Pete Jenkins Disrupting Gamification Europe Online 2020 | Episode 160

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Pete Jenkins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, a successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies worldwide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK’s Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners. The next conference is in November 2020 and being held online. He also founded the Gamification Awards. The Gamification Awards are global awards for the gamification industry. ​​The awards are judged by industry experts for their design, creativity and utility. The award goes to the
companies and individuals who are excelling in their field.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

Pete is in his 12th year as a Lecturer at the University of Brighton. He lectures on gamification and entrepreneurship at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. He also guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe.

Over the past 20 years, Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce and an Export Champion for the Department of International Trade, UK.

 

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Looking forward to reading or hearing from you,

Rob

 

Full episode transcription

Rob (5s):
Welcome to Professor Game Podcast, where we interview successful practitioners of games, gamification and game thinking, who bring us the best of their experiences to get ideas, insights, and inspiration that help us in the process of getting the students to learn what we teach. And I’m Rob Alvarez. I teach and work at IE Business School in Madrid, where we create interactive and engaging learning materials. Want to know more? Go to professorgame.com/subscribe, start on our email list and ask me anything! Engagers welcome back to this Episode of Professor Game podcast. Today, we have a repeat guest you’ve heard probably of Pete Jenkins before, but before we get started, we have a specific topic today, Pete, but are you prepared to engage?

Pete (53s):
Always prepared to engage.

Rob (56s):
Let’s do this because Pete, as you know, he’s been before on the podcast, if you want the full intro, you can go into the show notes. You can go into another of the episodes, but you know, he is an authority in gamification. He’s a learner, he’s an entrepreneur, he’s a lecturer, he’s a CEO of Gamification +. And he’s also the chair of gamification Europe, that annual conference for gamification practitioners, which is coming up. If you’re hearing this episode, it is coming up very, very soon in November in 2020. And of course, given the whole circumstances in the world, it is going to be held online. He’s also part of the GamFed. He’s a lecturer in many places. So I’m not going to get too deep into that. Is there anything you want to highlight before we get started?

Rob (1m 36s):
Pete?

Pete (1m 37s):
I know only that I highly recommend people don’t take on as many jobs as I do.

Rob (1m 43s):
That’s a sound recommendation for sure. Sometimes getting too busy. Sounds like you’re a very important person and you probably are, but it also has a toll on each and every one of us. For sure. So Pete, we are here today probably to focus on Gamification Europe. And we were talking about this in the pre-interview chat. We always look at the new things when we’re talking about conferences and events like, Oh, what’s new this year. And we always talk about that. But this year I would argue it’s new, like really new it’s new, new right.

Pete (2m 14s):
New news.

Rob (2m 16s):
It’s different, different that there’s, it’s not just, Oh yeah, this year we have a different topic, which you probably have as well. There are many things going on that are very, very different this year. So why don’t we get started with the topic of the conference and then take it from there?

Pete (2m 30s):
Okay. Well, this year it’s pretty obvious that everything is very different as you were saying different, different. And I quickly worked out that I wanted the… Cause I always come up with a topic for the conference. As you know, the first… It’s been a sequence, the first one was a hero’s journey. It was about overcoming obstacles. Then we had from player to professional, which was all about how, if the gamification industry is maturing and we’re seeing best practices and more academic research backing things up. Then last Year actually we took it really on and we were like, what’s the future of gamification look like? And then of course this year, how on earth do you follow the future? Anyway. And then with COVID and everything else going on, it occurred to me that disruption would be the theme.

Pete (3m 14s):
And I ran it by the first few people who were interested and it just resonated with everyone. And by disruption, I mean two different things, really. One is like, I was looking originally for talks from people about how maybe gamification helps them or their organizations survive the disruption around them or even thrive in it. Because I think that’s been a big impact for lots of people now. I mean, at the start of this year, e-learning for instance was a big topic. But by this point in the year, everyone has to do it. Yeah. And so gamified e-learning people are realizing that e-learning itself, much of it is not that good and not that effective. So they’re having to up their game. So there’s some disruption going on there.

Pete (3m 53s):
And then from the other side of disruption, I always like where we can find examples of gamification disrupting whole industries or whole processes. So people who’ve been working on stuff anyway, and then saying, Hey, this is how we gamify and disrupted this industry. I remember last year, one of my favorite talks was from Xavier, who was talking about how they gamified a honey trap for hackers to make it more engaging. So the hackers would stay on the site for even longer. So they’d learn more about the hacker. And for me, that was like that’s disrupting. And it’s also expanding where we see the use of gamification. So absolutely yeah. Disruption and it, and in fact, everyone I’ve spoken to it’s resonated in some way, whether positive or negative, it certainly seems to hit the cord.

