GWC 2016: Towards the high-level engagement

As we already explained in a previous post, at Datio we are really convinced about the gamification advantages. In fact, there is a lot of documentation that supports that idea, as well as successful experiences in any kind of organizations. (For a summary of statistics, best practices, and case studies for using gamification as a business strategy, check the Demand Metric Infographic.)
For that reason, in order to learn about the best practices, a few weeks ago we attended the Gamification World Conference 2016, the biggest event focused on engagement, gamification and enterprise solutions based on games. Since 2011 the GWC is the international meeting point for companies and professionals (more than 1.000) interested in the use of game mechanics and dynamics in non-recreational areas such as engagement with clients and talent, health and education.
Gamification Infographic
On this fifth edition, about 50 international experts such as Kevin Werbach (The Wharton School), Yu-Kai Chou (The Octalysis Group), Ercan Altug (KFC), Stephen Dinehart (game designer for Nintendo, Activision, Warner Bros, etc.), and other innovative companies, presented the latest trends and success stories regarding business innovation based on games and new engagement techniques.


Engagement everywhere

Although only five projects received the awards, many others attracted the attendees’ attention, especially those related to education. For instance, the experience of the Sant Andreu School of Badalona (Barcelona), showed how the integration of robotics, technology and games help students to develop their academic knowledge and skills.

Likewise, Ball State University Achievements App is based around the concept that higher engagement with an educational institution will positively correlate with student success, so the use of mobile gamification offers hundreds of big and small activities that are meant to acclimate new students to campus, introduce them to helpful resources, and foster ongoing involvement with campus programs, groups, and activities all with the final purpose to maximize engagement and retention rates in at-risk students.

In this area, without any doubt, the aim of teachers and educational institutions is to increase the value and reputation of any type of game and technology as a powerful learning tool.

ball-state-achievements-app-1Regarding to health, highlights Air4life, a participative app that allows patients to keep in touch with the services and pulmonology department of the Hospital Vall d’Hebron improving their respiratory capacity and health by the achievement of goals related to exercise and the right way to take their medication.

The case of KFC in Turkey was also an interesting example of how to solve a documentation problem using an app mobile learning platform. With CSL QuizGame, employees started to show their knowledge of metrics with this game and soon they added some rewards on it. As Learning Technologies Expert at KFC Turkey, Ercan Altug explained, the CSL QuizGame had a great effect on Y Gen workers (even oldest) and knowledge standards increased rapidly.


Many stories, five winners

Awards Winners Details Finalists
Best Customer Engagement Project The SEFH (Spanish Association of Hospital Pharmacy) Project that aimed to change the medical congress experience while educating. José Miguel Martinez (Head of Innovation and Strategic Solutions, AbbVie) EVO Bank, Ad-Pure TV Sync and ‘La Petite Robe Noire Intense’ from Guerlain.
Best Employee Engagement Project The Belron Way of Fitting. A combination of virtual learning experience with real world training on the job on a global scale. Paul Cornelissen (Training & Development Manager at Belron) KFC for their CSL QuizGame and Leroy Merlin.
Best Health & Wellness Project Air4Life by Hospital Vall d’Hebron & Chiesi. The patient is the protagonist of the App and he is challenged in the app to improve continuously by means of achievements and goals related to exercise and the right way to take their medication to improve their health and well-being. Julio Martínez Cutilla (Director of the Hospital Pharmacy Service of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital) and Emilio López Reyero (Product Manager at Chiesi). Imperial College London, Brave Potions and Wellness City Project.
Best Education Project Ball State Achievements by University Ball State Ball State Achievements has shown how to effectively use mobile gamification to increase engagement and retention rates in at-risk students. Scott Reinke (Coordinator for Ball State Achievements at Ball State University). Colegio San Andreu, Beaconing Project and The Group of Experts.
Best Contribution to Industry Andrzej Marczewski (Gamification Nation). Because of his contribution of the Gamification Player Types model that got validated in several academic papers in 2015 and 2016. Yu-kai Chou (The Octalysis Group), Kevin Werbach (The Wharton School), An Coppens (Gamification Nation) Pete Jenkins (Gamification+).

More gamification, more happiness

As Akila Narayanan explains on her book Gamification for employee engagement, “business organizations face major challenges in attracting, nurturing, and retaining the right mix of millennials talents, who are estimated to make up nearly half of the workforce by 2020 as predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics”. Moreover, enterprises need to have a comprehensive understanding of the multi-generation employees (from Baby Boomers to Millenials), customers and their expectations.

Fortunately for beginners on this matters, we heard from Flavio Escribano of Gecon, that today this need is supported by frameworks like the Gamification Model Canvas, the agile, flexible and systematic tool created by Sergio Jiménez, that now, in its 3.0 version, helps to find and evaluate solutions based on game design and to ultimately develop behaviors in non-game environments.

Then, it is clear that the application of game dynamics has a positive influence on person’s behaviour in all the environments. Everybody has an inner child that always wants to play in order to be healthy and happy. So, don’t waste your time, follow your instinct: just play. At the end, the world will be the winner, and we will see it at next GWC.

Natalie Campo

After many years working as a technical journalist in several magazines, newspapers and publishing projects as well as a consultant and specialized trainer for software companies, now I am part of Datio Academy Team. We are responsible for the edition, coordination and maintenance of documentation resources, corporative communication, gamification and social media strategies which is a very enriching experience that potentiates our startup culture.

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1 thought on “GWC 2016: Towards the high-level engagement”

  1. Excelente iniciativa!!
    Muy bueno este artículo, bastante explicativo.
    Realmente el juego y la tecnología son los mejores aliados actualmente para el proceso de enseñanza aprendizaje y más aún para el área laboral, trabajadores contentos se mantendrán más entusiastas para participar espontáneamente en proyectos, y todo tipo de labor sin mucha supervision.

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