BETT is one of those shows that you think about for a long time. We started planning BETT 2011 in February 2010, allowing ourselves time to have crazy ideas that keep us awake at night, and then distil them into common sense punchy ideas for the show. For example, back in May we had the idea of a QR treasure hunt, and then in September I listened into a great presentation at the Scottish Learning Festival Teach Meet by Jennifer Harvey about setting up a QR treasure hunt which helped focus our minds.
BETT is also the worst time in the year for an exhibition – a week after you return from Christmas! This year we also had the dreaded flu to contend with, which took out our exhibitions coordinator until the Monday after BETT! Nevertheless, the stand on the Tuesday seemed to be ahead of the year before, and we even had time to do some presentation run throughs before we finished setting up at 8pm.
Wednesday morning started with me in Sainsbury’s buying my own body weight in Chocolate Eclairs (we had this idea that we should have a purple theme, and it was the only sweet that fitted the bill). On the stand, we had a massive problem with the Internet connection. For some reason, our brand new router decided that it didn’t want to do a full time job. We didn’t really need the stress, but after a couple of hours it was back and we could start the show with everything working!
Wednesday was busy. Compared to the Wednesday before, where it was so quiet we played spot the visitor, this year we were busy fro
m 10:30am to about 4:00pm. We met so many excellent people on our stand it has been hard to remember them all – but needless to say that the show started with a bang!
The Wednesday evening was TedXOrenda. Organised by Drew Buddie (@digitalmaverick), one of the most passionate and energetic people I know, it was a great start to the three day teacher-curated BETT. I absolutely loved listening to the speakers – top of the list would be Naomi Jane (@missnaomijane)who gave a talk about the effect that teachers can, and do have on the lives and prospects of pupils. Maybe it was because I could relate very closely to what she was discussing, or whether it was because she was such an assured public speaker, her words were incredibly inspirational. I was delighted how well the Hexayurt programmes went down, a homage to the work of Vinay Gupta (@leashless). Again, the compering by Bill Thompson was excellent, this Ted event is going from strength to strength!
Unfortunately, we got back to the hotel very late, too late for food, so I ended the day having eaten no more than breakfast.