based on feedback from some valuable friends in the industry, we are taking our Gaming Technology Conference in a new direction this March.

As we head into 2013, more than a few hyper-competitive slot markets are looking like the gaming equivalent of Woody Hayes football: three yards and a cloud of dust. 

I’m dating myself because when’s the last time you ever saw dust on a football field? This is a point of sadness to me because dust can lead to mud, and there’s nothing I like better than sitting in the comfort of my living room watching guys mate with mud. But times change, as we all know.

Philosophically, Hayes was a slow and steady kind of guy, unless you happened to run into him on the sidelines late in life with an intercepted Art Schlicter pass, which could get tricky. Incremental gains, wearing the opponent down, teamwork; all of that. In competitive business situations, you could do worse.

 Today, slot managers are increasingly dependent on information, which is generated by technology and runs through any number of departmental filters. Many work in organizations that are good at gathering data and working to get better at translating that data into actionable intelligence. This is grunt work, more like looking for needles in a haystack than silver bullets, but it’s the only way forward. Nobody is growing simply by putting new games on the floor anymore.

On the business-to-business communications side of things (which is what we do), we have been addressing slot technology issues at conferences for many years, and I’m afraid we haven’t always followed our own advice about keeping current. But, based on feedback from some valuable friends in the industry, we are taking our Gaming Technology Conference ( in a new direction this March; one that I think will benefit anyone who attends.

Rather than focus on topics such as slot systems, networked gaming and project management, we are focusing on the technologies that power marketing. Social media strategies, getting connected and staying connected to your guests and mobile and Internet marketing will be a focus. But what we’re really excited about is sessions that seek to bring together speakers from multiple departments; here are a couple:

War Room Analytics – An Exercise in Real World Problem Solving

Making the most of data analytics is a process-driven team effort. Predictive analytics expert Andrew Cardno will lead this session, which takes you inside a typical gaming operator “war room” discussion of how to transform data into real business gains.

The 1st Annual CIO / CMO Roundtable

From the early days of database marketing, marketing has depended on the information technology resources of the organization to house the data, maintain the data and at times assists in extracting and segmenting the data. We have come a long way since the days of the AS400 and Microsoft Access queries, and today, in some organizations, marketing and information technology have direct or indirect reporting relationships. This lively panel discussion, of industry CIOs and CMOs, led by software analytics visionary, Christy Joiner-Congelton from STICS, will explore the dependencies and the partnerships that have evolved and how they continue to strengthen and capitalize their relationships.

We are putting this conference together with the help of Claudia Winkler of GHI Solutions, whom many of you know, and the response, in terms of confirmed c-level speakers from marketing, IT and operations, has been great. I encourage you to check out the website and to join us at the Green Valley Ranch March 12-13. It’ll help you play a better brand of football. Promise.