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:

 
CASINO FLOOR PROMOTION
LARGE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
21st BIRTHDAY EVENT • Casinos of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
 
GOLD AWARD
 
CHINESE NEW YEAR AT SKYCITY AUCKLAND
SKYCITY Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
 
SILVER AWARD
 
PROGRESSIVE PAYDAY DRAWINGS
Kansas Star Casino, Mulvane, Kan.
 
 
CASINO FLOOR PROMOTION
SMALL/MID-SIZE CASINO
 
GOLD AWARD
 
CONSTRUCTION JUNCTION
Batavia Downs Gaming, Batavia, N.Y.
 
SILVER AWARD
 
APRIL FOOLS 100 CAR GIVEAWAY
First Council Casino, Newkirk, Okla.
 
COMMUNITY RELATIONS 
LARGE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
SKYCITY FIREFIGHTER SKY TOWER CHALLENGE • SKYCITY Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
 
GOLD AWARD
 
GONE GIRL MOVIE PREMIERE AFTER PARTY
Isle of Capri/Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
 
PINK IT OUT • Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, Suquamish, Wash. 
 
SILVER AWARD
 
PITTSBURGH PROUD AND $10 FOR $10
Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
 
COMMUNITY RELATIONS 
SMALL/MID-SIZE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
BIG BROTHER 17 AUDITIONS WEEKEND
Victory Casino Cruises, Port Canaveral, Fla.
 
GOLD AWARD
 
THINK BEYOND PINK
Oxford Casino, Oxford, Maine
 
SILVER AWARD
 
EUREKA COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
Eureka Casino Resort, Mesquite, Nev.
 
 
DIRECT MAIL MARKETING 
LARGE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
LUGGAGE LOOT
Route 66 Casino Hotel, Albuquerque, N.M. 
 
GOLD AWARD
 
RICE COOKER GIVEAWAY • Santa Ana Star Casino, Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.
 
SILVER AWARD
 
JUST FOR YOU
Sun International Head Office, South Africa
 
 
DIRECT MAIL MARKETING 
SMALL/MID-SIZE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
THE BRENDA CHARLIE COLLECTION
Dancing Eagle Casino, Casa Blanca, N.M.
 
SILVER AWARD
 
REWARD YOURSELF
Wildwood Casino, Cripple Creek, Colo.
 
 
ELECTRONIC MARKETING 
(e-Mail and Mobile) 
LARGE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
SPRING FORWARD FRENZY
Oaklawn Gaming, Hot Springs, Ark.
 
SILVER AWARD
 
THE CASH CABOOSE
Oaklawn Gaming, Hot Springs, Ark.
 
 
ELECTRONIC MARKETING 
(e-Mail and Mobile)
SMALL/MID-SIZE CASINO
 
SILVER AWARD
 
VIDEO EMAIL
LCO Casino, Hayward, Wisc.
 
 
ONLINE MARKETING 
(Website and Social Media) 
LARGE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
WEBPASS LAUNCH
The Meadows Casino, Washington, Pa.
 
GOLD AWARD
 
NOW THAT’S A WIN • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, N.J.
 
SILVER AWARD
 
ISLE SMOKIN’ HOT BBQ  CONTEST 
Isle of Capri/Pompano Park, 
Pompano Beach, Fla.
 
 
ONLINE MARKETING 
(Website and Social Media) 
SMALL/MID-SIZE CASINO
 
SILVER AWARD
 
FACEBOOK CRAWFISH GIVEAWAY
Silver Slipper Casino, Bay St. Louis, Miss.
 
 
VIP PROMOTION LARGE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
VIP DILLARD’S SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
Casino Del Sol Resort, Tucson, Ariz.
 
GOLD AWARD
 
MIX, MINGLE & WIN •  FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Battle Creek, Mich.
 
SILVER AWARD
 
BY INVITATION ONLY
River Spirit Casino, Tulsa, Okla.
 
 
VIP PROMOTION 
SMALL/MID-SIZE CASINO
 
DIAMOND AWARD
 
DIAMOND ELITE DINNER
Batavia Downs Gaming, Batavia, N.Y.
 
LAST TABLE STANDING
Isle of Capri/Lake Charles, Lake Charles, La.
 
 
GOLD AWARD
 
CAFFEINATED CASH • Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac Du Flambeau, Wisc.
 
MOW MONEY • Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac Du Flambeau, Wisc.
 
SILVER AWARD
 
CELEBRITY CHEF COOKING SERIES – JOHN FOLSE • Silver Slipper Casino, Bay St. Louis, Miss.