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BUILD A SELFIE STATION & ENTERTAIN YOUR CASINO TEAM IN A PANDEMIC

WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE A SELFIE STATION?

A selfie station will Lift Morale & Increasing Social Engagement

A couple of years ago, you could have easily rewarded one lucky individual from your casino team with a pair of Comp’d front row tickets to one of your concerts as a perk. Sacrificing a single pair of tickets for this purpose has an immeasurable impact on team morale and encourages engagement. Sadly, nowadays live entertainment is optional, or should I say non-existent. 

Regardless, the point is, if you want to keep your casino team excited and engaged during a pandemic it’s going to take more than an annual or quarterly bonus (I promise). Sure, cash money is a great motivator and helps pay the bills, but cash itself is hardly the stuff memories are made of. Not to mention, it kind of looks foolish when you are flashing cash on social media or bragging about it around your peers. 

And let’s face it, nowadays people are more interested in being part of a cool story, special experience, or life-changing occurrence that is share-worthy. I think this is especially true now that the government is handing out unemployment money like candy. 

With that being said, let’s talk about an alternative perk that has a similar effect – The Selfie Experience. 

Across the states, casino properties have used a selfie station in conjunction with their promotions and player-driven advertising on the floor. These stations include oversized props, statues, and all kinds of themed 3D printed models. Yes, this is a stellar idea but, in my opinion, there are some ways to better leverage a selfie experience/station. In recent years Georgia Tech combed through 2.5 million selfies on Instagram to determine what kinds of identity statements people make by taking and sharing selfies. 

According to Georgia Tech, 59% (over half) of those selfies were shared by women that were between the ages of 18-35. Most of the time in the real world gender is irrelevant. In marketing and gaming, it is one of the most important demographics you can analyze. 

So in this case it’s important to note that women ages 18-35 are not in the prime age range for gaming. That being said, a cool selfie station on the casino floor might look great, but studies show it probably won’t engage the core demographic that drives 70% of your tribe’s gaming revenue. 

That’s not a deal-breaker when deciding whether or not to build a selfie station on your casino floor, however. And it does not mean the money paid for the selfie station was wasted. I honestly don’t know what it means. I do think that if your goal is to get people to share their experience, you should know exactly who you are trying to target and why. 

Someone once told me to be successful in any endeavor and in life, you must begin with the end in mind. In my opinion, if a selfie station is inside your tribe’s casino or is being connected to a gaming promotion, it makes the most sense for it to engage the prime gaming demographic that drives nearly all of your revenue.  

HOW MUCH DOES A SELFIE STATION COST?

The price for a selfie station ranges widely. You could spend more than $20,000 on a massive selfie museum with handheld props, or as little as $5,000 on a smaller single selfie station. If you are going with oversized props, models or 3D printed items, you will likely be paying a premium. The downside to these massive or expensive and uniquely themed stations is that you will probably only be able to use them once unless you design something with intent that allows you to interchange certain components. Even then, you will have to really think outside of the box so you don’t look like you are recycling your original idea. 

Here are a couple of different materials and options to consider when deciding what selfie station price point is right for your casino:

  1. Printed backdrops with green screen & handheld props $3,000 – $4,750 + (not including labor)
    1. Cardstock
    2. Falcon board 
    3. Foamcore 
    4. Paper
    5. Cardboard
  2. Lifesize & 3D items i.e. statues, models and replicas $7,500 – $15,000 + (should include labor)
    1. 3D printing
    2. Bondo
    3. PVC
    4. Kydex
    5. Thermoplastics 
    6. Polystyrene

Sometimes a good option to help reduce cost is to work with a prop house or find and theatre that already has unique items to repurpose into your own creative design. The best part about selfie stations is that you get to create your own idea, and that means all options are on the table. 

SUGGESTED ITEMS TO ADD TO A SELFIE STATION.

There’s an undefined amount of materials that you can use to build a selfie station. This is the short list of items that when purchased, seem to provide the greatest return on investment over time. Of course, it might be cheaper to rent everything if you are only planning a single selfie event or station/exhibit. 

  1. Photobooth and hosting software $1,500 – $3,000 (renting one is also an option) 
  2. A photobooth printer, ink & paper $300 – $500 (optional)
  3. Pipe & Drape  (see local rates), or purchase some for $3,000 – $4,000 for a better ROI
  4. Lighting $2,000 – $4,000 (depending on type and quality of gear i.e. LED, moving fixtures, etc.)

 

Holiday Selfie Station

WHAT THEMES SHOULD I USE TO BUILD A PROPER SELFIE STATION? 

I love a good theme! The theme should be part of the overall strategy as it will determine why people on your team are choosing to engage with your selfie station. One of the best ways to use a selfie station is to pick a holiday to piggyback on. 

Christmas, Halloween, Chinese New Year and even Easter are good examples of holidays that involve cheerfulness and colorful opportunities to express your creativity.   Below are a few good examples of the different types of themes you could use regularly.

Below are a few more unique themes that could be used for special events or private events:

  1. Alice In Wonderland 
  2. Ballpit
  3. Birthday Celebrations 
  4. Oversized Doughnut Wall
  5. Neon Lights
  6. Bathing In Gold (Bath Tubs With Gold Coins)

Of course, these are only a few ideas but you get the point. Crazy, unique, elaborate, and memorable. Those are the words that should be swirling around your head when deciding what kind of experience you want to create for your team or client.  At least that’s what I do. 

WHY A SELFIE STATION MATTERS?

I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to create a selfie exhibit, selfie museum, or selfie experience. Building an immersive and unique backdrop is fun no matter what theme you choose. I will say the more unique and creative you are the more memorable the experience will be. 

Very few people are capable of Hyperthymesia (a condition that allows people to be able to remember an abnormally large number of their life experiences in vivid detail), but we are all capable of explicit memory. Explicit memory is the ability to recall important and unique ideas, thoughts, and experiences. 

The more unique, special, or memorable, the more likely you are to recall it in detail, share and revisit the moment(s) you experienced or enjoyed. Use this to market your casino, reward your team’s senses, and provide pleasant memories for a lifetime. When leveraged properly, you will retain more team members, increase morale, and stand out as a thoughtful employer. Be that employer. 

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