Belgian Girl Geeks

#9BEGG – Gamestorming, recap :)

Sunday, June 26, 2016 1 No tags Permalink 8

During the last Belgian Girl Geek Dinner I had the honour of producing a gala workshop at Point Virgule with about 30 attendees. This is called a gala workshop because a large number of people are brainstorming towards a similar goal. We do this by actually splitting the attendees in smaller groups, so interaction can be as intense as possible. Since I had also received the request to get a real taste of Innovation Games® and Gamestorming, I prepared several techniques to run in parallel.

We only had a short evening together, a time restriction that made the endeavour more challenging, especially for me, in order to create a workshop that actually brings value to both attendees and Point Virgule. An added treat to the evening: wonderful food by raw food chef Julie!


The goal of the workshop, which always needs to be clearly defined, was: “How to improve customer acquisition and retention through digital channels?”

A good workshop always follows a clear pattern: start – open – explore – close – end.


As a starter, I introduced very shortly some theory about Innovation Games (Luke Hohmann) and Gamestorming (Dave Gray) and the concept of Artful Participation. This concept from Sociocracy 3.0 is at the heart of any succesful meeting: any participant should ask this question to themselves. “Is my reaction in the moment the best contribution I can make to this collaboration?. Then I introduced the group to our male facilitators for the evening, each had a paper with the technique they were going to use for the exploring part of the workshop. Even though these names might not mean much to the attendees at that point in time, I asked them to Body Vote and choose which technique they wanted to experience.

During the opening we let our brain go wild. We ask questions to awaken more creativity, e.g. “What would Chuck Norris do?”. But in order to get everybody ready for a creative workshop, we need to wake up the creative parts of our brain.


This was done with a fun exercise called “Association Circle”. The attendees stand in a circle and an object is thrown from one to the other. Each time the object is thrown a word is said. The next person then says the first word that comes to mind in association with the previous one. This exercise takes about 3 minutes, but the level of creativity we see coming from attendees after this short start is notably higher than without such a warmup exercise.

Then the 3 groups got started with the main part of the workshop, the Explore phase.

Group 1 did a brainstorm session with a technique called “Prune the Product Tree”. I slightly modified the technique, so the branches that are called “features” in the original technique were now used as communication channels (social media, video, printed press,…). The description of this original Innovation Game can be found here, on the Innovation Games® website.


Group 2 used a technique called Empathy Map. This technique by XPLANE is used to understand the needs and desires of your customers as means to improve your products and services. A detailed description of this technique can be found here, on the Gamestorming website.

9begg empathymap

Group 3 did their session through Impact Mapping. An impact map communicates scope, goals and priorities, but also assumptions on two levels. The first is that a deliverable will support a change in behaviour of an actor, produce an impact. The second is that once the impact is supported, the relevant actor will contribute to the overall objectives. This visualisation makes impact maps a powerful tool for roadmap management.

impact map 9BEGG

You can read all about impact mapping here, on the Impact Mapping website, or buy their book, I highly recommend it.

That leaves us with a lot of information: input from 25 potential customers!

To move on to the closing part of the workshop we needed to get some priorities and actions filtered out of this mass of information. For this, I facilitated Caroline and Ingelien of Point Virgule during a modified version of the NUF test (New, Useful, Feasible). I asked them to use 3 coloured sticky dots to indicate which items in the brainstorm results were for them:

  • New (hadn’t thought about this before)
  • Useful (we can work with this in the future)
  • Feasible (we could actually do this tomorrow already!)

We then transferred the items to a separate chart. After conducting this exercise with group 1, we added them as spectators to group 2 and finally everyone joined for the NUF exercise of group 3.


Each group was then invited, as a closing, to each write an “Achievement Unlocked” card. It can be hard to explicitely appreciate someone for their behaviour. And it can be even harder to accept appreciation. And yet appreciation is something that can have such a big impact on people’s motivation. This is why we created these easy to carry “Achievement unlocked” cards. This concept is of course based on the gamification element of achievements, getting recognition for a certain behaviour or perseverance. Each girl geek also got a pack of 10 cards in the goodiebag, and an online version is available here.

Screenshot 2016-06-26 22.20.33

This brought us seamlessly to the end of the workshop part of the evening, nicely within the timebox of 2 hours that had been evaluated upfront.

To end the session, 2 feedback techniques were introduced: happiness wall and perfection game. With this feedback, I can improve future events an keep on learning.

Screenshot 2016-06-26 22.24.45

As you can see, we used a lot of techniques, which are mostly described online through various sources, just click the links in this post. In order to make a good workshop, I tend to go beyond the boundaries of Innovation Games® and even Gamestorming. I modify techniques to fit my needs, look at the classical brainstorming techniques and create a healthy mix of interesting things to get to the results the customer is looking for. You’ll notice the links direct you different websites.


Other techniques buried in the different workshops were:

If you want to learn more about how to apply these techniques, get to work with a lot more of them and learn how to create your own successful internal workshops, workshops with clients, and even modify techniques, Co-Learning offers 2-day certified Innovation Games® masterclasses (but we go broader than Innovation Games®, I promise). You can find all the details on this website.

