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[Case Study] UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Discotech helped a world-renowned graduate business program – UC Berkeley Haas School of Business – plan their annual pre-graduation Las Vegas getaway weekend. Along with our preferred local hospitality partner Stupak Las Vegas, our client was able to get the full Las Vegas experience.

  • Total months of planning: 7
  • Total attendees: 400
  • Total hotel rooms booked: 127 (Mandalay Bay Resort)
  • Total budget: $300,000 USD

Planning a Vegas Trip for Large Groups With a Budget

Why is planning Vegas for large groups so difficult?

  • Dinner reservations – limited number of places that can seat large groups, people have different cuisine preferences
  • Hotel rooms / suites – need to decide on location, negotiate a discount deal, and make sure that it can accommodate the group within budget
  • Activities – people have different preferences, not all activities can accommodate large groups
  • Nightclubs / pool parties – getting 10 people into a Vegas club can be a huge headache – getting 50+ would be a nightmare without a host.

Discotech is your subject matter expert when it comes to planning corporate events and large group trips to Vegas. We were able to create an unforgettable guest experience for all UC Berkeley Haas attendees, thanks to the following core principles:

  • Responsiveness: Immediate, informative, and thorough communication with the Haas leadership planning committee early on in the process
  • Transparency: Constant and accurate information disclosure in real-time, both in the week leading up to the event and over the course of the weekend
  • Presence: Highly experienced on-site host staff to greet all attendees on the day of their arrival, debrief them on their upcoming weekend itineraries, and ensure they were on schedule and provided an on-site guide for all itinerary events
  • Knowledge: With over two decades of experience held by Discotech and its Vegas local host partners, we know every in and out of Vegas nightlife and can provide input on any and every proposed idea, as well as build out best-fit itineraries for groups with little or no experience in Vegas party planning based on what’s worked for our previous clients.
  • Execution: Flawless, mistake-free execution according to the agreed-upon and finalized plan and pricing – as well as rapid solutions to any unexpected itinerary and/or budget changes – has allowed Discotech to showcase that we are experts in our field and our service is unrivaled.

Our client was able to accomplish all of their large group goals within their budget while surpassing the discerning expectations of each attendee, in the process garnering a positive lasting impression among one of the world’s most elite business school brands.

Case Details

With Las Vegas nightlife services being such a competitive landscape, we needed to show this high-priority client why they should partner with us. The UC Berkeley Haas planning committee needed assistance with simplifying a complex task: booking large-scale dayclub and nightclub events and hotel room blocks. More importantly, they needed this task executed quickly and comprehensively, from a proven company with considerable experience and access to a variety of options to ensure best-fit final choices and no unexpected snags or hiccups for any of their individual attendees.

After months of working to win their business, we immediately set out to define – then blow through – the expectations for all of the attendees in their group. We knew that many of these attendees could become future repeat customers after graduation as they rapidly ascended the corporate ladders of their respective white-collar industries. Our most important strategic decision in the process occurred early on: to lean heavily on the expertise and know-how of our preferred local host partner Stupak Las Vegas, a renowned hospitality company with over four decades of large group logistics planning in Las Vegas and a stellar reputation within the Vegas entertainment industry.

UC Berkeley Haas Business School celebrating @ Light Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017

Part I: UC Berkeley Haas 2017 Las Vegas Party Planning

We first worked with this client on a limited scope engagement – 175 guests – in 2017; on that initial experience we put forth a considerable early effort to discuss and uncover their goals, budgets, and priorities. Our successful execution of that first go-round – combined with periodic check-ins over the next year – was instrumental in Discotech winning the much bigger repeat business in 2018.

In 2017, after gathering all information from the array of itinerary ideas presented by the Haas planning committee over a two-month window, we addressed all of their leadership’s concerns and then helped narrow down to the handful of best possible options, then presented and walked our client through multiple proposals. Even though our client continued to conduct dialogue with multiple competing Vegas nightlife companies, they decided to work with us again because of our demonstrated expertise working with large organizations, our strong relationships with each venue and hotel, and most importantly our proven ability to provide excellent service while staying within their budget.

The first step in the process was to secure hotel accommodations for the large group. With the help of Stupak’s high-level connections, we were able to secure exclusive hotel rates for far less than the rates available to the general public. We arranged for the group to stay at one of the best hotel resorts on the Vegas Strip – the Mandalay Bay Resort – in 65 Double Queen rooms and two large luxury penthouse suites. The nighttime venue they chose for the group’s party was Hakkasan Nightclub at the MGM Grand, where they did a buyout of half of the Main Room Mezzanine, a private and roped-off intimate balcony section overlooking the DJ booth. The group loved the energy and vibe inside of Hakkasan and were treated like super VIPs, thanks to the exclusive nature of the mezzanine setup, but more importantly to the strong personal relationships, our assigned door host has held and maintained with the Hakkasan door and podium staff since the day the venue opened.

