Booking conferences at resort casinos has become increasingly popular with meeting planners. The added level of entertainment found after conference sessions can up the ante for guests looking to make the most of their meeting destination. If you’re not a regular gamer, here are some tips that won’t make you feel like a rookie:


» Always assume dealers have a face card under their up card.

» Never split face cards. (Splitting is separating the cards to create two hands and two bets.) » Don’t touch the cards.

» Be dynamic with your wagers. If you walk in and play the table minimum all of the time, you may have fun, but your chances of walking out with more money in your pocket are slim.

» For new players, it’s best to find a table where it looks like the players are having a good time. This is a strong indicator that they are not serious blackjack players, so rookies will be welcomed.


» Ask the dealers questions. They enjoy helping new players.

» Stay away from proposition wagers (high-risk, flashy bets in the middle of the table).

» The game on the surface looks very complicated, but the concept is simple. Roll a point number (four, five, six, eight, nine, or 10) twice before you roll a seven. There are many other wagers that can be made. The outcome of the roll determines which wagers win, lose or push (a tie between the dealer and player).


» Compared to blackjack and craps, roulette is more in favor of the house, so the odds of you winning are not as promising.

» Betting is a little different on roulette. A large group of people can play at the same time, so casinos issue “nonvalue chips” to differentiate the many chips on the board. Each roulette table has its own distinct set of colored roulette chips. These are only good at that table. When you are finished playing, let the dealer know. He or she will cash you out or provide you with regular chips to play at other tables.

» Keep in mind: On busy nights, it is standing room only at the roulette tables. Many regular roulette players do not mind reaching over, under or through other players to make wagers.

(Pai Gow, Three-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em)

» These games have high payouts with a low level of player skill involved. The drawback is that the chance of you winning is not as high as in blackjack, craps or roulette.

» The dealers are able to instruct you on how to play and are happy to help.

» Once you make your wager, the fate of your money lies with the cards.


» Just because the machine says it’s a penny slot doesn’t mean you are only at risk of losing a penny at a time. There are some penny slots that allow you to bet $20 a spin.

» Beware the large scrolling amounts that you see on top of the machines. These are called progressive jackpots. They can be exciting to play, but in order to have a chance at winning, you need to bet the maximum, and sometimes that maximum can cost you $20 a spin.

The times they are a-changing, and that has never been truer than when it comes to selecting an A/V partner and deciding whether the in- house A/V vendor or an outside third-party provider is the right partner for you. Due to advancements in technology, lighting and other A/V equipment that has come down in price, planners are now finding op- portunities to use previously out of budget technology with a much more palatable price tag. 


Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.


Landing a big-name keynote speaker can be a significant part of your conference budget. That person should add credibility to the event and hopefully boost attendance. But if your speakers just deliver canned presentations before making a quick exit for the airport, you and your attendees are missing the full value they can bring to an event. With some extra planning, you can help set up the speaker and your event for success.