Focus, patience, passion – lessons from Bill Hornbuckle

Focus, patience, passion – lessons from Bill Hornbuckle

One of the standout moments at ICE VOX, held as part of ICE London 2024, was the engaging dialogue between Simon Thomas, Executive Chairman of Hippodrome Casino and Bill Hornbuckle, CEO & President of MGM Resorts International. Hornbuckle, known for his extensive experience in the hospitality and entertainment sectors, offered invaluable advice for newcomers to the industry while shedding light on the role of technology in the industry and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Focus, patience, passion

Hornbuckle first emphasised three fundamental principles for individuals embarking on their careers: focus, patience, and passion. He underscored the importance of remaining open to new ideas and opportunities, recounting his own experience of spearheading MGM Grand’s entry into the online gaming sector business, demonstrating the value of embracing innovation and curiosity.

Moreover, the significance of active listening was a recurring theme in Hornbuckle’s insights. Drawing from personal anecdotes, he highlighted the transformative impact of attentively listening to both customers and employees. He stressed that understanding their needs and perspectives is pivotal in driving meaningful progress and fostering a sense of community within organisations.

Reflecting on his career, Bill Hornbuckle expressed a deep appreciation for leadership roles where he could steer the ship, fostering a competitive yet collaborative environment. He refrained from singling out any particular job, suggesting that each opportunity contributed to his professional journey in its own unique way.

Technology and digital solutions

The conversation then pivoted to the influence of technology, particularly AI, in the industry. Hornbuckle acknowledged the potential of AI to enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and address challenges such as peak demand periods. However, he also emphasised the importance of leveraging technology thoughtfully, ensuring that it complements rather than replaces human interaction.

Addressing the impact of recent global events, Hornbuckle discussed the accelerated adoption of digital solutions in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He cited examples such as digital check-ins and mobile key access, highlighting how technology has been instrumental in enhancing guest experiences and operational efficiency.

Despite acknowledging the ever-present threat of cybersecurity risks, Hornbuckle remained optimistic about the transformative power of technology. He stressed the need for continuous vigilance and adaptation to mitigate potential vulnerabilities while harnessing the benefits of digital innovation.

In closing, Hornbuckle emphasised the dynamic nature of the industry and the importance of staying attuned to evolving consumer preferences and market trends. He outlined initiatives aimed at integrating digital experiences with traditional brick-and-mortar offerings, underscoring the industry’s commitment to innovation and customer-centricity.

Join us at SiGMA Eurasia in Dubai

The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Held between the 25 and 27 February 2024, the summit provides invaluable opportunities for attendees to network with industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new markets.  

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