Harrah’s Meeting Diamond

Harrah’s Entertainment treats meeting planners like high rollers

By: Kathy Espin

Wouldn’t it be great to be treated like a Las Vegas high roller without having to gamble? If you’re a meeting planner, that dream has come true.

Harrah’s Entertainment has announced the expansion of a recognition program called “Total Rewards” at all six of the company’s Las Vegas properties that makes meeting planners immediately recognizable to resort staff and assures VIP treatment.

Meeting planners who book groups into Bally’s Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas or Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino receive a credit-card-style ID that can be carried or worn as a badge. Similar to the slot club card, the badge entitles the holder to priority service (i.e., line passes) at the front desk, restaurants, clubs and business centers and access to the members-only Diamond lounges at each property.

“Some of our hotels, prior to the merger [of Caesars Entertainment and Harrah’s Entertainment], had their own meeting planner recognition program,” said Don Ross, vice president of catering, conventions and events with Harrah’s. “What we did when we merged the hotels, we basically took advantage of the VIP casino program that was already well in place at Harrah’s and instituted them at the Caesars Legacy properties.”

Harrah’s has been recognized for years for having one of the industry’s best slot and casino customer recognition clubs known as the Total Rewards program. Diamond level is the top tier of the rewards program reserved for the very best customers.

“The casino had such a great program at Harrah’s. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we expanded it to the meeting program,” Ross said.

The original concept has been in place for a while at what were formerly known as the Harrah’s properties: Harrah’s Las Vegas and the Rio. Now it is available at the former Caesars’ properties too.

Ross said the program grew out of a recognized need for efficiency for meeting planners.

“Part of a meeting planner’s frustration is not really getting that immediate attention and response from hotel employees. Now, when our staff sees that badge, they know this is a decision-maker, and we need to take care of business and ask questions later,” he said.

Meeting Diamond status can also be bestowed on executives with the client, company or “anyone designated as ‘in charge,’” Ross said.

Harrah’s is also encouraging meeting planners and guest executives to participate in an employee rewards program to help get the front-line workers on board with the program. Along with the Meeting Diamond ID badge, each decision-maker is given two or more pins or medallions specific to each property. The meeting planner is asked to award the tokens to employees throughout the property who give exceptional service.

The recipient of each token receives a $100 gift certificate to any restaurant in the Harrah’s chain. The employee is also entered into a quarterly drawing for an all-expense-paid vacation for two to anywhere in the continental United States.

“We ask them to be sure to give half the pins to people who are not in the catering area,” Ross said. “We also want [the tokens] to go only to our line staff, not to managers.” With six properties and nearly a million square feet of convention and meeting space, Harrah’s has a big job to do in educating and motivating thousands of employees. Ross said the company recognizes the challenge and is dedicating millions of dollars to the program.

“We want to get all employees excited about the convention business and the convention customer,” he said. “We hope to give them the best service in the business.”

CONTACT

Harrah’s Entertainment
877-633-8702
www.lvmeetingsbyharrahs.com

HARRAH’S LAS VEGAS PROPERTIES

Bally’s Las Vegas
2,814 guestrooms and suites
175,000 square feet of meeting space

Caesars Palace
3,348 guestrooms and suites
240,000 square feet of meeting space

Flamingo Las Vegas
3,565 guestrooms and suites
73,000-square-foot conference center

Harrah’s Las Vegas
2,579 guest rooms and suites
25,000 square feet of meeting space

Paris Las Vegas
2,916 guestrooms and suites
140,000 square feet of meeting space

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
2,563 guest suites
160,000 square feet of meeting space

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