We have been producing, along with Raving Consulting, a very popular conference called Casino Marketing since 2004. That was pre-iPhone, pre-tablet, pre-social media; in other words, we were all much older then, we’re younger than that now.

The growth of smartphones and tablets has changed the way people receive their information, which has obvious and profound impacts on marketers. Add the growth of data science and the wealth of information it can draw on to help marketers identify exactly who their customers are or might be, and it becomes clear that any marketing conference that aspires to be a leader in its industry, which Casino Marketing has been since its inception, needs to have a strong technology component.

The results is Casino Marketing & Technology 2015, which will be held at The Rio in Las Vegas, July 14-16, in its customary spot following Raving’s Host Development Conference, (July 13-14). Casino Marketing & Technology will feature the same robust traditional marketing conference content that attendees have come to expect over the years, as well as a dedicated track of technology sessions that are geared toward marketers. 

The program, and most of the presenters, has been set and can be viewed at the event website (www.casinomarketingconf.com). For the first time, we will be running concurrent sessions, meaning one person will not be able to attend all sessions on his or her own. The solution to that, of course, is to bring more people, and I don’t say that facetiously. When you’re covering everything from putting together an effective promotions calendar to how data analytics makes marketing more efficient, it’s more than most individual mortals can get their heads around.  

Here’s a glimpse of the session titles, by way of example. The Marketing track will kick off with “My Favorite Marketers: Notes from a Lifetime Slot Pro,” a signature session featuring Bruce Rowe. Other Marketing session titles are “Branding for Underdogs;” “Short-Term Planning: Getting the Calendar Right;” “The Top 5 Challenges Casino Marketers Face Today,” a roundtable discussion featuring Raving Consulting; “Segmentation: All or Not Much at All;” “Recovering Player Defectors;” and “The Romero Winners Roundtable.”

The Technology track consists of “Best Practices in Electronic Marketing;” “Casino Marketing Technology Demystified: Choosing the Right Tools for the Job;” “The New Technology Decision: A User’s Guide for Marketers;” “Business Intelligence: Who Do You Love in 10 Not-So-Easy (But Necessary) Steps;” “Data Analytics: The Art and Science of Efficient Marketing;” “Social Gaming: What Marketers Need to Know;” and “Kiosk Optimization Strategies.”

We’ll also have two general sessions for all attendees, one marketing-oriented the other with a technology element. First up will be “Where Has All the Value Gone? And How Do We Bring It Back?” a high-level conversation led by Dennis Conrad; and, on day two, “When Marketing Meets IT,” which will focus on the critically important topic of aligning those two departments,  led by Claudia Winkler of G.H.I. Solutions.

There are other reasons to take a look at this event as well. The aforementioned Romeros: Recognizing Excellence in Marketing, the most prestigious marketing award in the industry for 10 years now, will return. The Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award will also have a new twist this year: two recipients, both of whom are alive (we gave the award to Bill Harrah posthumously once, along with Gary Loveman). The recipients are Dennis Conrad and Steve Browne, also of Raving, both of whom built this event together with BNP starting way back when, in addition, of course, to having an outsized impact on the day-to-day world of casino marketers everywhere for three decades and counting.

 I’ve left some stuff out, but by now, you get the idea. Winter is over, time to think about the rest of the year. Put this one on your calendar.