Pete (4m 38s):
So disruption.

Rob (4m 39s):
I mean, 2020 is probably disruption as, as a topic in general, I would say. So, I think it is definitely very appropriate. And we were also, I mean, I, I’m also involved as last year in Gamification Europe. Not as much to be honest last year I was doing a lot more things. This year has been a bit crazy for me personally and professionally. So I haven’t been as involved. I probably would have enjoyed helping out a bit more, but I know that there’s, there are different topics for each day and that’s something that is already different, different, right? You used to have sort of, you had tracks at some point and some of the things like that, but this time it’s, it’s a complete structure around each day.

Rob (5m 21s):
So how does it look like what are the days, how many days is the conference last?

Pete (5m 24s):
So this is, this is you see because one of the things I like about disruption is it’s an opportunity for change and it’s an opportunity for experimentation. So one of the things I’ve always wanted to do at gamification Europe was actually to focus each day on a particular sector. And I always struggled because there were so many sectors to gamification and applies to, and there’s only a two-day conference. So I couldn’t really do it. The closest we got was the first year with tracks, but the second year, the venue didn’t lend itself to tracks. We have just one big room, which was a lot of fun, but no tracks. And last year we had another track, but basically, it was for workshops and rather than a different theme or, or sector focus because the layout lent itself to that.

Pete (6m 6s):
So by going online this year, I was like, well, there’s no reason for not having a longer conference. Cause people don’t have to travel. Then I have to pay for accommodation. And then I, this is the way I worked, but I attended a lot of conferences and I’ve spoken at quite a few, all of them in different platforms and what a wonderful industry, that’s it? That is to be in at the moment in terms of so many different things. People are trying, I’ve been speaking on platforms like Hopin. We are going to use one called Remo there’s one called Run the World. There are a few VR ones. There are so many different approaches after attending so many of these, including one week where they had 160 talks over a week and it was too intense.

Pete (6m 48s):
And I realized that no one can handle that much screen time. So the key thing I decided was I didn’t want anyone to be staring at the screen for more than two hours at a time. And so I’ve set the conference up across five whole days, but the whole day is actually five hours where it’s two hours of content make you have a lunch break, two hours of content. So you’re supposed to leave the screen. At that point, we will have an area set up for those people who want to network and eat their lunch or chatting with other people during that hour, because why not? But generally, I won’t be able to get up and move around. I want a chance to do that as well.

Rob (7m 25s):
Yeah. To be able to, that’s part of the conferences in general, like one of the reasons you go to a conference is to be able to see and meet and greet other people. So you know, that it is a very important opportunity and I’m hearing that you’re, you’re giving that opportunity still in the online world, which we’re getting a lot more used to in the past few months. So how’s that looking?

Pete (7m 46s):
Oh, I agree. Okay. Because the reason I set up the event is to build the community and expand the community, the gamification community. So we can learn from each other and as well as listening to talks, which means we’ve got to meet each other. So the platform I’ve chosen for the conference, I’ve focused on the networking first to be fair. So the layout, the visual layout is nice. We’re all sitting around virtual tables. So in essence, we can be a mini zoom call of six people. We can, I’ve got another room set up with like a cafe area. And even the sponsors have their own tables. People can go and chat to them or the exhibitors, that sort of thing. And it’s even got like a speed networking feature built-in. So if anyone volunteers to be part of that, they just literally hit a button and say, all right, I’m ready to meet someone new.

Pete (8m 31s):
And every three minutes, it automatically sends them off to meet someone new. So, and that’s just for your extroverts really? So it’s a, it’s a voluntary thing

Rob (8m 41s):
Or, or for the introverts who want a challenge as well.

Pete (8m 43s):
Yeah. Or the introverts you press the wrong button. There are lots of different reasons.

Rob (8m 48s):
I mean, it’s, it’s an interesting way as well. I mean, if, if you’ve seen anything on introverts, you, the whole awkwardness of coming up to someone and how do I start the conversation? What do I say? I look awkward. Like here, you’re almost, it’s a lot more natural because you know, every three minutes, it’s good to get a change. Like it takes away some of that, some of the problems, maybe for an introvert, that that’s what I was aiming at, for sure. And it makes a lot of sense.

