Why Marketing People Should be at G2E By Bert Bertino September 13, 2013 at 8:29 am At the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), September 22-26, nearly 30,000 casino gaming executives from across the world will view and discuss both new and time-proven products and programs. They will not only visit booths on the floor and the attend meetings, but they’ll also do networking during after the show. All that means a great opportunity for learning and growth for the industry. (Disclaimer: I’m not an employee of Reed Expositions, which is running G2E, just a fan with thirty-three years of casino gaming experience.) At G2E, executives responsible for slot and table games will be well represented. But far too often executives responsible for marketing won’t be in there. That’s unfortunate, because conferences are the place to learn what is “Next Great Thing,” and what the future is likely to hold. Social Media, I-Gaming, Digital Motion Media, and server-based gaming have all been well-discussed over the past five years at conferences like G2E. Conferences are expensive to attend, but they can be worth the money, time, and challenges of traveling. Marketing is often an organization’s largest asset and its biggest expense. Attending G2E is, in many ways, an investment, to finding new marketing ideas and programs and products that your company needs. The casino gaming industry is in constant change; consider marketing twenty years ago versus today today. (In 1993, how important was Email marketing? Database mining?) Novel ideas and fresh insights can be found in conference rooms, at exhibition booths, in conversation in convention hallways, and at after-hour dinners. Land-based, Riverboat, and Tribal casinos experience many of the same challenges. Talking to each other about these challenges is one of the best ways to see how others approach the challenges, and what others have found that works and doesn’t work. But talking to marketing peers isn’t only a chance for insightful conversation; it’s also the opportunity to get to know those who can help with future problems. Many believe that an expo such as G2E is a vacation. But trust me: If you spend your time wisely the experiences can be career altering. The following marketing areas are strongly represented at G2E, and worth the investment of time and effort to partake: Loyalty Marketing: Advice is plentiful, with experts discussing how to find, and, more importantly, to retain the most profitable segments of your database. Retaining loyalty is extremely difficult in crowded jurisdictions. Finding nuggets of wisdom here can be the difference between gaining and losing market share, and the overall profitability of your organization. Social Media: There are many ways to reach your organization’s customer base, with social media offering the newest approaches. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, or something else, social media offers are direct paths where the cost is low, the reach is instantaneous, and the connection to your customers can differentiate your business. G2E is a place to finding new ideas on how to lead rather than lag your competition’s efforts in social media. Direct Marketing: The sheer amount of systems, ideas, and consultants with differing opinions about direct marketing will astound you (they do me). G2E is a great opportunity to observe the tools, review the methods, and draw your own conclusions as to what will work for your organization. Promotions: If you are looking for the next great give-away, offering, or idea, you will be inundated with options. No matter what you agree or disagree with, you’ll walk from the event center far better informed about what is possible. G2E is the opportunity to experience what seems like an entire year’s worth of events in a few short days. Advertising: Be it radio, television, billboard, web or agencies that want to solve your needs, G2E always addresses advertising issues very well. Many agencies are trying to sell their services at G2E. Your organization is unique in some respect, be that style, size, or jurisdiction(s), and it’s up to the offering agency to show it understands – and can respond to – that uniqueness. At a conference like G2E, you may be able to find new solution to your problems, or you may have your existing programs reaffirmed in your mind. Either way, the many differing points of view will help you and your organization grow. Coming up: Our blogs during G2E, with information, insights, and revelations. We’ll tell you what we saw and what we think you should explore. If you’re there, don’t miss us! Anthony “Bert” Bertino is the CMO for Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise and the Exec. VP of Marketing / COO for Casino Excursions Resort Gaming Group. He can be reached by calling (609) 892-1298 or at email@example.com.