BETT…Not Just a Trade Show

BETT 2013

I did not intend to write a post about this year’s BETT Show as there are far better reviewers and bloggers out there sharing their insights and thoughts.

However, having visited Day 1 of BETT 2013, I had two separate conversations with two different teachers, whereby I asked them whether or not they were attending the event later in the week. Their mixed and somewhat surprising responses were:

  • “What’s BETT? “
  • “No, we have no money in our budget so what’s the point in going?”

I know that BETT is by nature a trade show and that vast amounts of money are involved. However, the range of conferences and Learn Live workshops and seminars on offer were rich and varied…and they were all FREE! The ones in the BETT handbook and corresponding BETT app were superbly supplemented by the ones on offer at the Stone stand, curated by Tony Parkin.  Another worthy mention must go to Night Zoo Keeper for hosting yet another successful KidsMeet session.

Friday saw the ultimate FREE CPD event…TeachMeet. Tickets were as rare as the proverbial rocking horse pooh. However, a chance conversation with Mark Martin and Milverton Wallace at the Hackathon event meant that I was able to secure a spare ticket for John Bishop, trainee teacher and Director of Evolve SI, who had heard much about TeachMeet, but had never attended one. This was somewhat akin to attending your first ever football match…at Wembley…for a cup final.

The first of many entertaining and informative presentations was made by Stephen Lockyer and Ben Waldram, with their BATTT campaign. For further details of ‘Bring a Teacher to Twitter’ click here. By bringing John to #tmbett2013, maybe I was ahead of their game plan.

The crowds evident during the week were not there on the Saturday, possibly affected by the part-closure of the DLR. However, those of us who made the effort to get there early were rewarded by the truly inspirational Tim Rylands, Tim proceeded to drop one pearl of wisdom after another. I had heard much about Tim, but never heard him speak live. My copious EverNote-taking, was interspersed with genuine ‘wobbly chin’ moments during Tim’s unique performance, ‘Back to Their Future”. For further details click here.

I so wish the two teachers I met on Thursday had witnessed not just Tim, but the many listed speakers in the smaller arenas, as well as the 20+ TeachMeet Takeovers on the stands, which allowed for even more sharing of ideas.

Maybe the BATTT campaign needs to include another sub-campaign…BATTBETT?

On a personal note, may I take this opportunity to say huge THANK YOUs to the many I met during BETT 2013. You know who you are…your warmth, generosity and ideas know no bounds.