Clinton Swaine is an Australian business man who made his fortune in the computer business, but now he is teaching people to play games and learn business skills at the same time. He brought his program to the Los Angeles Convention Center, as he does several times per year.
Swaine can only be considered eccentric and engaging. People come from miles around to watch him teach as different characters. Yes, he changes costumes, names, and for one character, he is even taking gymnastics to show the Olympic spirit.
He starts off each program with a scene from “The Karate Kid” which is supposed to teach that just because you don’t think you are learning something, does not mean it’s true. This starts off the day, and away the participants go into a world of games.
He believes that participation runs hand in hand with value, so has students come up to the stage after each game to tell what they learned from it. Most get the games, but there are a few who question his methods, are resistant to his style, and some just don’t want to be there at all.
Swaine can take getting used to, and admittedly, some of the games have no proper foundation in order to lead to success. For example, there was a game where a person had to ask for their money at least 6 times, but the teaching only came after the game. Thus, people were searching the room, asking questions which could not be answered, and some just getting plain frustrated.
There were some who were so against the methods used that they left. To be fair, most of them left during the first break, so they did not really get to see his methods in their fullness.
The games were meant to teach business skills, get rid of emotional issues toward money, and to learn to adapt to changes. Some fulfilled those, while others failed due to the eccentric methods. For example, Swaine tends to dress up as very effeminate gay males or women, his nails are polished, and it was very easy to be distracted by the persona instead of engaging in the games.
The purpose of the “Play to Win” weekend is to get people to sign up for a lifetime membership of his other courses. The tab for that is $29,999 plus expenses. Most of his programs are in Europe, so it would add up quickly. This meeting had approximately 70 people, of which one-third had taken the course before. From this there were approximately 3 sales.
He used a badly shot video with awful audio to tell a little about his personas, but for the amount of money that he was requesting, it did not show a professional to work with, but am amateur who did not think a professional video was worth the price.
There are many lessons a person can learn at “Play to Win,” but the most important would be to make sure what you are doing really represents your company well.