Wednesday, 4 January 2012

BETT show tips for first time visitors

The yearly BETT show is a great opportunity for teachers to scope out some new ideas and discover some great tools that they haven't seen before. Every January tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world invade Olympia, London and as one of them in previous years, here are some of my thoughts that might help you.

Take some food and drink

It's tiring work speaking to all the exhibitors and navigating through the sea of people. Take some snacks and some water to help keep your energy levels high.

Plan, but not too much

Most people only go for a single day and it's really difficult to get around and see everybody. You should always have a list of a few people you really want to see and plan your route around the show from that, however it's always good to have a wander too and check out all the things you didn't know existed. 

Enter all the competitions you can

There's always competitions on - things such as free software, iPads, laptops etc. are always on offer. If you see one, you might as well give it a go!

Pick up free stuff

Most stands will be offering some kind of free gift - usually pens, but you can find sweets, lanyards and trial software. I even picked up a Lego toy last year.

Don't try and talk to everybody

If you're not interested in what's on offer, you can tell the exhibitor that wants to talk to you. They won't mind! Remember there's about 30,000 other people for them to speak to. Be nice though!

Eat early or late

It's a good idea to not eat at lunchtime - expect massive queues at pizza express and little chance of somewhere to sit if you want to eat between 12 and 2.

Have fun

Remember you're supposed to enjoy the day and be inspired. If you're not feeling that way, sit down and have a go on an interactive quiz or play with the Lego Mindstorms robots.

These are just a few of my thoughts based on previous experiences. There's a really good post by Ian Addison with some more useful advice here. This year instead of being a visitor, I'll be exibiting a school rewards system which should be a new and exciting experience - come and see me at stand IN-8 for a chat and a free pen!

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