A gamified meeting

Over the last year I have been engaging more and more with gamification principles and concepts. A while ago I was introduced to the Gamification User Types, there are 6 user types that I am interested in:

  • Socialisers 
  • Free Spirits
  • Achievers 
  • Philanthropists 
  • Players 
  • Disruptors 

For more information on these user types from a gamification perspective please see Andrzej Marczewski’s blog on these user types here.

A collaborative session (be it a meeting, conference, workshop or something more), like any IT system requires an understanding of the users (participants or attendees), putting these user types into the context of this you have some interesting characteristics. Understanding the motivation and behaviours of each of your participants will give you incite into how you run the session and how you get the participation you require. This knowledge could even be used in the middle of the meeting to redirect inappropriate behaviour.

  • Socialisers participate to engage with friends and colleagues, they want to network and talk about common interests, these individuals are less likely to be interested in the business challenge at hand. They are also the individuals who are most likely to forward invites on to other socialisers and people of interest as this will make the session most interesting for them. They are most likely to attend a meeting if there are others of interest also attending.
  • Free Spirits  want to create, explore and discover newness, they want to get down to the new not discuss what they already know. They are most interested in talking about innovative or new concepts that push the limits of what is currently possible, asking the ‘what if?’ questions. These individuals want to explore, as such they want to be doing rather than being told, they are most likely to test concepts and ideas in detail.
  • Achievers want challenges to overcome, they want to learn and develop themselves. These individuals are more prone to boredom and will need challenging to ensure they remain engaged with the meeting. If a task is perceived to be too easy achievers will not want to perform the task, in some cases it is possible for achievers to create their own challenge and take the meeting off in a new, potentially beneficial direction.
  • Philanthropists are altruistic, they want to improve the system and help others achieve. These people are great to have at any meeting or collaborative session as they are always looking to achieve the common good. They are often the voice of reason when others are looking to help themselves.
  • Players Whilst philanthropists want the best outcome for everyone, players want the most reward for themselves. When it comes to the real world and physical meetings or workshops I personally believe that everyone has an element of player in their personality. Everyone asks the question ‘What’s in it for me?’ at some point in every conversation, they might not even be aware that they asked or even answered it.
  • Disruptors will push for change, these are your early adopters, your trend setters. These individuals can help make change happen but they will not always care whether the change is for better or worse. Disruptors are great individuals to have on board when you are looking to make any change stick within an organisation as these individuals will push for the change without being asked to.

In general people are not one or another type of user, they will be a mix of a number of different types that will change over time and dependent on the situation they find themselves in. If you consider all the user types you can ensure your session achieves the outcomes you have identified.

When you apply this understanding of the user types to this you begin to realise that you can get more from a participant group. The session needs to be designed in such a way that all user types are appropriately motivated at all times. This creates a set of questions that you can ask yourself when running through how any session will work from a participant point of view:

  • Socialisers – who will I work with? who don’t I know? who have I worked with already?
  • Free Spirits – what space do I have to explore the topic? what am I creating?
  • Achievers – how is this challenging for me? what makes this difficult?
  • Philanthropists – how will this help others? what is the collective benefit?
  • Players – what is in it for me? what rewards can i receive for this?
  • Disruptors – how will this be different? how does this change my work?

These user types have helped me think differently about my meetings and events, I hope they will help you too.


How the NHS thinks about its customers

I recently had a short stay in the hospital to have my appendix removed, I am now feeling much better and have had some time to reflect on my stay. The National Health Service (NHS) has always had to balance providing a good service and providing an efficient one. During my time in hospital this balancing act was something that I often noticed, thinking back through my stay there were 3 key stages that I would like to share with you


From my work in the ASE I know that understanding what every customer wants and needs is crucial to providing a good service. To ensure that their experience is a positive one you need to understand the customer in as much detail as possible. I noticed that this was done in a couple of phases and a couple of overarching questions apply to each

1. Who is the customer? – When I arrived I handed the receptionist a note from my GP, other individuals in the room were given forms and a small group of people were asked the same questions directly.

2. Why are they here? – A junior doctor spoke to me to understand my current ailment that brought me to hospital, they asked questions and ran some physical tests to understand my condition in more detail. I was then seen by a more senior doctor to confirm the initial thinking and to identify the possible solutions to my symptoms.

This triage process provided the hospital with all the information they needed to identify the problem and the possible cure. This process is replicated in other companies and other scenarios across the globe and follows a simple pattern of information gathering, verification and reallocation of work. Whilst it would be nice for the senior doctor to be able to see each and every patient at the start of the process to talk through their name and address it is not an efficient us of their time. Especially when there might be another patient who requires that expertise more urgently.


Throughout my time in the hospital I moved between wards, the operating room and the recovery room and was looked after by a team of doctors, anaethetists, nurses and consultants. Every new person who I met, every time I was given drugs or moved to a different location I was asked to confirm my name and date of birth. In short I was asked to confirm who I was, they were tracking me through the hospital. This has the potential to become annoying after some time until you realise the scale of any hospital, the number of customers each individual in the hospital meets in a day or even an hour. I can imagine it would be too easy to confuse one patient with another and provide them with the wrong cure.

Any good customer service requires the ability to track its customers, to understand what has happened to them since they were last spoken to, to know what has changed and what is different and to know who you are talking with. What is recorded in that mechanism will depend on the service provided and the customers themselves.

Follow up…

Following my appendectomy I was asked to come back for a follow up appointment to review my progress and check on my condition. The importance of after care when it comes to customer exerience can not be over stated, it provides the opportunity to review the service given, understand else can be done and resolve any issues that may have arisen since the first visit. In NHS terms, if I hadn’t healed properly and didnt have the knowledge to realise then I would have to go through the whole process again without a follow up session.

Do you triage, track and follow up on your customers?