Meeting Planner View Atlantic City

So Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City

Upon arrival last weekend, I was very impressed with the transformation that has taken place there. No longer is it just pretending to be a rich man in a poor man’s shirt.

The aurora is truly rising behind this solid meetings destination. With the recent opening of the Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in the marina district, this is now one of the largest and nicest meetings spaces on the Atlantic seaboard, just over the Jersey state line. Harrah’s offers over 2500 newly renovated sleeping rooms and two stacked 50,000 square foot ballrooms, each breaking into 30 sections. The pre-function space in the conference center was huge, each level had over 25,000 square feet outside the ballroom. They also had outdoor terraces with amazing bay and ocean views. The flexibility of their meeting space was unsurpassed and impressive.



Prefunction space at the Waterfront Conference Center
One of the sections of the flexible ballrooms at the Waterfront Conference Center


…Sleeping at the beach all night.
The sleeping rooms were divided up into several towers, all have recently been remodeled or are brand new. The vast majority of the rooms have great water views. The elevators were very fast and efficient, something that is often forgotten at a hotel of this size. All the rooms I saw were incredibly nice, with spacious separate tub and shower, with exceptional lighting and counter space. Everything you need to put your makeup on and fix your hair up pretty. The beds were plush and the internet was fast, not much else you need to have an enjoyable stay.

Sleeping room at Harrah’s

…I ain’t here on business, I’m only here for fun.
One of my favorite features at Harrah’s was the massive indoor pool that they turn into a concert venue at night. This is a perfect reception space for up to 400 people. The complex has dozens of restaurants at all price points, ranging from high end steak houses to grab a slice pizza joints. Overall, I found the food to be really good, high quality, and it was not overpriced. Several venues did live music at night, adding to the energy of the hotel. The casino was huge, but not all that noisy. They also have a large performance theater that seats 1200, this can also be used for private events or general sessions should the need arise. Harrah’s offers a very unique offering, a large Viking cooking school. This gives people the opportunity to cook their own meal and learn from professional chefs, then eat what they made in a back room with wine parings. It looked like a lot of fun, this type of experiential activity is really popular right now.


Indoor pool at Harrah’s
Viking Cooking School inside of Harrah’s

…Rich man wanna be king
Over in the center of the boardwalk is Caesars Palace, an 1100 room hotel. This hotel is smack in the center of the action. This is a miniature version of the iconic hotel in Las Vegas. They have 28,000 square feet of meeting space, highlighted by a 17,000 square foot ballroom. The hotel has some of the best restaurants on the boardwalk, Morton’s, Nero’s Italian, Phillips Seafood, and Gordon Ramsey’s Pub and Grill. This is a truly great hotel for groups of 250-300. The rooms were very upscale and large, all with nice water views.


Sleeping room at Caesars Palace

…Running off down the boardwalk
Next to Caesars, is Ballys, a 1200 room hotel. Ballys is a really nice option for groups more on a budget than Caesars or Harrah’s, but still a nice product. The 80,000 square foot meeting space is all on one level, making it very convenient. They also offer the largest casino floor in Atlantic City, and also have a number of restaurants at all price points. Both Bally’s and Caesars are right across from a massive outlet mall. The prices and selection were outstanding here, I am not a shopping fan, but this was one of the best outlet malls I have ever been to.


Sleeping room at Bally’s
Some of the meeting space at Bally’s

…Never gave no thought to landing.
The Atlantic City airport has very limited service, right now only Spirit flies in there. The Philadelphia airport is about an hour away, giving you a ton of flight options. This time from the airport should not be a huge impairment to booking there, as it is often an hour or more to get to the main downtown hotels in cities like Chicago, LA, New York, Houston, and plenty of other cities. As an added convenience, one-third of the US population is within one tank of gas to get to Atlantic City, tearing down the highway like a big old dinosaur. So Mary, climb in…We’re pulling out of here to win.

…Cant start a fire without a spark.
For many people, the first thing that they think of when entering a casino is the amount of smoke that is used to be omnipresent. The filtration systems that casinos have installed recently has changed this reality. I spent extensive time at three large casinos and never once smelled smoke in any public area. The meetings spaces are all non- smoking, as are the restaurants. In years past, it was impossible to enter a casino without smelling like an ashtray, but these are better days shining through now, making this a non-issue in most casinos.

