BETT, Europe’s largest IT exhibition specifically for education, was held at the end of January at London ExCel in the Docklands, its venue for the last eight years.
Some of our Sales and Marketing Team recently ventured out of the office (yes, we do let them out occasionally) and headed to BETT 2020. The event is huge and attracts more and more global visitors each year, as well as thousands of UK teachers and students. 34,000 attendees in total visited this year!
Our team met with many interesting vendors and there’s more about a couple of them here. If any of these are of interest to you or you would like further information about discounts available, please click on the links.
We’ve been visiting or attending since it was held at Olympia before it outgrew the old west London venue, including on one occasion, in the early days of Microsoft in Education, Entec helped on their stand and we handed out 12,000 sticks of rock with Entec running through them! The modern equivalent would now need to be ecologically sourced fruit or re-useable water bottles from recycled plastic.
If you went this year did you find the new arrangement - two thirds of both the north and south exhibition halls - a little overwhelming? Do you now need two days to visit properly? When wending your way around there always seem to be prominent themes or particular types of equipment dominating the exhibition space – or maybe that just us? There was still a sizeable amount of exhibition space devoted to smart screens and large format displays. Since exhibition space at BETT costs an eye watering amount the vendors are obviously still selling lots and making good profits. Overseas exhibitors had even more presence than last year and they came from all round the world with Korea, China and Australia, to name just a few, taking large amounts of space.
A diverse range of physical bits of kit to be used in connection with STEM were scattered liberally throughout the exhibition (including Mayku's FormBox desktop vacuum former), many appearing on other stands including Microsoft’s. Small robots for use in primary education could be found running around all over the place. Primo’s Cubetto is a really well thought through example and well reported in the independent Hello World magazine.
During our day we met with ABBYY who, although not exhibiting, were launching a FineReader site license for schools and universities. FineReader is a product widely adopted by SEN departments and is a serious alternative to Adobe’s Acrobat.
If you went to BETT did you find lots of groups of pupils visiting this year? Maybe it was just the day we attended (Thursday) but it’s as though the exhibition has now become a place to visit as a schooltrip. Next year’s BETT is shorter, at three days, Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 January if you’ve got your 2021 diaries handy. See you there!
(Photos courtesy of TheRecord & Hyve)