Our event format

What is an unconference ?

#play14 is organized as an unconference, a conference format that follows the Open Space Technology

In this format, attendees are also session contributors. Anyone who wants to initiate a topic can claim a time slot in the agenda, and the schedule is done every morning, on the spot, as we will explain later.

Once you are there, the organizers job is over. They have provided a location, food and drinks for the rest of the event, then it's up to you as a participant to make it a great event.

Check out the funny drawings of Claudio Perrone

Principles

There are some simple rules for participants.

  • Whoever comes is the right people

    As a facilitator, you should welcome anyone who has decided to join your session, and not be frustrated if you expected different people.
    As a participant, you should be ready to collaborate with anyone.

  • Whenever it starts is the right time

    As a facilitator, if you need some time to prepare, take it. Just think that people might get bored and go join another session. The best is to prepare anything in advance.
    As a participant, there is nothing wrong with joining a session in progress. But respect the people who have already started, and try to jump in quietly.

  • Wherever it is, is the right place

    You will be offered several spaces for your session. Choose the one that fits your needs as a facilitator or as a participant.

  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have

    Be prepared to be surprised. Don't be annoyed if you get feedback. Don't be disapointed if it doesn't work. Try again if need be.

  • When it's over, it's over

    As a facilitator, it's up to you to mind your timebox. The organizers will not do it for your. Keep in mind that the participants of your session might want to go to another session after yours, and that the room might be reserved after. Feel free to continue in a different location with whoever is interested.

Many thanks to Mari Luz Garcia for the wonderful images.

The Law of Two Feet

Any time a person feels a session is not contributing to their learning, they have the responsibility to themselves to get up and move. That is, use their two feet or four wheels to move to a more interesting place.

Neither the facilitator nor the other participants should feel offended about that. It's just what it is.

Bumblebees and Butterflies

Bumblebees fly from group to group cross-pollinating the discussions.

Butterflies sit around looking relaxed and interesting discussions may emerge around them as people find them and pause to chat.

Our code of conduct

  • Thy shall always be open minded and ready to listen and learn from others
  • Thy shall feel free to propose, experiment and explain what you have in mind
  • Thy shall not high-jack, sabotage or ruin the learning experience of other people
  • Thy shall mind your own timebox when facilitating a game so that other sessions can start on time
  • Thy shall behave appropriately and act as a decent human being
  • Thy shall be ready to get serious fun and good laughs, and should not be shy about that

To summarize : "Thy shall not be an a**hole".

What will you learn ?

  • Facilitation 85%

  • Innovation 70%

  • Change Management 60%

  • Happiness 90%

What is the typical schedule ?

#play14 usually take course over a weekend, but the schedule would pretty similar if it is not the case.

Every event also has its own specifics and the schedule may vary a bit. The general timing should stay pretty much the same though.

Welcome evening

The welcome evening is the day where we learn to know one another and enjoy meeting old friends again.

  • 6 PM
    Ice breakers
  • 7 PM
    Rules of the marketplace
  • 8 PM
    Dinner / Mingle
  • 9 PM
    Game(s) all together
  • 10 PM
    Beer at the pub

First day

This is the day where it really starts. Lots of games and fun. People are free to satisfy their cravings for games, or take a break if they need.'

  • 8:30 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9 AM
    Warm-ups
  • 9:30 AM
    Marketplace
  • 10 AM
    Game sessions
  • 12:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30 PM
    Game sessions
  • 6 PM
    Retrospective
  • 7 PM
    Pizza & Beers

Second day

This day is often a bit more relaxed. It usually ends earlier, so people can go back home. But hard-core gamers can still get their lot.

  • 8:30 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9 AM
    Warm-ups
  • 9:30 AM
    Marketplace
  • 10 AM
    Game sessions
  • 12:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30 PM
    Game sessions
  • 4 PM
    Retrospective
  • 5 PM
    Goodbye & see you next time

Whay will be my main take aways ?

Games

Any real world activity used as a metaphor for learning, sharing and understanding. Because we want to focus on the face to face nature of play and we believe it to be most relevant in the context of this event, we will not use nor create any digital or video games during the event.

New ideas

Get new ideas for games and activities that you will be able to try out right away with your teams when you go back home. Play games that you already know and learn about variations, or discover completely new activities and learn how to facilitate them.

Conversations

You get to meet new interesting people from multiple backgrounds and with different experiences : serial gamers, learning-by-doing practitioners, games designers, facilitators, agile coaches, teachers, product or service designer, actors, improvisers, therapists, brainstormers, HR.

Experiments

It's a safe place where you can experiment new games or any idea that you have, with open minded people, who will be happy to provide feedback. You can come with an idea of something you want to teach, and find people to help you design a game that will reach your particular educational objective.

How does the schedule come up ?

#play14 being an unconference, it's up to the participants to come up with the content.

How do I propose a game ?

If you feel like proposing a game, follow these instructions.

Should I bring any material with me ?

If your game requires specific material, please bring it with you.

Otherwise, #play14 will provide the basics

  • Post-it notes
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Cards
  • ...

What else should I know ?

Unconference

An unconference is a conference format where attendees are also session contributors.

There are some simple rules for participants. They will be explained during the first evening plenary welcome speech, but usually, participants create the schedule during a marketplace session taking place at the beginning of each day.

Anyone who wants to initiate a topic can claim a time slot in the agenda.

Schedule

#play14 usually takes course over two and a half days. It starts at 6 P.M. on the first day with some ice breakers and warm up games, and then a nice get-to-know-each-other dinner.

On the second day, we start at 9 A.M. with the marketplace. Then, the sessions start. Lunch is usually served around 1 P.M. and a short debrief will take place at the end of the day, around 6 P.M.. Then it's pizza & beer time.

On the third day, the rhythm is almost the same except that we finish a little bit earlier because some people need to catch a flight and get back home.

Non profit

#play14 is completely non-profit. We ask you for money to pay for your food, drinks, welcome kit and game material during the event.

Any profit that is made on a given event is automatically reinvested in the next event.

Photography

We usually try to take a lot of pictures and videos during the event. We usually publish them on Twitter, Google Photo, Youtube, and our website.

By participating to a #play14 event you tacitly agree to appear in any photo or video. However, if you find any one of them inconvenient or degrading, feel free to ask us, and we will remove the photo or video when possible.

Sessions

Gather with like-minded people on the unconference format. This means no slideshows, no rockstar sessions in push mode, but collaborative sessions where people get the opportunity to learn and practice but also discuss and challenge.

So, bring the materials you need to organize and facilitate the learning activities you already know in order to share them actively with your peers in a learning-by-doing and collaborative mindset.

English will be used in all general communications, but we would like to let the session leaders decide which language to use in their session.