I was impressed by the transformation that the city and the hotels that I visited has undergone. It is a city I would enjoy going back to, and one I can see bringing groups of all sizes to in the future. There is still a lot of value to be found here, especially for groups booking during the week. It has all of the amenities that my groups are looking for, and is perfect for those groups that has a big driving contingent and those looking at the Northeast.

I will say it again, Meet me tonight in Atlantic City.

All photos were taken by Timothy Arnold, May 2018. Most quotes shamelessly stolen from the immortal Bruce Springsteen.
**Guest Written by Timothy Arnold, CMP, CMM – Regional Vice President of HPN Global


Timothy Arnold, CMP, CMM
Regional Vice President
Hospitality Performance Network – HPN Global

972-624-1144 Phone
http://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyarnoldhpn
tarnold@hpnglobal.com

HOTEL UPDATE: Chicago

Case Study: Event Marketing with Social Media Strategy

In 2016, event promotion is not complete without a social media strategy. Sure, leading up to the event posts promoting attendance are vigilantly published. But where most organizations falter is covering the event. We understand, social media is often a secondary responsibility, not a specific role. That’s where digital media experts come in.

We’ve put together this case study on our most recent live event coverage for HPN Global’s 2016 Partners Conference. Tactics included everything from live tweeting to LinkedIn spotlights, but the star of our strategy was Facebook. We also developed a custom app for the fourth year in a row, that enabled streamlined communication between coordinators and attendees via a digital environment. Here are the results:

The App

This app, created specifically for HPN Global’s 2016 Partners Conference, supplied all attendees with itineraries, a live feed of content from all major social media platforms utilizing the #HPN16 hashtag, conference information and live updates.

 

Building Anticipation

A month before the event, the app was already booming with hundreds of opens.

event social media app

 

Accessibility

The app was utilized throughout the event by attendees and coordinators alike. It was optimized for both Android and Apple products and was accessed from various portable devices.

event social media app

Itinerary & Real-time Communication

The app had the full conference schedule at a push of a button. Coordinators could announce upcoming presentations and events via push notifications to boost attendance and most significantly, the app was utilized to communicate any changes in itinerary to attendees.

 

event social media app data

 

There was just under 100% adoption. There were roughly 450 attendees and most used the app:

event social media strategy

On-Site Video

An integral part of media tactics in event social media strategy.

The first day’s video was uploaded that night at 9:05 p.m. A sleek, professionally shot and edited video produced in just a few hours. The video received hundreds of views within minutes, it is now at over 3.5K views and it’s the right people watching.

 

This video posted just past noon on the second day of the event went live with much anticipation. There were thousands of views by nightfall and is now tipping the scale into 6K views.

 

The third and last day’s video received over 3.5k views.

 

A sleek video to finish it off. This video garnered over 8k views.

Inspiring Future Attendance

Painting the future vision is key. A must for any event social media strategy.

These quick turnaround videos not only excite and entertain attendees, but also hold deep value in their ability to inspire future attendance. Non-attendees are enticed to register for future conferences by seeing the event in all its glory. Each video has thousands of views from all over the world.

Facebook Engagement

Facebook is the world’s leading social media platform. Thus, it is here where event social media efforts should be focused.

The engagement on the HPN Global Facebook page exploded during and after the event. It went from an average engagement count of about 75 to a simple photo of the beloved CEO, Bill Kilburg, receiving over 300 interactions. Live coverage of this event captured people’s attention.

And that wasn’t the only one… The engagement on the page that weekend and beyond was astounding. What does this tell us? That live event coverage draws lasting attention to a business page.

event social media facebook results

All in all, the digital strategy for this event was an (admittedly) expected success.

Future plans entail live feed via the app and Facebook, 360° and virtual reality content. #HPN17 here we come.

 
For more information on live event coverage, check out Your Brand Voice Social Athletes.

