BETT week can be really quite gruelling, even on a day visit. I’ve been attending for many years and have the scars to prove it. Here are my 6 rules of BETT to help you at the show.
One – Wear comfy clothes and shoes
You will literally walk miles. Make the most of this by using the activity features of your smartphone to track your efforts on the day. Your step count will be huge! In addition to the comfy clothes have a decent bag with you too. A visit to BETT for the day is more akin to an expedition. Have a decent bag that you can carry evenly on your back for comfort and posture.
Two – Bring your phone
You will most like want your phone, simply because you’ll be likely to want to be online. As recently demonstrated in my poll below, phones are peoples most important device so bring it with you! Do not rely on wifi. If you can, bring a tablet as back up. I repeat, do not rely on wifi and get your juice pack fully charged. You’ll need it! If like me you’re active on social media these are essentials.
What's the most important device in your life?
— Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist) December 29, 2017
Three – Plan your trip
It is a brilliant opportunity to catch some great speakers, but also to speak with those companies you think you might want to work with. Get the show map and try to block those meetings in close proximity. You can easily cover half a mile between meetings every meeting if you’re not clever with your planning. Use your meeting tool on your device although if you’re not using Google Calendar you’re missing a trick for ease of access on multiple devices. Even short distances take time at BETT too because of the volume of attendees. Leave plenty of time between meetings to ensure you get where you need to on time. Find a good central place such as the Apple Village shown below where you can always hear great speakers and the chairs are normally comfy if you can get one. Try and arrive between sessions!
@ICTEvangelist Doing his thing. Full house at c180 @Bett_show #edtech #elearning pic.twitter.com/MPUADrzP0B
— Abdul Chohan (@Abdulchohan) January 27, 2017
Four – Think about how you manage your time whilst at BETT
I find snapping images of things I didn’t realise were there that I want to see later a helpful visual reminder. Tweeting them is even better as you can tag, add pictures and text and share the good info too, as shown below. As is taking snapshots of business cards with their owners holding their card. Keep that phone handy and don’t get bogged down with paperwork either. If you do talk with a rep that you’re interested in working with then ask them to send you PDF copies of the things you need to save you having to lug it around. You only need so many pens and mugs too. You probably already have plenty so think carefully about what you pick up.
Seeing @littleBits in action using lego what a great STEM idea. #bett2017 #bettchat pic.twitter.com/i62jGrDo5d
— ICTtechie LTD (@ICT_techie) January 27, 2017
Five – Try and fit in a visit to some of the Learn Live Theatre sessions
Despite the disappointing news that these only take place now if sponsored by a company, these sessions are often delivered by passionate teachers and school leaders who are at the top of their game. I always learn something when I attend one of these sessions. If you’re visiting BETT over a few days then plan a few of them in. They’re also a good opportunity to use your time wisely after grabbing a drink while you can take a break.
Loving @ICTEvangelist 's app recommendations … Thank you! #bett2016 pic.twitter.com/swPBMDUco3
— Ramneet Loyall (@RLoyall) January 23, 2016
Where will I be?
In the alternative, please come and see me. This year I will be on the NetSupport stand on Wednesday, with Unio by Harness on the Thursday in the main arena and on Friday I’ll be hosting a variety of sessions with Unio, such as a School Leaders Session focused on how to get impact with your technology. At 4 pm on the Friday of BETT before things start off with the Teachmeet, I will also be hosting a ‘Geek Off’ where you can come along and share geeky teaching and learning ideas from your classroom or share the geekiest / best find at BETT. There is going to be an awesome prize too for the best presentation. More details to come!
If you’re still looking for someone to work with you with on the Saturday of BETT, please do get in touch.
Six – Selfies!
You absolutely must stand at the front of the ExCeL with your friends – new and old – and grab a selfie. Tweet it then using the #BETT2018 hashtags. If you’re an Insta person then if you have some battery left then why not make a nice video summarising your trip using the brilliant Quik app on your phone. Available on Android here and iOS here. More ideas for the use of Quik can be found here.
Great to catch up with @TeacherToolkit & @ty_goddard at #bettfutures & #bett2016 yesterday pic.twitter.com/IuA2HrioMn
— Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist) January 23, 2016
In short, take it steady, plan your trip, have supplies, don’t pick up too much swag as you’ll have to carry it around, connect with people on Twitter, give yourself plenty of time to get around, get the BETT app on your phone and have a fully charged juice pack! I truly hope to see you there!
Written in its original version for UKEdChat magazine, updated for ICTEvangelist.com