Author: Mark Anderson, ICT Evangelist
I love BETT. There. I’ve said it. It is one of those events that whilst you often cannot afford to go in terms of time, travel and being away from your classes, you really cannot afford not to go either. Sure, you can keep abreast of things that are happening via social media, but there’s no substitute for being there and making those face-to-face connections.
There’s no getting away from the fact that it is a trade show. Oh, how I wish BETT was more like ISTE and the powers that be would see that it would be a) so much better for education and b) actually end up getting more footfall for those edtech companies that share their products there. I wish too that the Learn Live theatres didn’t only showcase people presenting who are sponsored by companies and did so based on the quality of what they’re sharing rather than whether or not they can get their presentations sponsored. That said, there is so much great learning and networking around education that can take place there. The truth is, if you’re a Teacher, School Leader or School Business Manager with an interest in technology in your school, you cannot afford not to attend.
This year, I am super excited to be working closely with NetSupport and my role will be to present and compere on their stand D120 every day.
We have some simply fantastic teachers, network managers, school leaders and more coming along multiple times a day sharing about the great things they are doing. I’m delighted that we will have not just adults, but students and pupils sharing in the presentation area too, which will bring some great value and learning opportunity about what works in schools when it comes to edtech.
This post, however, is one that features my top five tips for someone attending BETT, so here you go:
- Wear comfy shoes - believe it or not, you will walk miles and not just on your journey to ExCeL
- Keep hydrated - lots of the stands will have bottles of water available. Use them! It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
- Bring a few juice packs/power banks for your phone
- Related to the above, rather than grabbing loads of brochures and giving yourself a huge backache, take photos of brochures and documents from companies you’re interested in. An app such as Office Lens would be really helpful for grabbing great scans of documents and cropping them.
- Plan your trip - it really is worthwhile taking the time to find the speakers, stands and activities that you want to see. Plan things out, add timings to your calendar so you can be reminded on your phone where to go and when to be there. The BETT app is getting better at facilitating this, but do not rely on Wi-Fi in the arena. It is always terrible.
If you’d like to see me, then please come along to stand D120 where I will be sharing multiple times a day on the NetSupport stand. I would simply love to see you, even if it’s just for a selfie!