The group spent the following day at Daylight Beach Club, the daytime pool party at the Mandalay Bay resort where they were staying. Out of all of the best pool parties on the Strip, we had selected and proposed Daylight to them for the following reasons:

  • Location: Knowing the group had gone pretty hard at Hakkasan the previous night, we wanted to make it as quick and easy as possible for all of the attendees to wake up, pull themselves together, and get where they needed to be on time to enjoy the festivities.
  • Layout: For a party as big as theirs, we knew that Daylight – one of the Vegas pool parties with the largest layout in terms of square footage – would offer the most spacious amount of real estate to allow the large group to mingle comfortably, while still staying within their budget.
  • Loyalty: We knew that Daylight would go above and beyond to treat the large group like royalty, since they were already staying on the Mandalay Bay property and spending a large percentage of their group and individual budgets at business on the resort premises.

As expected, Daylight offered the group a buyout of their elevated Grand Cabana section at far below their general list price, with private roped-off VIP access and a private service staff hand-picked from the best of their employee pool. We also arranged a dedicated no-wait, no-hassle expedited entry line exclusively for UC Berkeley Haas that each attendee could access regardless of their arrival time at the pool, with VIP wristbands secured for each member to ensure no confusion among Daylight’s door staff. With this top-flight setup, the group showed little signs of fatigue and splashed their way to a wet, wild, and epic Saturday afternoon of business school networking.

Part II: UC Berkeley Haas 2018 Las Vegas Party Planning

During our second year with the client, the Haas planning committee had gained full faith in our services and thus entrusted us with an ambitious goal: make their 2018 Las Vegas trip one of the best in the history of their business school. We were able to deliver on this ask because of an early start to planning, an acute understanding of the group’s timeline and dynamics, and of course the knowledge we had previously gained of the client’s goals, preferences, and pain points.

This year’s UC Berkeley Haas group was up to 225 attendees. Once again partnering with Stupak, were able to negotiate a highly discounted hotel net rate, a whopping 70 percent off the retail rate; not only were the rates cheaper than the previous year, we secured 700-plus-square-foot suites for each and every attendee at the Delano Hotel, Mandalay Bay’s luxurious higher-end resort-within-a-resort. Our client’s group stayed at the Delano in 60 double queen suites and two large penthouse suites. Our long-standing relationships with the executives of Mandalay Bay and Delano allowed us to secure room discounted inventory well in advance, as well as additional discounts and perks for the group being a valued return customer.

Diplo @ Intrigue Las Vegas, 2018

For the group’s signature evening activity, they opted to reserve a private area on the terrace of Intrigue Nightclub at Wynn Resort. Intrigue was selected because of our ability to secure a large yet private space within the group’s limited budget; the openness of the covered terrace patio area and the proximity to the DJ booth offered the best bang for their buck. Superstar electronic music artist Diplo was performing this evening; not only did the group receive a larger space close to the DJ, we were able to save them a ton of money and while still providing the same amount of alcohol and high-energy experience as they had the previous year at Hakkasan. The spring evening weather couldn’t have been better, and the group enjoyed the unique beautiful outdoor layout and pristine modern architectural features for which the Wynn properties are known.

As for the daytime fun, Daylight was such a massive hit the past year that it was an easy sell for the sequel, and so we locked down the same area for our clients at an even better price. We made some slight modifications to the logistics, which resulted in an even smoother VIP entry experience and the group’s VIP bottle service credits lasting an hour longer than it did the previous year. As the cherry on top, we highlighted the group’s afternoon with an Instagram-worthy customized “Berkeley Haas” bottle presentation as well as multiple DJ shoutouts for the hard-partying group.

We are extremely pleased with the support we offered to the UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business on its back-to-back Vegas trips, and even more so given that Discotech’s founders are proud Cal alums. We look forward to working with this highly valued client again in the near future. ROLL ON, YOU BEARS!!!!!

UC Berkeley Haas (Cal Bears) celebrating at Daylight pool party, Las Vegas

Is your graduate business school, law school, medical school, or other program planning a group Vegas trip soon? Discotech is your ultimate solution for lining up your big plans. We’ve already built our reputation helping THOUSANDS of satisfied clients around the world with their standard small group party needs.

  • We’ve been featured on BBC Travel and we are also highly reviewed on Yelp! and in both the App Store and Google Play.
  • 6+ years experience in the Vegas nightlife game, we’ve also successfully serviced dozens of corporate entities and large groups of 50 or more clients.
  • What we know from our experience is this: like Sin City itself, large group planning is NOT for the lazy nor for the faint of heart.

Planning a large group trip to Las Vegas? Reach out to us directly at +1 (415) 735-6716 or info@discotech.me. You can also reach us on WhatsApp at +1-323-405-8824.

Failure to plan ahead – even if it’s just days or hours ahead – is one of the biggest mistakes that we see countless groups make on a weekly basis, and it inevitably results in financial and logistical headaches – and embarrassing moments at the velvet ropes of entry – that could easily have been avoided.

Even if you’ve partied in Vegas many times in the past in smaller groups, and you’ve got numerous friends in high and low places who are willing to offer sound and not-so-sound recommendations – for large groups you NEED to have a true professional to guide you.  Discotech can take all your custom inputs (group size, music preferences, nightclub/pool party, budget, location, food preferences, etc) and crank out your group’s perfect weekend itinerary to turn you and your planning committee into Sin City superheroes.