DAVE & BUSTER’S
Event Planning & Management
Dave & Buster’s, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, operates 65 large-venue, high-volume restaurant/entertainment complexes throughout North America. Guests can play state-of-the-art simulators and games of skill they can’t play anywhere else. The Dave & Buster’s and MMI partnership arose as the chain sought to garner attention for the grand opening of a new franchise in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Dave & Buster’s goal was clear: drive customers to the grand opening event and sustain traffic to the franchise post-event.
To achieve communications and business objectives, Dave & Buster’s sought assistance in exposing the brand to the community, as well as developing sustainable momentum for the brand throughout the greater Triangle area. This was accomplished through a comprehensive strategic communications campaign for the grand opening that included media relations, community engagement and social media.
PHASE 1 DISCOVERY
MMI conducted in-depth market research to assess potential challenges and opportunities for the Dave & Buster’s brand in the greater Triangle area. From this research, MMI revealed that while Dave & Buster’s did not face any immediate area competitors that combined arcade-style gaming and dining, there was a need to generate awareness and interest in a market already saturated with dining and entertainment options. To successfully address this issue, Dave & Buster’s needed to analyze their customer set and determine what would most appeal to target demographics. MMI conducted research that would support Dave & Buster’s knowledge of the Research Triangle market and the communication and entertainment preferences of its diverse demographic. MMI specifically identified the best modes of communication for reaching Dave & Buster’s most-desired customer – the “Play Together Young Adult” – as well as corporate and tourist audiences, including efforts to extend the brand’s reach through this group.
PHASE 2 STRATEGY & PLANNING
Based on the results of the discovery process, MMI worked with Dave & Buster’s to first create a comprehensive communications campaign. This campaign would engage and build relationships with key stakeholders – specifically target customers and media members through communications efforts that positioned the brand as a local venue of choice for food, entertainment and fun.
Our campaign strategies included: pre-opening and grand opening campaigns targeted toward both media and community members, as well as a grand opening event tying all previous efforts together in a unique unveiling of the Dave & Buster’s facility and its food, drink and entertainment offerings for all key stakeholders. Collectively, our efforts were focused on achieving 700 customers at the grand opening.
PHASE 3 PRODUCTION & DELIVERY
Through an integrated campaign, MMI efficiently and effectively shared the Dave & Buster’s story by leveraging paid, earned, shared and owned media channels. These efforts included crafting traditional media content and performing outreach among local media outlets; building and managing local Dave & Buster’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram); engaging in charitable and community partnerships, and comprehensive event planning and management. The restaurant hosted a pre-opening media luncheon, attended by more than 40 radio, TV and print journalists and bloggers. All efforts served not only to notify the community of Dave & Buster’s presence and grand opening events, but mobilized the community to attend these events and interact with the brand across all media channels. To further support grand opening efforts, MMI followed up with media in order to solidify Dave & Buster’s success in engaging with target stakeholders and reinforcing positive media opinion on the venue.
The local Dave & Buster’s Twitter account, @DaveBustersCary, received the most interaction and engagement from content designed to promote the grand opening, media day and VIP grand opening event. This content greatly increased @mentions for the account, particularly when invitations were sent out for media day. These efforts garnered 147 followers, 228 total follower tweets and 64 @mentions, many from influential local media members, with a total potential reach of 387,019 people. In a two-month span leading up to and immediately following the grand opening, MMI’s social expertise garnered 734 Facebook page likes, with 607 “People Talking About This,” and a Weekly Total Reach of 114,259 people. Together, traditional and social media outreach helped Dave & Buster’s surpass its goal of 700 grand opening attendees, setting the foundation for sustainable success for the franchise in the Research Triangle.