The successor to Casino Marketing, now in its twelfth year, the conference was the first ever with a dedicated technology track for casino marketers, which was offered in addition to the conference’s core casino marketing content. The combination proved a hit with attendees and exhibitors alike, with more than 500 people attending the event and over 55 companies exhibiting, both records.
On the downside, the conference marked the first time the Romero Awards, a centerpiece of the event since 2005, were presented since the passing of John Romero this April. The awards were the brainchild of conference co-founder Dennis Conrad, president and chief strategist, Raving Consulting, who suggested them to Romero after the first edition of the conference, where John was awarded the first ever Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Romero Awards, summarized below, were one highlight. Others included keynote addresses by Jeanne-Marie Wilkins, chief information officer, Isle of Capri Casinos, and Tim Huckaby, a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and founder of Interknowlogy; and the presentation of Lifetime Achievement Awards to Conrad and Steve Browne, president, Raving Service. (For more conference coverage, see The Back Page column on page 82.)
As for the Romeros, some 117 entry submissions were made in the following award categories: Online Marketing (Website and Social Media); Electronic Marketing (e-Mail and Mobile); Community Relations (Charity, Cooperative Business Programs); VIP Promotion (For Top-Rated Players); Direct Mail Marketing (Single or Campaign); and Casino Floor Promotion.
The judges, who bring more than 125 years of casino marketing professional experience to the contest, and each of whom was a disciple of John Romero and his 48-year crusade for measurable, accountable casino marketing expenditures, were Jackie Brett, principal, Brett’s Vegas View; Don Kennedy, director of player development, Primm Valley Casinos & Resorts; Amy J. Price-Fanter, marketing writer, Odds On Promotions; and Jack Breslin, vice president/director of strategic planning & business development, The Media & Marketing Group. The awards presentation was hosted by Toby O’Brien, president, Toby Talks Marketing.
“We are proud to be able to continue to honor the life and the professional example set by John Romero with the Romero Awards, which have come to symbolize excellence in marketing for our industry,” said Randy Green, group publisher, BNP Media Gaming Group. “Our judges were very impressed with the quality of this year’s entries, and they saw real improvements on the electronic and social media side. We expect that will continue with next year’s edition, and make the Romeros an industry cornerstone of marketing achievement for many years to come.”
The list of winners follows: