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Featured on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek, Monica Cornetti works with individuals and organizations who want to learn how to think differently to achieve uncommon results. A gamification speaker and designer, Monica was rated #1 among the “Gamification Gurus Power 100” by RISE in 2015 and 2016, and in 2016 was also recognized as a Top 3 Finalist in the “Gamification Guru of the Year Award” by the World Gamification Congress held in Barcelona, Spain.
She is the Founder and CEO of the Sententia Gamification Consortium and the author of the book Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide: Put Gamification to Work for You. Now she is also organizing GamiCon 2018.
This conference is sponsored by Sententia Games and co-organized together with Training Magazine! I asked Monica what motivated her to organize a gamification conference and the truth is it does require a lot of effort. Fortunately, she has experiences with events and conferences. This event, in particular, she is organizing because gamification is no longer just on the periphery of L&D it has become a best practice. Besides, the last international gamification conference in the US was Gabe Zichermann’s G-Summit in 2014! It wasn’t very dedicated to employee motivation or training, and that’s where she is focused! Also, the yearly Gamification World Conference is hasn’t happened since 2016. She wants to fill this void for adult learners! Training Magazine was also quite keen to create this co-located event right next to the Online Learning Conference, where I’ll be participating as a speaker as well in the Training Test Kitchen! Another co-located event is the Innovations in Training organized by a colleague of Monica. So you could spend the whole week in Chicago learning from amazing experts if you wish. If your time is shorter, make sure you block October 6-8 for GamiCon!
GamiCon is also going to be a gamified conference! Be prepared to play for two days, the conference should be a meaningful learning experience for the participants. The event has been designed to be relevant for the attendees, in fact, Monica has a very interesting goal of having 100% relevance for participants! It is created for fun as well. The gamification of the conference itself will be going through Blue Rabbit with Bernardo Letayf, this app is not about how much you tweet or participate in social media, it goes really deep and you will understand what gamification is because you will be experiencing it!
There are many different parts to this conference. It starts on Saturday, October 6, with fun and application, it is a kickoff party to get to know people before you start. Many participants will be coming even alone from different parts of the globe so the idea is that we can get to meet people, build a sort of tribe for the other two days. It will be at a brewery, in Chicago’s old motor row, it will be a Chicago experience with their hot dogs, pizza and beer. Within this part, Michiel van Eunen (also past guest) will lead a popup escape room! This will certainly be fun but also an opportunity to think how this can be used in other settings for learning. Sunday starts early with 20-minute presentations from gamification masters from all around the globe, then hands-on learning quests to pick from, later gamification project throw down with awards for five different categories, all this is on Sunday. Instead of a vendor hall, GamiCon will have ambassadors from different platforms, applications, tools, etc. who will be integrated into the event as a whole, and also on Sunday, there will be an interactive progress map for the ambassador adventure to experience with these vendors. At the end of the day, John Chen of Geoteaming is organizing one of his events for this conference, it will be an experience for teams to figure out the geolocation of around 20 spots, so you go to them, upload them, it is all about problem-solving and strategy. It sounds like a lot of fun! The final location for this activity is at Reggies, where so many rock and blues stars have played once. That is only on Sunday!
For Monday it starts with some more 20-minute talks of what has been actually implemented, followed by a 2-hour gamification design sprint with Marigo Raftopoulos. After that, there will be the 2-hour serious design-build workshops, where I will be leading one of the workshops! Monday ends slightly early, so to speak, as the event will integrate into Training Magazine’s Online Learning Conference at 4 pm for a part of the Training Test Kitchen and later the awards ceremony of the Gamification Project Throwdown winners! If you’re wondering why we’re talking about a conference that is oriented towards employee engagement and especially L&D, I have to jump in and say that, in my journey using gamification in education, getting inspiration from all these sources has been fundamental. Especially from any type of learning, like L&D, because though the players will vary as well as their motivations, there is a lot of things to learn from what you can see in the corporate world to apply it to our classrooms.
Other things you will find are the collaboration corner, to find mentoring or peers, a graffiti wall, it won’t be short of specific networking opportunities. And… in the gamification network, it is hard to meet someone who you actually dislike! Yes, we are a cheerful bunch even when there are competing interests in particular occasions. It is a chance to interact with what people are doing on other industries, where you can almost always draw inspiration. Monica even tells us of an experience she had at a hospital (a place you normally wouldn’t look towards, perhaps) where she found inspiration for her work at a non-profit! There will be all sorts of industries represented at the conference, from manufacturing to hospitality (food, lodging, alcoholic drinks, etc.), finance and banking, real estate, transportation, health, consultants, education, this last one with people from Brown University, Western University of Health Sciences, someone like David Chandross who has been doing gamification for a really long time and much more!
GamiCon also has a theme! It goes around the book The Power of Moments by Chip Dan Heath. It has been life changing for Monica in her L&D career, the fact that people remember only 10% of what you tell them, and I’d say this pretty much applies to education as well! Students might remember a joke or something in general that has an emotional side. For the conference, this means that the conference is focused on how to design so that the learners go through peaks and valleys that they will actually remember this meaningful learning experiences! I have to personally recommend this book, it can be transformative for your teaching experience!
Who should go to GamiCon? If you’re a business leader of any type, you should come, and especially if you’re anything into L&D or employee engagement, because gamification is probably the answer to many of your problems. In this conference you’ll be able to access a lot of the research and data as well as successful practitioners and their experience!
You can find info about the conference at GamiCon.us. The link for registration goes through the Training Magazine website, as it is a co-hosted event. We can reach Monica through Twitter @MonicaCornetti, www.monicacornetti.com or through www.sententiagames.com.
And there’s something special for you as well if you’re planning on going to GamiCon 2018, so wait no longer and go to professorgame.com/GamiCon18
Looking forward to reading or hearing from you,