More than 100 different gaming operators and other companies involved in the gaming industry attended the 2013 event, and they came from throughout North America and beyond. Many of these companies found the Casino Marketing content so compelling they sent their entire marketing and promotions teams.
If anything, the 2014 version of the Casino Marketing Conference features an even more impressive and eclectic roster of keynote presentations and sessions. David Norton, executive vice president of integrated customer engagements and analytics for MDC Partners, will present the opening keynote on the first day of the conference. Norton is perhaps better known for his 13-year stint in the marketing depart for Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment), where he held the positions of senior vice president of relationship marketing and chief marketing officer. While there, he helped transform Harrah’s into one of the best marketing organizations in the world by leading change in a collaborative manner. Norton will share his unique perspective on the marketing landscape of the gaming industry—where it was, where it is and where it should be heading—in his presentation entitled “A Gaming CMO Reflects on the Industry He Once Helped Shape.”
Other opening day keynote presenters include Bruce Rowe, a 30-year casino marketing veteran who is the recipient of this year’s Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award. Jim Rogers, a former Harrah’s Entertainment senior executive who is now president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America (KOA) will provide a keynote centered on his experiences on the CBS show Undercover Boss and offer “undercover observations” on how he’s seen the casino experience change and evolve over the past 15 years.
Day one will also feature a number of topical sessions and panel discussions such as “The Marketing View from the Top: The CMO Panel,” in which some of the top CMOs in the gaming industry will describe what they do and how they do it, as well as how they reached their lofty perches and what you can learn from their experience in getting there. Speakers for this session include Staci Alonso, senior vice president of marketing and CMO for Station Casinos; Joel Rovics, corporate director of marketing for Gila River Casinos; Ginny Shanks, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Pinnacle Entertainment; and Suzanne Trout, CMO for Rush Street Gaming.
The session highlight of day two was undoubtedly “The State of the Gaming Industry: Casino Marketing’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winners’ Blue Ribbon Panel.” Participants in this session include John Acres, CEO of Acres 4.0; Virginia McDowell, president and CEO of Isle of Capri Casinos; Mike Meczka, Principal for MM/R/C; and Victor Rocha, owner and editor of Pechanga.net. The group of gaming gurus will discuss what gaming marketers should be aware of when it comes to social media, the Internet, social gaming, the application of technology to business, casino design, amenity development and much more. For more information on the event, visit www.casinomarketingconf.com.