A Community of Play; Parting Thoughts on the 2014 World Congress of Play

What was it like being at the World Congress of Play?  In the words of one well-known veteran, it was:  “One of the three best conferences I have ever attended.”  Another took the time to artculate that he found the conference to be:  “Warm, Collegial and intellectually inquiring.”  Attendees told me that they made new relationships, solved problems and got ahead of their competition by listening to and meeting people they would never have ordinarily met. 

It was, in short, one of the most rewarding and possibly most important challenges I have ever attempted.  Along with my partner for the event, Charlie Albert of Creativity Inc., we put in hours and hours pulling together a powerful mash up of play industry professionals along with play researchers and advocates. 

As proud as I am of our efforts in putting this event together, I am even more impressed with those who made the time and financial investment to be part of a ground-breaking event.  The brain power in the room was through the roof but so was the camaraderie and curiosity.  Being on the podium allowed me to look out over the room and see that the audience sat forward in their chairs, laughed easily, applauded with gusto, asked great questions and most importantly to me, rarely left the room and did little in the way of checking email.

The combination of 15 to 20 minute speeches given by passionate advocates for anything from robots to cartoons to theme parks to toys made for an electric atmosphere that demanded that you pay attention.  We will be posting videos from the event but in the meantime, check out my next posting for some of my favorite “entertaining” moments of the conference.

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