I woke up with a spring in my step on Saturday. My feet barely hurt, the walk to the show seemed to take no time at all, and everything was just right. Is it a coincidence I had been at a TeachMeet the night before? Was I floating? Possibly!
Saturday is a good day to be a visitor at BETT. There are many fewer visitors, and much more time for you to talk to people on and off stands. It was for this reason I was a bit nervous about the number of people who would be around to hear Anthony Browne talk on our stand; but I shouldn’t have worried. The stand was at least six deep, with people sitting on the floor to hear him talk. We had over 100 people for over an hour listening to the Children’s Laureate talking about books, reading Gorilla and answering questions. He then went on to sign (and draw gorilla’s on) copies of Gorilla. He was such a nice man to talk to, and someone I have been a fan of for such a long time – I was ever-so-slightly star struck!
Anthony Browne was on our stand to launch Read & Respond Engage. I have never hidden what I think about Read & Respond – I believe it is by far the best resource that Scholastic, and other publishers have produced for teaching literacy in the classroom. It ensures that the classic children’s book is at the heart of every lesson, and that most importantly children develop a real love of reading through it. I am particularly excited about Engage, as it really does what it says on the tin. You can show videos, photographs; assign work to pupils to do in school or at home etc. etc. I don’t usually talk about resources we publish on my blog, but this time, I had to make an exception! If anyone wants to try it out, please let me know – you know where I am!
We hosted two more TeachMeet takeovers on Saturday, and again was delighted to meet even more people from Twitter! Another highlight was Ian Addison standing up at the end of a Class PET presentation talking about how they use Class PET in their school, and what the children think about it. As soon as I have video, I will post it here! Needless to say, Ian was an incredibly natural presenter, presenting in the live Class PET, showing real results… I was really happy with the presentation, so thank you Ian!
In summary…BETT this year was by far the best show I have attended in all the years that I have been running exhibitions. It was really interesting that after all of the hype over hardware for many years, it was the show for content (apparently publishers are now ‘content providers’!). It was nice to see the amount of interest we got for products we have worked so hard on – including Class PET and Read & Respond Engage.
It was worth all of the sleepless nights; the attention to detail really paid off and we just have to think about what to do next year!