Going to BETT?

It’s almost that time of the year again – BETT time!

bett uk logo with dates 24-27 January 2018 at Excel London

What is BETT?

It’s an educational tech show in London, UK and it’s THIS WEEK! (24-27th Jan 2018)

BETTfree to attend massive ed-tech exhibition with presentations and workshops spread throughout many of the stands, as well as in the designated ‘Theatres’.

Who should go to BETT?

BETT is for any teacher of any age child/young person who is interested in using Technology in the classroom.  There are many Head Teachers who attend to try and get a handle on future trends.  There are School Administrators who attend to find better suppliers of communication tools (phones, email and messaging services) or catering payment systems etc.  It’s a great exhibition to attend as a Student Teacher, to understand some of the services and technologies that can help you really engage your pupils.

What can you get from BETT?

Ideas, new kit, new services, replacement (cheaper?) services, a view of what’s the next thing to come to your school.  You can also network with Educators and experts and pick up excellent tips and tricks via the presentations and workshops, as well as at some of the stands.

There’s a good spread of official seminars listed on the BETT site and if you download the free BETT app you can shortlist seminars (and even suppliers) so that you can see what you want to do very quickly.

Top Tips for Surviving BETT

There are many people who offer tips for successfully attending large exhibitions like BETT, but here are mine:

  1. Hydrate – Take a disposable water bottle with you and drink as often as you can.
  2. Plan to visit seminar sessions spread throughout the day so you get a sit down!
  3. Be selective over promotional materials.  All stands will offer you flyers and booklets.  I hardly every accept them.  If there’s something I want to think about or come back to later I photograph the stand/promotional materials to remind me to take a look online, or arrange a trial etc.
  4. Take business cards.  This is less important these days as most exhibitors zap badges instead, but there are still some exhibitors (mainly the smaller ones) who ask you to hand-write details onto a pad.  Instead I give them my card and they keep that OR copy from it themselves.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes.  Every year I think to myself I’ll check my mileage or steps walked at BETT and I haven’t remembered yet.  Maybe I will this year…
  6. It can be overwhelming and daunting so do some preparation.  Plan what KINDS of things you are interested in to create yourself a list of things to look for.  Try and stick to your list to stay focused.  If there are suppliers you want to touch base with make a list of them (or use the app as mentioned above).
  7. Check the seminar program in case there’s something you just can’t miss.  If there is set yourself a reminder or alarm, it’s easy to loose track of time!
  8. Exhibitors get tired!  If you are attending BETT on Friday or Saturday try to remember that the exhibitors are getting tired.  It’s hard work to set up a stand, stay in a hotel and smile all day whilst standing on your feet and trying to attract people to talk to you. I have often spoken to exhibitors at BETT with the vague feeling that they’re not really on this planet towards the end of BETT week, though maybe that’s just my effect!

Other Advice

Lots of other educators offer advice, in fact Terry Freedman has created a full-blown book available from Amazon – find out more here!

Around BETT

There are two TeachMeet‘s planned during BETT.  If you are not aware then a TeachMeet is a kind of un-conference organised by teachers for teachers.  No suppliers, no-one selling anything.  Teacher’s and educationalists offer to share a 3 or 7 minute presentation on ANYTHING to do with teaching.  Anyone can volunteer, times are usually strongly adhered to and there isn’t allowed to be any sales pitches.  Some are sponsored and so feature nibbles, others are not.  At BETT for 2018 there are two TeachMeets.  There’s an international one on Thursday evening and then the traditional TeachMeet BETT on Friday evening.  Find out more and sign up to attend or present for free at the TeachMeet site

Register for BETT

Register for your free ticket to BETT online.  They email you a link so you can print your ticket and skip the queue!  Then work out how you are going to get there!


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