A Live Casino Experience During The COVID-19 Pandemic
With any major change comes an opportunity if you look hard enough. So as the days of isolation in the beginning of the pandemic, turned to weeks, U.S. Poker & Casino Parties started to brainstorm what we could do to keep our team working and to keep our lights on. As we felt the world become more and more comfortable with Zoom, and sat on one virtual meeting after the next, it struck me. Everything that we could do in person at a Blackjack table could be done virtually on Zoom. As I thought over the approach, we pulled out some old computers, GoPros and cameras that were collecting dust and thought about how to make it feel authentic. We came up with the idea of using our warehouse to house multiple tables with real dealers, a camera looking over the table, and another pointed at the dealer. We thought about having a “floor manager” help cash guests in using the chat feature, and communicate with the dealer as new people joined the table. Instead of feeling like a video game full of digital anonymity we would be able to see faces, interact, and create that authentic feeling of being at a table.
A Virtual Event That Boosts Team Morale
For weeks as corporations were thinking about what to do to increase company morale in such a dark time, and how to remain connected as they transitioned to virtual working environments, our virtual casino night became a perfect solution for something fun and different. Once again, we reached out to our partners to help spread the word. Many of them were stuck with no virtual solutions but had very important, long term clients that wanted their help. We were happy to offer a fun, engaging virtual offering for them to sell to their clients and keep some revenue coming in as well.
Keeping Virtual Events Live With Zoom Fatigue
As the pandemic continues we, like many of you, have hit the Zoom wall more than once. We understand there are times that the last thing your guests want to do after a day of back-to-back video calls is to get on another video call for "happy hour". To enhance our virtual events, we have been creating virtual experience we are calling 'features'. This allows us to anchor the event around a performance or "main event" much like you would enjoy a LasVegas Casino. These features can be guest performers, boxing matches, or hybrid event elements that can enhance the virtual experience and allow for some variety in the event.
Lessons Learned From Virtual Casino Events
To be able to turn an idea of a virtual casino night, into not only a reality, but a real source of revenue for the business has been an incredible experience. On a final note of reflection, this pandemic has shown me that there will always be a place for live events, that no-matter what, there can be nothing that replaces the energy and environment with connecting with people in person. While I’m excited to add another service into our deck, we can’t wait to be able to walk into a crowded event, buzzing with an intangible energy that can only be created with incredible event professionals.