Pete (9m 16s):
It’s not too bad at a conference like this, because you’ve all got something in common you’re there. And you’ve just to a particular talk. So there’s something to talk about that you have in common, and you’ve got your shared passion for gamification going for you. So I think that’s fine. I took it as I come at this, having taken many of these tests over the years as I’m a borderline introvert-extrovert, but right on the border, you might not think that as a conference speaker, but I have to work at that. So what that means is I kind of sympathize with both sides. And what I find is once I’m in a networking situation, the extrovert side comes out and I have a chat, but sometimes I need to trick myself into being in that situation in the first place. So I would, for instance, yeah, I would click the speed networking button because I know I would then rise to the occasion, but I could easily lurk and not do that.

Pete (10m 3s):
And the good news is the platform allows people to do either. So you can just come along and you can learn, you can ask Q and a, you can put stuff in the chat, which lots of people quite like to do. Whereas actually, if we get carried away, we can invite people up onto the stage and they could turn the cameras on and ask the question in person. So there’s a lot of flexibility in the system. Well, so what I quite like about the table system within it is there’s a shared whiteboarding system around each little table. So we’ve got a hundred people in the room, five or six people around the table. Each one could be having a different chat and sharing stuff on the screen between them, which I think is all sorts of possibilities. I have been toying with embedding some games in some of those tables as a surprise.

Rob (10m 44s):
So some surprises coming up, that’s cool as well. Is there anything you already kind of revealed a bit? Is there anything else you want or can say,

Pete (10m 51s):
I’m not gonna say any more than that, just because I, some of them, I didn’t make work, so I don’t want to over-promise. I want to under-promise and then over-deliver for people,

Rob (11m 2s):
Hopefully, hopefully. Well, we’re looking forward to that. So what are, you mentioned that there’s, there are five days that each day has a topic? What are those topics maybe get into one or two speakers of each day? No, no favorites, but I know all the speakers are very, very good and very important, but I don’t know if you want to mention a couple, maybe the talks more than the speakers, anything you want to get into,

Pete (11m 25s):
I’ll do that. So that occurs. I’ve got five days. I did a bit of polling before we launched about what were the most popular topics. So some were really clear the first days of learning and education day by far, one of the biggest gamification, the first name I see on that whole page is yours as you’re chairing that day. Yeah. And there’s so much what I want on the learning and education day. And this is the tricky bit for the balance is I want plenty of information about how we can use it in the corporate sector, not just how academics are using it, because the education side of it is huge as well. There are so many people doing stuff. So the juggling act I’ve had is balancing that

Rob (12m 6s):
And there, and there is to be fair as well. Like not a huge difference that may as well, not between, for example, higher ed and corporate. There’s not a huge difference. There, there are differences, but there are also differences between higher ed and schools, and even, even probably between high school and, you know, middle school and primary school and so on. So there, there are like different things in different topics to touch upon it. Yeah.

Pete (12m 28s):
Yeah. I mean, about each of the days of the conference, I feel like I’d run a whole conference around the theme. Yeah. So with education and learning, I’d split it into corporate and academic. I would also split it into age groups as you’re talking about because the type of games we have to build for three to six-year-olds are very different, seven to eight-year-olds to nine to 10-year-olds and so on and so forth. And I think there’s a whole lot of learning we can do from that as well. And, and to be fair, I, as a consultant in the industry, I avoid doing any work in terms of gamifying children’s learning because it’s a whole another set of learnings for me in terms of designing it. Right. Wording it, right. Aesthetics. So, I stick to like adult pedagogy, whether it’s in academia or in the corporate world, just to keep life simple for me,

Rob (13m 16s):
You specialize in what you specialize in. That makes a lot of sense.

Pete (13m 20s):
Yeah. That’s a shame. Cause there are loads, you know, there’s loads of inquiries about everything, so you can’t do it all. I think that’s where I started it. Wasn’t it. I want to call it out. I want to call out the first speaker of the whole conference, Eko Nugroho, with who I had an amazing chat with him when I was working out whether to have him on board. And he just, he was living in Germany and he’s from Indonesia. And he realized he wanted to make a massive difference in terms of gamifying learning in Indonesia. And I don’t want to give away his talk, but he moved back to Indonesia. And then the talk is talking about the decade of his journey, basically building acceptance for gamification and the type of projects they’ve been able to do and how they’ve grown and iterated.

