Last week, we conducted our annual Host Development Conference at Caesars Palace, which preceded the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference. If you’re not familiar with the program, we develop it every year for the team at BNP Media/Casino Journal; it’s been an industry mainstay for since 2005 with learning appropriate for newbies to experienced hosts. The essence of the program: train your PD team to be an elite sales force, not a guest service fulfillment department.
We set the stage for the entire program, using pre-collected survey data from registered conference attendees. This ensured that what’s top of mind and relevant for attendees was addressed and weaved throughout the program.
A profile of the respondents
- The largest percentage of attendees/survey respondents were in their current positions for less than five years.
- These attendees represented commercial, tribal, and cruise line programs from U.S., Canada and overseas who were just starting a host program or expanding/revamping their current player development programs.
- The majority of titles were those associated with the Player Development department including entry, mid and senior-level positions such as Executive Host, VIP Manager, Players Club Manager and Directors.
What did player development specialists tell us?
The two questions that gave us the most revealing information about what our PD folks are facing:
When asked what the top three issues that are facing their properties, the answers were:
- Lack of qualified staff
- Lack of amenities (tied with #1)
When asked what their top three challenges as a host were, the responses were:
- Lack of strategies or guidelines
- Time management
- No host software
- Lack of executive support (tied with #3)
What would your player development team say about their top three challenges – especially those members who have been in their positions less than five years? When was the last time you asked? And are you giving them the tools and training to overcome them?
The good news? There are solutions to all of these issues – with many of them covered in the conference and were addressed in a team project. (See photo below and look for the winning solutions these teams came up with in an upcoming newsletter).
- What is your strategy around developing loyal guests when you don’t have as many amenities as the casino down the street?
- How do you develop a well-trained and qualified sales team?
- What are the best techniques for better time management to drive more revenue?