Capturing the conventioneers

Oct 9, 2006 5:34 AM

The opportunity to augment a property’s database is often neglected when it comes to understanding the contribution of individuals attending a third party hosted event on property.

To maximize the yield for convention or event space, it is important that not only are the rooms filled, but filled with those who offer the largest universal revenue contribution to a host property.

Since the advent of comprehensive database marketing systems, the value of a traditional casino customer has become simplified, integrated and its knowledge increasingly fundamental to the overall success of a casino hotel’s operation.

Database market system based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is proficient with tracking gaming play, food and beverage consumption, as well as ancillary retail and entertainment utilization.

Descriptions of incremental or accrued benefit such as RevPar and ShowPar assist with understanding the already existing customers’ expenditure allocation in both non-gaming and gaming activities.

Where classic gaming and hospitality operators fall short is not only in failing to capture, but also failing to retain individuals that attend a third-party hosted event on property.

Realizing the most difficult challenge of having an individual provide share of wallet at a respective property is getting him or her "in the door."

Soliciting individuals who are already adjacent to the casino floor in ballrooms, conference space, or rented out nightclubs is a natural.

One technique to migrate potential patrons is the loading of a pre-fabricated players card with a nominal amount of promotional play (e.g., $5, which may be charged back to the host hotel as promotional expense or a concession).

This method is not radically different from what is employed to "prime the pumps" of group travelers (e.g., bus patrons). The other (and more associative) technique is to provide a natural partnership between a third party event and the casino.

For example, a property might make the backside of a ticket distributed for a private event a $5 match play. This incentive will likely be used immediately following the show and can begin the tracking process (i.e., the ticket is coded with the unique identifier of a patron’s assigned player card unique identifier number).

By participating in gaming with the match play bet, the person is passively opting in, and is now a guest to be tracked and retained.

With the trend of Colorado casinos expanding their offerings beyond gaming, revenue stream opportunities may be realized through hosting moderate sized meetings and conventions.

By soliciting facility patrons who may be secondary gamers (i.e., the primary purpose of the visit to a property is not gaming but, with this paradigm, the conference or convention), more general revenue can be brought to a host property and visiting individuals may be leveraged from simple passive facility users to active gaming patrons.

David Paster is accepting new clients and may be reached at (702) 813-5062 or [email protected]