Pete (14m 4s):
And, and, you know, it’s worked on some big ones now with like 30,000 Indonesia posts employees all over Indonesia, which is a lot of islands and even ending with what they built fast this year to cope with the disruption of COVID and the fact that people are working from home, all the rest of it, but he’s a highly entertaining speaker. And you can just sense the love of gamification in every word that comes out of his mouth. So for me, that was like, that’s the way to set the scene at the conference. I mean, I’ve got tons of great speakers that day. I’m really pleased to get David Chandross across from Canada to speak. And the advantages of a virtual conference is you don’t have to worry about getting people to fly places.

Pete (14m 45s):
The only issue I’ve got with him is the, have to get up early in the morning to speak, but I’ve been trying to him to come and speak at the conference since the beginning. And it’s been hard, but he’s got some really interesting takes on. You’ve probably interviewed him, haven’t you?

Rob (14m 60s):
Yes, indeed. And they’ve, we’ve, I mean, we’ve interacted quite a bit in the gamification hub as well, which is, you know, not as active as it used to be, but he, he’s always there

Pete (15m 10s):
Yeah. So he’s going to go for the sort of more high-end stuff, the mixed reality and simulation and going complex for doing this. And there are some really interesting things we’re going to get out of that. And I do also to be fair, I want to call out Gustavo Tondello, who I just think does so much interesting research that is easy to use from a practical point of view as a practitioner. You know, he just supports useful techniques. Like Andrzej Marczewski’s user type Hexad and comes up with just useful ways of applying it. And he’s going to come and talk about personalized gameful design, which is very much around, well, this is what the game industry does now. Everyone has their own experience of playing a game.

Pete (15m 50s):
And he’s going to talk about how that works, the cyber game elements that can be used. And because he’s coming from an academic background, to begin with how to do it at a budget, which I think would be really useful.

Rob (16m 3s):
We all struggle with that.

Pete (16m 5s):
Yeah. But he’s got research backing up the type of elements he uses and how to go about designing it. And I just think it’s really, that’s probably, although it’s an academic session, one of the most practical ones we’ll have in the week, and then it’ll be down to you to wrap up that day and explain what we’ve all learned.

Rob (16m 21s):
Hopefully, I’ll do I do a decent job at that as well. And what about day two? I’m super interested in education. As you know, we could just spend the rest of the podcast talking about, but you’re not going to let me for sure. You’re not going to do that at the conference either. So to be fair as well, and, and to, to understand what the whole conference is about, hopefully, it gets some people excited as well about the conference. What is, what are the rest of the days? What’s day two like?

Pete (16m 45s):
So day two is one I’ve been wanting to do, right, right. Since the early days and that’s health and wellness. And that’s because I feel like it’s one of the areas where gamification can have the most positive impact for most people around the whole world. Last year, we had two great talks in this space. We had Will Jackson from Playphysio, which was, it brought a tear to some people’s eyes. It was called how I saved a life through gamification, something like that. And we had Adrian Hon, who is the founder of zombies, run! Talking about the things he’d learned. And I realized that this was an area I really wanted to do more on, but also in this year of disruption as probably the most thriving industry in terms of gamification, it’s the one where I get more inquiries.

Pete (17m 29s):
There’s a lot happening. Gamification has… COVID has highlighted to people that just putting information in front of them, say about what to do in a pandemic or how to do social distancing. Isn’t really effective. You’re going to have to add something else to it, to actually get people, to change their behaviors. And so people are looking at gamification as the answer that, so, I mean, out talks, we’ve got Toby Beresford, who’s spoken at gamification in Europe before, but he’s coming to talk about how governments should actually redesign how they put coronavirus metrics out there using gamification techniques so that they actually are more effective at making us take different social distancing decisions.

Pete (18m 11s):
And it’s well worth watching the short interview I did with him because he sets three problem statements in it that we need to overcome with what’s wrong with how everyone is presenting the data. And he’s convinced gamification could help and save lots of lives. My keynote speaker that day is Ben Wilkins. I like his business because he’s using gamification to motivate people to rehabilitate from arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. And these people are over generally over 60 years old and don’t really care about badges, okay. Or other game mechanics. So he’s had to work differently. And he sort of co-created the solution over the past couple of years, using humor as a reward instead of badges.

