Light & Wonder brought together more than 300 customers, sponsors and Light & Wonder Creators for its private three-day Systems User Conference at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
The event kicked-off with a golf tournament at Jacaranda Golf course followed by a welcome reception and awards ceremony hosted by Light & Wonder Chief Revenue Officer of Gaming, Bob Parente.
The next day, attendees enjoyed a full, engaging itinerary that covered a variety of hot industry topics and included over 18 breakout sessions addressing product roadmaps, customer roundtables and panel discussions. Customers also participated in networking opportunities and immersive, interactive product demonstrations presented by Light & Wonder Creators featuring existing products and innovative concepts that gave customers hands-on experience.
Matt Wilson, Light & Wonder Chief Executive of Gaming began the day with a state of the union address, providing customers with key updates on the Company’s new brand and future vision of creating great game content that players want to play – anytime and anywhere. Wilson also discussed Light & Wonder’s unprecedented increased investment in Research and Development (R&D) and how the investment will help modernize and redesign the Company’s full suite of solutions.
According to Wilson, the focus on R&D will also enable the Company to further enhance customer data/insights; user UI/UX; mobile and digital platforms; as well as enhance the products and services that will drive system customer benefits such as the cost of ownership, allowing speed to market with new features and functionality, and ultimately delivering a future state converged platform.
Renowned industry heavy-hitter and Chief Operating Officer of Seminole Gaming, David Hoenemeyer, shared updates on Seminole Gaming and highlighted their commitment to investing in entertainment and key partnerships, while also touting how Light & Wonder has helped their business redefine the guest experience and drive loyalty with the Company’s product solutions.
Hoenemeyer noted solutions such as Player Boutique powered by the Elite Bonusing Suite which enables Seminole Gaming to offer a seamless gifting process to players while at their game. Player Boutique allows gifts to be sent directly to players’ homes via Amazon Prime shipping instead of having to stand in a line, resulting in increased coin-in, operational labor efficiencies, no in-house gift inventory and most importantly, personalized promotional items that are unique to the players own preferences.
The conference continued with a timely discussion on the popular industry topic “Convergence,” led by Siobhan Lane, Light & Wonder Chief Commercial Officer, Gaming and Rich Schneider, Light & Wonder Chief Product Officer. Lane and Schneider reinforced Light & Wonder’s increased investment in R&D to drive near-term benefits and value to systems customers while also articulating the Company’s commitment to building a cross-channel converged platform.
The duo highlighted that the world is changing, with modern customers now participating in cross-channel experiences — land-based casinos, digital and social. “Across the board, we see that players engage with us more when they play both in-person and online,” said Lane. “If done right, the convergence of these channels offers the opportunity to enhance the player experience, grow loyalty, and ultimately boost revenues and profitability.”
Next, attendees enjoyed a panel discussion, titled “Voice of the Consumer” moderated by Brian Pierce, Light & Wonder Senior Vice President of Sales, North America, that brought together Company experts to discuss lessons from COVID, increasing cybersecurity, ways to improve customer service supports, cashless gaming, and the importance of real-time data and insights. Participants included Kevin Kealy, Light & Wonder Chief Information Security; Muthu Palanichamy, Light & Wonder VP of Customer Engagement; Bob Parente, Light & Wonder Chief Revenue Officer; and Trina Cranmer, Light & Wonder Director of Product Management.
The panelists shared insights on how now more than ever customers are demanding data to better understand their players, drive operational efficiencies, loyalty marketing programs, enhance overall operations and drive results that make a difference. Panelists also discussed how the Company is improving its customer service support through more impactful ways including remote service capabilities and e-learning training platforms.
The three-day Systems User Conference culminated with an exciting 30-minute keynote address featuring Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary. O’Leary spoke on the impact of the pandemic and how it was an accelerant for technology and motivated companies, such as Nike, to sell direct to consumers.
He then offered advice on effective leadership, emphasizing that the key to great leadership is articulating thoughts and ideas in 90 seconds or less; convincing stakeholders of your ideas; and knowing your business and numbers. O’Leary also offered his final thoughts on bitcoin and cryptocurrency before concluding the program with an audience Q&A.