HPN Global Sourcing Tip

When sourcing programs that are for further out years or for International destinations we are noticing a trend in a longer turnaround time. Hotels are taking a bit longer to respond because they are picking and choosing what works best for them for future years now that they can.   The HPN Global sourcing team is still following up with our promised 24-72-hour turnaround time in mind but it is very important to be aware of what we are seeing as a trend in the market.

HPN Global always encourages clients for date flexibility on the front end. With the space availability being so limited in a lot of our top destinations, we are noticing a lot more revisions coming through to check alternate dates. If we have this information on the front end we can cut out a lot of time and provide our clients with the best available options while avoiding a prolonged search.

If you have any questions on the tips above, or would like to activate an RFP with HPN Global – please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you,


JoAnn Stevens
Senior Sourcing Operations Specialist
HPN Global
13825 N Northsight Blvd., Suite 201
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
Phone: 480.998.9770 Ext 242
jstevens@hpnglobal.com
Website | Linked In

Health Tips For Meeting Planners

There are many factors to consider when choosing which fish to eat, two of which include species (the type of fish) and source (is it farmed or wild caught). These aren’t simple decisions when you consider that the nutritional value of fish varies from species to species, and that each source carries a different potential for contamination, nutrition and environmental impact.

Challenge yourself towards technology

On the meeting app stuff. There are so many great programmers out there, really anything is possible. I also like http://www.meetingplay.com/and http://doubledutch.me/ apps, although we are using http://www.quickmobile.com/ again for the 3rd year in a row because of the great relationship and service they provide HPN Global. They know what we want (a nice solid app nothing overly tech advanced, proven and stable.)…Last year was a good example the year before, not so much.

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The Top Reasons to Meet in Las Vegas

Considering bringing your next meeting or event to Las Vegas but don’t know where to start?  Not sure if Las Vegas is the right destination?  The answer to this question is a resounding YES!  Las Vegas is a dynamic city that has something to meet every need and budget.  From your smaller more intimate events to large national conventions, this is the one city that can do it all!!  There are plenty of good reasons to hold your event in Las Vegas, but I’ve limited them to these 10 key points: (source: LVCVA Statistics)

1. Accommodations
With more than 150,000 rooms, Las Vegas has the accommodations to meet every budget.

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Group Rates for Hotels

Group rates will not be greater than the lowest rate offered to the guests or Groups in the Hotel.  If lower internet or other promotional rates are offered by the Hotel, before the cut-off date, the Hotel will take immediate action to remove the lower rates from all available sources. 

PLANNER’S POINT:

One of the phone calls/emails that is hard for all meeting planners to answer is when your attendees ask why they got a lower internet rate at your contracted hotel.  How do you answer that and what can you do?  It is almost impossible to prevent this from happening in the internet age that we are in but your hotel contract is the legal document that should protect you (and your reputation) from this type of situation.  The Lowest Group Rate Clause above is a very important hotel contractual clause that protects you from the lower internet rates prior to your cutoff date that hotel’s use to sell their remaining inventory.

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Happy New Year and Lets Go Rock 2013

So its 2013 !!!!

So Joe and I founded this company 10 years ago on a few basic ideas and a plan to create a home for the “Rock Stars” of the industry that wanted to make the next step in entrepreneurship and be able to more fully service their clients, you all are those Rock Stars!

Another great year  !  Record bookings for the company , great new associates and friends and too much fun …….. Thanks to everybody !!

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HPN Health & Wellness Challenge

Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person’s mind, body and spirit.

Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.

In today’s world striking the perfect balance between your top priorities can at times be difficult and seemingly impossible.  Instead of balancing our priorities we often end up juggling them and something that at one time was important has now taken a backseat to more demanding priorities.  The most universal priorities are the everyday home and work responsibilities that we all have.  Whether it’s shuttling your kids between school and hockey practice, making deadlines at work, or trying to contain your road rage because you have to make it to the post office before it closes to send your Mother a Birthday card because if it doesn’t arrive in time for her special day you will never hear the end of it.  Right?  But what about YOU?  What about your health and overall wellness?  These are the things that, when juggling, we tend to drop first.  So, how do we find the balance?  Sometimes it takes baby steps or asking for support, while other times it takes incentive.

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