Some thoughts leaving #bett2016

Bye-bye BETT

I’ve spent the last couple of days at the BETT trade show. The term ‘trade show’ is important to remember about this event; although it has conference-like elements, the main reason it exists is to promote vendors and their products. Nevertheless, it’s been an important touchstone in my career so far as a convenient (free!) place to meet people.

My career started as a History teacher. I became a senior leader, then moved to work for Jisc, and then onto Mozilla before becoming an independent consultant last April. I’ve been to BETT in all of these roles and, I have to say, this was the most enjoyable BETT I’ve attended. Part of that is because of my new-found freedom, but it’s also because BETT’s grown up a little.

I can point to a couple of examples of BETT being different since I last attended in 2014. First of all, it’s embracing a bit more diversity. The parts I enjoyed most this year were (physically) right on the fringes of the event – in the and STEAM Village respectively. Second, BETT is become more and more of an edtech conference. For sure, there are plenty of vendors dressed up as conference speakers, but I genuinely enjoyed the sessions I attended.

More than anything, BETT is a place to get stuff done. For me, in my new consultancy role, that’s to establish new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Despite only being there a couple of days, I think I was pretty successful in both!

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