Pete (18m 54s):
So the tool is called arthritis, memes business, and how they’re using memes to as a reward structure amongst other game gamification features. And so I think it’s really good to have a different take on what the rewards can be for people. And what’s great is it’s been out there it’s being used. And so there’s some actual, real impact that we can see from it. Oh yeah. There’s a bunch of other great talks on this day as well.

Rob (19m 19s):
Absolutely. I mean, we can refer to gamification-europe.eu, is it?

Pete (19m 25s):
com.com

Rob (19m 26s):
.com.com. And there, you can find all the details of each of these days, but I wanted to make sure we did a run-through, through all of these dates to again, to peak this interest and to see who can be, you know, interested by, you know, having seen or gone in the previous, in the past years, you can, of course, check out the YouTube videos that have, if I’m not mistaken by now, all of the talks of the past three years is that right?

Pete (19m 49s):
That’s absolutely right along with over a dozen interviews of speakers from this year about their, about them and about their talks, which is a sneaky thing I’ve done actually, so that they don’t have to spend time at the beginning of their talk, telling us all about themselves, cause it’s already done. So you can watch that video along with the recording of their actual talk or their actual talk and get the combo. And enables me to fit more into the conference. So, you know, another way of taking advantage of the digital world.

Rob (20m 16s):
Yeah. Yeah. Synchronous and asynchronous, For sure. So what about day three, Pete?

Pete (20m 21s):
What do you mean you’re not exhausted yet? Good. So day three is, to be fair is inspired by Albert VanderMeer, his book press start. And in it, he talks a lot about one of his key gamification mechanics is about getting communities behind your brand or whatever you’re doing and using gamification to help the community thrive. And that combined with Adrian Hon’s last year about keeping a whole community engaged for like six or seven years inspired me to think about community as the theme for a day. And then we all went online cause of COVID and the people are struggling to keep communities together to make them cohesive.

Pete (21m 3s):
So how do we do that in a digital place? So there’s so much we can do on this day. So Albert’s going to actually be the keynote to set the scene and tell us a bit about how to do it. And then I’ve got some practical talks. I’ve got Adam Pusztai from Hungary talking about how they’ve been growing a gamification community using gamification. So that’s like a tough crowd in my opinion. So you can go to get it right. And then I’ve got one of my standout sessions. That’s going to, people won’t know what to expect for just Sabrina Bruehwiler, who is going to be doing a session on how you engage communities through music in gamification. And you know, I don’t want to give too much away, but we might have to create some music together during this session to make that happen.

Pete (21m 47s):
Yeah. So that’s a bit different. And I think that will work really well online. I’m also going to have a talk I want to call out on this day about e-sports because I met Tatiana Tacca in the US who works for momentum worldwide, a massive marketing organization, but she did some research and found some research around the fact that in e-sports it’s become quite a safe place for diversity and inclusion. So they found that a lot of e-sports fans are female, that they find it a safe place to do stuff. I liked the idea of the fact that it’s around making games safer for everyone and giving them a space in a community that they can really engage with. And, and I don’t want to give her any more of a talk, but I’m quite excited about what we can learn from that about making gamification and communities more inclusive for everyone.

Rob (22m 35s):
So inclusion in that sense is sort of involved in that day.

Pete (22m 39s):
I’d say for me, it makes sense to be inclusion on a community day.

Rob (22m 46s):
Absolutely, absolutely. So inspired by marketing. Basically, it became actually a community day that’s day three. And you had some interesting thoughts into that. I know one of the things that you were thinking about was e-sports in and of themselves, but it found its way through this day. All right. So what’s in it for day four,

Pete (23m 9s):
Day four is what I would call the traditional day, which is the marketing and customer loyalty day. This was the easiest one to get a headline sponsor for, which is my returning sponsor, 3radical they’d been involved every year since we started. And they’re very big in the marketing space. And I’ve got some amazing speakers on this day. So I’ve got to mention that at least three. Okay, sorry. But the first one ready the sponsor themselves. There’s sending Will Stuart Jones. Who’s already a good speaker. But the key thing they noticed is that the pandemic has broken most people’s normal marketing techniques. The data that they use is no longer accurate, but they don’t know how much income people have. They don’t know whether they’re going to work.

