your F&B team to put together a nice dining experience and invite your best players. Assign seating in advance using your hosts’ knowledge of the guests and include a property executive at each table. Have some questions prepared in advance in case the conversation doesn’t flow naturally, and use this dinner as both a revenue driver and an opportunity to learn what motivates and aggravates your top 20%. Pros: everyone has a nice dinner, guests feel important, great learning opportunity. Cons: can be expensive, takes players and execs out of commission for a while, issues may arise that the execs cannot speak to or address. (Don’t make any promises!)
There are more where these came from. If you have a suggestion or want to ask about additional ideas, please comment below. If you have executed any of these, sound off and let us know how it went!