How I gamified a visit to the Connected Business Expo


HQ has assigned me with a very important mission. I must attend the Connected Business Expo at the Olympia Exhibition Centre. Time frame for this mission: 4th-5th March. Importance: Critical. Difficulty: Unknown.

In order to complete this mission I must complete a series of challenges.

Challenge 1 – Gather 5 unique freebies

Vital to this mission is gathering 5 different types of freebies from the stands at the exhibition. I kept an eye out for the most useful and then sought to obtain them. Here is the list in ascending order of interest:

1: Your standard normally functioning pen. Handy for signing cheques in exchange for top secret information.

2: Notepad. May be used in partnership with the pen, or for stopping bullets.

3: In-car dual port USB charger. No more flat battery while in the middle of a heated car chase.

4: Pen/phone-stylus/torch combo. What every secret agent needs.

5: Giant foam finger. For tapping villains on the opposite shoulder to confuse them.

Challenge Complete!

hunter gatherer

 Challenge 2 – Identify examples of gamification

Gamification can be used in almost any situation. I am to identify examples of gamification and report back to the lab for analysis.

The first instance I found was conducted by Paul Miller, the CEO and founder of Digital Workplace Group. He began his presentation with the proclamation that the first two people to ask him a question at the end of his speech would win a free copy of his new book  ‘The Digital Workplace: How Technology is Liberating Work’. This would have been an interesting freebie to add to my collection but I had to keep a low profile (I definitely wasn’t too busy playing with the foam finger).


 I also found my way into being entered into a competition to win a Kindle Fire from New Voice Media.

The draw was near the end of the exhibition so I was one of only 4 other agents who had managed to survive that long. The odds were in my favour.

Unfortunately, Dr. Evil must have gotten hold of another nuclear warhead and held New Voice Media ransom, as I was foiled at the last moment.

Although I am still Kindle-less, I achieved my goal of identifying instances of gamification. I prefer a real book anyway.

Challenge Complete!

 Challenge 3 – Attend at least 10 seminars

While I was mainly there to have fun, I had to be careful not to forget that I was also there to learn. They don’t teach you everything at spy school.

I managed to exceed my target of 10 seminars, actually managing to watch 14 different speakers over the two days. Some were more interesting than others. The highlight of the event for me was Dave Coplin’s presentation, who is the Chief Envisioning Officer of Microsoft (there’s more than one way to be CEO!),  on Business Re-imagined and the rise of the humans.

I will be writing a few more posts about the things I learnt from the Expo in more detail soon, once I have been given security clearance.

Challenge Complete!


About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide 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 co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

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.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

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 in the UK.

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