Pete (23m 50s):
They don’t know whether they’re commuting all the different touchpoints they had about where to market to people are not accurate anymore. So the talk they’re doing is how they’ve pivoted and cope with the disruption and are using gamification to really quickly rebuild the data companies have so that they can then personalize the gamification correctly again. So it seems to me like you can use gamification to recover faster than your competitors in the marketing space. So that’s a nice, yeah, that’s a good way to start the day then we’ve got Andrzej Marczewski who’s going to do, I finally got him to get permission to talk about a real case study that they’ve worked on.

Pete (24m 30s):
So I’m super excited. They’re going to talk about how they’ve gamified a loyalty program for 24 million people for global a fashion retailer

Rob (24m 37s):
Retailer. Yeah. Motivait is doing like one of the things that are super interesting about that company had a personal chat with the CEO. He also partially lives here in Madrid is like the, the reach that they have the capacity of their platform to reach super-wide audiences. So I’m pretty excited about knowing that Andrzej is going to be revealing some of that. And, and talking about that in more detail.

Pete (25m 1s):
Yeah. So he’s going to be talking about taking loyalty to the next level and, and people-centric experiences all created through gamification. So that’s great. And I, you know, I need to call out at the end of the day and it’s only at the end of the day because she’d have to get up really early. We’ve got Amy Jo Kim, going to talk about game thinking and she’s an, for me, it’s a no brainer for it to fit in on the marketing day. A lot of what she talks about is around understanding your customer, your player, and how to do this. So we’ve got, we’ve got some super speakers on that day.

Rob (25m 31s):
Yeah, Absolutely. I know. I know Amy was, I mean, she, I’m sure she was looking forward to being in Gamification Europe. I think last year there was a stint in the end. It didn’t finally happen for whatever reason, but she is a fantastic speaker. She is, sorry?

Pete (25m 48s):
It didn’t happen because the flights from San Francisco ended up needing to take like two days and cost about three grand.

Rob (25m 57s):
Okay. Fair enough.

Pete (25m 59s):
Amongst other reasons. But you know, it was mainly practical and I’ve been trying to get Amy to come and speak for two or three years as well. So this is another moment where going online, it gives you more flexibility. And I want to go big from Indonesia, from the US, from Canada, from everywhere. And there’s just, it’s a joy in that respect.

Rob (26m 19s):
Pete, are you crazy? This is Gamification Europe!

Pete (26m 23s):
But it’s about people in Europe, gamifying from the best people out there. Oh, I decided to call it Gamification in Europe. This year is the key theme in the European time zone. So you have to work around the European time zone and then if you’re happy to do that, you can attend from anywhere.

Rob (26m 40s):
That’s fantastic. It makes a lot of sense as well. So we just have one day left. Pete, what is the last day? Is it, is it a big bang? Is it, what is it going to be?

Pete (26m 51s):
Oh, I think it’s a big bang. It’s the employee engagement day. I think this is the biggest sector of gamification in Europe in terms of spending and how many projects and the size of them. So it’s a big day. And then we’ve always got a lot of speakers on this topic each year. What I’m really chuffed at is we’ve got a new sponsor for this day Inooster, which is a great platform out of Turkey. So the edge of Europe, you know, but that’s cool. And within this day, as well as hearing some great case studies from the sponsor, we’ve got a story we’ve been trying to get out of Michiel van Eunen for a while, which is around a gamification project. That’s been running every year since 2003. So this is something successful enough that the customer keeps asking for it every year they train a thousand people or more every time.

Pete (27m 37s):
And in fact, across different companies, they’ve used this game across over 50,000 retail staff over 17 years. So he’s learned a lot from this it’s about how training didn’t work in the first place. And it’s about all the differences you see in the staff themselves. And we’re talking about like customer-facing retailers and things like that. And what a difference again makes. So I like, I like the idea that we can have games and gamification that will last for year after year after year. It’s really successful.

Rob (28m 7s):
Absolutely. I like to think that, but I like to think it’s not just a wish. It’s not just, you know, Oh, we should have this. I, I like to think that we kind of do have it in many places and there are good examples of this going on out there in the world.

Pete (28m 21s):
Yeah. And you mentioned like e-sports were squeezed into the community’s day, but actually, I’ve got another session on e-sports on the employee engagement day because there’s a growing trend of getting corporates to enter their staff into e-sports competitions. There’s stuff you can do around learning from e-sports, you know, using it as a learning tool,

Rob (28m 38s):
We have to talk to my university.