I hope to meet you again in the near future!

#9BEGG – Gamestorming

A poll in our Belgian Girl Geeks Facebook Group has decided the topic for our next upcoming event: on Wednesday the 22nd of June we’re going to learn everything about Gamestorming, which is a brainstorm technique using games!

Nice detail: our  main coach during this event is one of our own Girl Geeks: Annelies De Meyere. She is Agile Coach & Facilitator at Co-Learning. Co-Learning lives by an important motto: “Work is Play” and they believe in activating Fun through Work, setting up collaborative creative powers for complex problem solving. Together with anyone involved they generate (new) insights about a current situation. They also facilitate group discussions towards change and improvement, creating awareness and the urge to move ahead. To do this, their team provides training and workshop facilitation through Innovation Games® and Gamestorming techniques, organising events that tap into the collective intelligence of a team or a crowd that can go up to hundreds of participants. Co-Learning harbours 3 of only 8 Certified Innovation Games® Collaboration Instructors in Europe, and they will all be available during #9BEGG to let you experience hands-on co-creation through different techniques!

Pretty sure this event will be useful to you whatever your job is. We’ve also made sure that we can pick our brains in a really nice environment! Our location & host for the evening is Point-Virgule in Deinze, specialized in trendy kitchen accessories.

Point-Virgule items Point-Virgule

Program (food & drinks included!):

  • 19h00 – 19h30: registration & welcoming
  • 19h30 – 21h30: Gamestorming workshop (in groups)
  • 21h30 – 22h00: Aftertalk, goodiebag & goodbye

Point-Virgule, Vaartlaan 9, 9800 Deinze

As always subscription is free and you can subscribe by hitting the pink button below. But please be so kind to remove yourself from the list or inform me well in advance if you can’t make it after all. That way we can keep the events for free in the future as well ;-)

#8BEGG – How to blog – recap

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 0 , , Permalink 0

Last Saturday, we had a session about how to blog at Intracto in Herentals with an amazing view. There, Herman Maes, presented us with the tips and tricks of blogging. Herman, having blogged for about a decade, knows what he’s talking about.

After a tour of the building, and breakfast provided by Floom, we dove into blogging. At this moment there are so many different types of blogs in circulation that you have a ton of different ways you can go when you decide to start blogging. There is a topic for everyone to enjoy and write about, mommy blogs, fashion blogs, shop blogs, movie blogs, music blogs, hobby blogs, vlogs (video blogs)…

Breakfast by Floom @ Intracto in Herentals

Before starting with blogging, think long and hard about which language you want to use. If you go for English, you might get the advantage of the world being able to read the text but you have more competition. When choosing Dutch, the amount of people who will be able to read it might be smaller, but so is the amount of people talking about the same thing.

Where a few years ago, companies were looking for likes on Facebook, they are now stepping over to blogs and getting views there.  Beside big companies, shops are blogging now more and more too. This to give some additional info and user experience news on the items that they have for sale. When doing this though, make sure that the content you are using to post is unique and original.

There are a few different types of content:

  • Original content
  • Curated content – e.g. noting quotes during an event and creating a blogpost based on this
  • Recycled content – updating existing content – good for yearly recurring posts

One rule in getting popularity and more hits is being the first person to blog about something. If you are the first to write about something, especially after an event, if people are looking for information about the event or products that were introduced there, your blog is the first (sometimes only one) where they can find the data.

There was one more thing that we can learn from Herman. He “hustles” people into reading his posts when he knows they are relevant for them. This can be done by mailing, direct messaging (facebook/twitter), sharing the link in specified groups, … This way, you can generate more traffic towards your own blog.

If you are thinking about starting a blog, don’t hesitate. You can search for blogs that are looking for a guest blogger (twitter search for “gast blogger gezocht”). Or find a topic you want to talk about, just start a blog (recommended: + Webhost like and even if your layout is not yet 100% just bring the content out there, cause the content is crucial!

I would like to thank Kel for organizing the event and Herman for providing all the useful information about blogging. Also, a big thank you to the following companies for providing items for our goodie bag:  KBC,, So Baggy and Bruxx.

Goodies from, KBC, Zoet, Bruxx & So Baggy

And as I learned on Saturday and me being a guest blogger on here, if you want to read more of my work, check out my blog.

Useful links:

Picture by @NovaNina


#8BEGG – what you may expect

Monday, March 21, 2016 4 Permalink 0

This Saturday you are expected in Herentals (not Hasselt!!!) @ Intracto (Zavelheide 15 / second floor) for #8BEGG about How to blog.

Our trainer will be Herman Maes, Online Search & Hubspot Expert at our host Intracto but also known as blogger Dailybits.

Herman Maes

Doors open as from 9h00, and Floom is providing us a healthy granola breakfast. The workshop starts @ 10h00, followed by a sandwich lunch &
the opportunity to have a one-to-one with Herman for additional questions you might have.

And of course there’s also a goodiebag… Our goodiebag is sponsored by KBC,,, So Baggy & Bruxx.

If for some reason you can’t make it after all, please unsubscribe so one of the girls on the reserve list can make it in your place.

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

~ Kel ~