Last week 165 of Australia’s leading senior club managers mainly from NSW and QLD, returned from the CCM Travel G2E 2019 USA tour. As well as 3 days at the G2E Expo in Vegas the executives were all treated to a massive line up of influencers and presenters that were designed to get them to work around current economic difficulties with some out-of-the-box thinking. A San Francisco seminar with a Google exec, a presentation by the Sales Director of Standard Hotel in Downtown LA, along with a focus on emerging food and beverage trends in LA, were just some of the experiences arranged for the group outside of the G2E Expo.
The tour began with a 3-day visit to San Francisco and a presentation by Mary Gourley a Field Sales Specialist at Google who provided insights into how they have developed their employee teams and a company culture of innovation through four main foundations:
Curiosity – using unusual internal space design and breaking up routines to encourage playfulness and out of the box thinking
Agency – making employees their own agents for self-improvement and professional growth by allowing them to explore areas of interest and skill-building, and collaborate across departments on challenges
Collaboration –magnifying internal experts and growing in-house talent has ensured in-team mentors are able to grow employee experience and connections across the company
Risk-taking – by rewarding risk-taking and training staff to not be afraid of failure they have developed a culture where employees are not afraid to toss up and work through new ideas.
A guided San Francisco city bus tour included the Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill, Twin Peaks, the Presidio National Park and Fisherman’s Wharf where some of the delegates took an opportunity to catch the ferry across to Alcatraz. The evening wrapped up with dinner at North Beach for some of the best Italian food in San Francisco.
The final day in San Fran included a visit to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Napa Valley in the morning followed by a visit to one of the Station Casino properties, the Graton City Casino. During lunch the Director of Slots spoke to the group about gaming operations followed by a casino floor tour.
Arrival in LA for the group started with an interesting presentation from the General Manager of The Standard hotel and the development and market segmentation of their brand. From the most in-demand rooftop in Downtown LA to their Head Chef using emerging food and beverage trends to create market driven experiences for their guests, The Standard is differentiating their products for a wide range of markets. Their customer market breakdown follows generational patterns, but their insights into what motivates members of each group is useful for clubs too:
The focus of the tour in LA is the growth in leading restaurants in Downtown LA developing food trends that are being followed around the world. After a visit to the Grand Central Market the group visited two local breweries Mumford Brewing and Arts District Brewing Company for tastings of the locally brewed beers. The bus tour included many of the sightseeing highlights in LA.
This was followed by a free day for everyone on the Tour. We don’t know what they did because as we all know, …what happens on tour stays on tour.
Travelling from LA across to Vegas by bus allowed for a stop at the San Manuel Casino which is known for having the largest number of gaming machines in California and an award-winning buffet and steakhouse. Everyone kept the food intake to a minimum though in order to make the most of the next stop at In-N-Out Burger.
In Las Vegas the tour group stayed at Wynn Casino, considered by many in the industry as the best hotel on the Strip and a casino where product ideas, service, design and hospitality can be transferred at some level to clubs. In this casino it’s the attention to detail that really stands out.
This part of the tour was really about the G2E Trade Show and Conference at the Sands Convention Centre. This year over 400 exhibitors had stands, with 27,000 gaming industry professionals attending. The Aussie contingent was part of the 13.5% of international visitors. 37% of the G2E visitors attended the seminar program with the G2E Sports Betting Symposium being the focus of this year’s conference. Sports betting has been the biggest growth gaming segment in the USA this year and is an area that is just starting to grow in Australia.
During the evenings CCM held many dinners and networking events for the delegates hosted by industry suppliers including CUB, Aristocrat, IGT, SG Gaming, Konami, Crane Payment Innovations, Banktech & Next Payments.
The return from Las Vegas finished with a drive across the desert and Cal-Neva border to LAX with a sunset stop at Santa Monica Beach! What a great way to end a brilliant tour.
With 22 years of experience in developing study tours, CCM Travel have a unique knowledge of the Australian club/hotel industry and are experts in putting together cost-effective, experience-based management tours. They understand what inspires industry managers to drive their business and stay ahead of trends. CCM Travel is busy preparing their tours for next year and will publish their 2020 calendar soon
For more information on what’s coming in 2020 contact:
Catherine Mancuso – Catherine@ccmtravel.com.au
Anthony Mancuso – Anthony@ccmtravel.com.au
Phone: +61 2 9439 5100