Pete (28m 41s):
Yeah. Well, you know, there are e-sports schools. Now I have a potential project myself, which is a local region I’m in wanting to disrupt and be the best in the world at e-sports. So they’re building, what’s the word, all the things around it. I’ve just forgotten the word for it. But all the supporting stuff like super-fast broadband, the hubs, the gaming cafes, the kits, the training, the health-related aspects of it, all of that. What can we do to be world-leading? In e-sport, it’s such a big growing program. There are at least two universities in the UK now with degrees in e-sports that you can take as well. One of which is in this area, which is why I think we’re taking it

Rob (29m 21s):
Employee engagement, but I know, of some of the people who are doing this, but I was just getting excited for a very, very individualistic, very egocentric reason. I said, why am I not in the league playing these kinds of things in my day job. That could be very exciting. Don’t you think?

Pete (29m 39s):
Why is there not a professor game team? Hmm,

Rob (29m 42s):
Hmm, Hmm, Hmm. Hmm. Interesting. Interesting. Well, we’ll see how we can go about that in the future for sure. Yeah. There should be. I know there’s an Octalysis team.

Pete (29m 51s):
Yeah. Yeah. They, they were one of the first game of fires to sponsor a team. I kind of like that. I have to admit, I thought I talked about it with my staff last year, but no one could agree on the game.

Rob (30m 4s):
That’s a tough one for sure.

Pete (30m 6s):
Yeah, absolutely. Hey, the one session I want to wrap up with is the very last panel session of the conference, which is super focused just on gamification in recruitment, which I think is because I could have spun out a whole nother day on this topic as well because there are so many different areas it’s being used from employer branding through to gamified psychometric testing, to the onboarding of new employees and things like that, and the panel session’s about how recruitment is becoming, I guess, radically affected by gamification. I’ve got the chair of it David Dand is actually set up a company just to do recruitment in the gamification space. So if you need a chief gamification officer, you go to them, right?

Pete (30m 47s):
Because you know, it’s a growing industry for this and that. The first panelists I want to announce is Danilo Bulatovic, who is like a regional talent sourcing manager for Nestle. And I was speaking to them a while back, but partly because of COVID actually, they wanted a way to quickly find out which members of staff they have and their potential employees had a digital mindset. And so what we were looking at was gamified ways of finding out who has a digital mindset. And in fact, I was able to, within like a day, I was able to find three companies that had already done gamified, psychometric testing or behavior testing that would be able to do that at scale because they’re looking at testing like 50,000 to a hundred thousand people a year, both internal employees and external.

Pete (31m 32s):
So he’s coming at it from this like big scale, but also digital mindsets. They want to make sure all their recruits can handle all this disruption around us. So I feel like I’m starting and ending the conference with two super on the theme, disruption based talks.

Rob (31m 47s):
Absolutely. It sounds like it for sure. I mean, we starting with, with education and we’re ending as well with employee engagement and also not just employee engagement. That very interesting talk that you were mentioning. It seems like there’s going to be many exciting things going on. And I thought, to be honest, I thought we might not. It might have maybe too much time initially just to talk about the conference, but we’re already around 30 minutes. So I want to actually see how we can wrap this up. There’s like two curiosities I have out of this. The first one is of course this is a digital conference. So you would be thinking like if the other ones were recorded, will this conference be recorded? How’s it going to work? Like if I get a ticket, do I need to be there live because there’s, I mean, I’m not arguing against being live.

Rob (32m 28s):
I definitely think that there’s a lot of networking opportunities, many things that can be done live, but the big question is there, like, do I have to be there live? What are the benefits of being there live? Like what, what does that look like? And of course, tell us how we can get those tickets. How can we make sure that we don’t miss out on Gamification Europe online 2020?

Pete (32m 50s):
Okay. So one of the key paradigm changes this year was because it’s online, it changes all the financial aspects of it. So I don’t know if you remember, but for the past few years, I’ve charged a big-ticket price, at least 500 euros generally to attend, to, to make sure that the people who come are really passionate about the subject, but also to cover all the costs of doing an in-person event. This time, spun it around. And I’m using sponsors each day to cover all the costs because it’s just the digital platform, the design and or marketing and so on. And I’ve gone for as cheap a ticket price as I can. So the super early bird tickets are just 10 pounds instead of three or 500 euros last time. And because what I want to do with that is enable as many people as possible to attend, even if they don’t attend all day, but it’s only a five-hour day and attend just the day that they’re interested in as well.

Pete (33m 39s):
I’m not really expecting anyone to attend all five days. Although a few people have bought tickets for all five days just to keep me on my toes. So it’s very affordable. So you might as well go and get the networking, but yes, of course, we’ll record every talk. But of course, if you’re there, you can ask questions and in the networking breaks, going ask the actual speaker, those questions, more difficult to do that when you’re watching it on YouTube six months later, when I, cause you may or may not know that what we do is we record all the talks, but then we release them basically one to one a week or once a month, depending on how fast we process them in the run-up of the next year till the next conference. So although you would eventually get to watch them for free, you might have to wait a whole year for your favorite one.

Rob (34m 24s):
Yeah, absolutely. And, and there, there is a good argument as well for, for the immediacy in the sense that yeah, I can be online. I can watch it whenever I want to, but whenever I want to is not a day in the week. It’s not a day on the calendar either. And it probably will happen that you might never get to see it. Like, I think it’s easier and more real to think, Oh, I really liked this talk and I’m going to watch it again because I really enjoyed it. And there are some details I missed because I, you know, I had to nip to the toilet or whatever, whatever happened, or I was at the other track and I can listen to this when I was really interested in as well than saying, I’m going to go through a whole conference or through the, you know, 10 talks I was interested in, you know, months later or even weeks later, there’s, there’s not the excitement.

Rob (35m 9s):
There’s not that push through of having those things. So I definitely have, think, there is a very, very good argument, for being there.

Pete (35m 17s):
One of the things I do is, I pretty much insist on all the speakers doing it live rather than prerecorded. I think it gives you an extra edge and they can also answer the questions that are raised as well. I do have a couple of people that are doing prerecorded talks, what I call poster sessions, where they’re only like five minutes long. So I can use them to just spark a little bit of interest, but not do a full talk other than they’re quite useful.

Rob (35m 41s):
Absolutely. It makes sense as well, to have people who are also using sort of that capability that was not previously there, which is, you know, being able to do it from, you know, the distance from time from a different time. But there is, I mean, I completely agree that there is a very important argument to be said about, you know, attending live and, and all the benefits that, that can come from that. For sure.

Pete (36m 3s):
Yeah, I think so. I do, the point is you’re there to meet other people as well as listen to the speakers there. The point of a good conference is to catch up with people, to meet new people, to learn new stuff, to be inspired. And some of that only happens if you’re there at the conference itself.

Rob (36m 19s):
For sure, for sure does Completely agree. So Pete, thank you very much for, well, first off, as I’ve said it every single year, especially last year and I wasn’t, I actually had the opportunity to be on stage and, and, you know, thank everyone there, but especially I always like to thank you guys, because I know this is a very big effort. I mean, even if you forego the financial aspect, which is, I’m not saying it’s not important, but even if you go just an and forget about that, the whole effort of organizing this, I know there is a very, very good argument for it to be a pretty, you know, pretty tall mountain to climb and not everybody’s going to be willing to do these kinds of things. The commitment it requires is, is very, very large.

Rob (36m 59s):
And again, I’d like to thank you for even just for organizing and being involved in this whole thing, because I think it is a very important benefit for, for the whole community of, of gamification. So again, first off, thank you for that. Thank you for being with us today and, and, you know, giving all these teasers so that we might or might not, which is also a possibility, be interested in Gamification Europe, 2020 also making, I don’t know if that effort or having this new mindset of, of being able to reduce the tickets, which allows for more people to be able to attend the open up to two more members of the community, of course not having to travel and having a lower ticket price massively reduces the barriers of participation.

Rob (37m 39s):
Hopefully, it also means there are a lot more people, there’s a lot more participation and there is a lot larger community. So thank you for all of those things. Speeds. Let’s keep on doing great stuff, however, at least for now and for today, as you know, it is time to say that it’s game over, Hey engagers, thank you for listening to Professor Game podcast. And this podcast only makes sense with you. So let’s go ahead and connect on Twitter. That way you can make questions. You can tell me if you’re going to Gamification Europe. For example, as we were talking today, if you are looking forward to some guests, if you have questions, we want to know everything you want to tell us.

Rob (38m 20s):
So you can find my Twitter account at professorgame.com/twitter. I’m always sharing content on these very interesting topics of gamification game thinking and game-based solutions, especially in education. And Hey, Hey, don’t click continue yet. Have you subscribed using your favorite podcast app? Well, go ahead and do so. That way you will listen to the next episode of the professor game podcast. See you there.

End of transcription

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