Tips for Bett 2019

Once again, Bett is nearly here! One of the largest education tradeshows, Bett is a fantastic experience but it can be made better by listening to advice from some of the veteran attendees. 

In years past there was a hashtag, curated by the late Dave Coleman, used to share helpful Bett tips via twitter. We thought it would be a good idea to revisit the hashtag and revive the list. The list is a mix of practical, tongue-in-cheek and ultimately helpful bits of advice to make your experience more valuable.

If you have any great tips you’d like to share, reach out to us and we’ll add them to the list.

If you’re heading to Bett, have a fantastic time and we hope you take away a lot of practical insights for your school, or classroom.

Our Tips for Bett 2019

Getting there

  • Plan your travel once you get into London. Getting to the DLR is half the fun, then working out the right train. – @grumbledook
  • Check tube trains. The DLR is ‘fun’ to make changes on, but getting onto it in the 1st place can be as interesting.- @ianaddison
  • Get on DLR at Tower Gateway or Stratford for no changes to Custom House. If at Bank, swap to Beckton train asap. – @grumbledook

Planning ahead

  • Book a ticket online. It helps to have one, as you get in quicker.- @ianaddison
  • [1] pre-register so you can get your badge mailed to you [2] bring a chair [3] bring lunch so you don’t get ripped off. – @iusher
  • Plan your time. Why are you there? What do you want to see? Who do you need to go and speak to?- @ianaddison
  • In ‘£ tough times’, ask yourself what will you take back to school? £xx covering your class, so go back with something to show. – @ianaddison
  • Prioritise who you want to see before going, see them 1st. Wander round w/o a plan and risk forgetting  by end of day. – @edugeek
  • Research. There are some wonderful show-only deals but you need to know normal price to negotiate the best deal.- @ianaddison
  • Plan, plan, plan. If you don’t it can take days of wandering to find your way out! – @chrisrat
  • Don’t think you can see it all in 1 day. Plan what you want to see, but allow time for some surprises. – @billgibbon
  • Don’t be scared to leave space in your plans. Many stands have great demos so that you may decide on the day! – @grumbledook
  • Check with your staff. If you are going for you, consider the whole school. Lit coordinator? SEN? Ask for ideas. – @ianaddison

What to wear

  • Sensible clothes. Unless with important people, presenting, sales you can be comfortable + still be professional. – @ianaddison
  • Fill pockets with raisins – they’ll fight off hunger pangs and work better than bread crumbs when finding way back out. – @lisibo
  • Don’t wear new shoes. Better old, scuffed and comfortable than new and shiny – and painful by day. – @rayfleming
  • Wear shoes that you can walk in for 8 hours. Take a jacket you can carry when you get hot. Cloakroom means queue/cost. – @ianaddison
  • If you fail to wear comfortable shoes + get blisters, there’s a chemist on the main road that sells blister plasters. – @lisibo

What to take

  • If you want to save your back, a small backpack! – @chrisrat
  • It’s a long day and your phone will blitz through battery. Take a backup battery device, USB charger and mains charger. – @robynhobson
  • Has anyone said bring your own sandwiches yet … or take out a loan in order to buy lunch.- @orunner
  • Take a sturdy rucksack to put the brochures + info THAT YOU WANT in, know why you are going and focus on that when there. – @dtester
  • Bring a wifi dongle and corkscrew. – @theokk
  • Take lots of stickers with your details. Easier than filling in lots of forms with your tel no & email.- @digitalmaverick
  • Bring gel insoles, water, snacks, hand gel, strepsils for those on a stand, Layered clothing so you can cool down. – @edugeek
  • Don’t take a bag of any sort. If you see anything good, note details on your phone and get back to them afterwards. – @deerwood
  • Make business cards. Perhaps old fashioned but a handy way to share name, position, school, blog and twitter name. – @ianaddison
  • Take stickers with with your details printed on them – saves having to fill out so many forms for extra info or to enter competitions. – @edugeek
  • Food is available outside in the main corridor, but to save popping out have a ready snack / drink.- @ianaddison
  • Take hand gel and have a supply of lemsip, etc. at home for the inevitable BETT-flu that strikes exhibitors the following week. – @edugeek
  • It can be like a theme park. At lunch the café’s are busy. Snack means you can eat a bit later/earlier – avoid rush. – @ianaddison

At the show

  • Take photos not brochures. – @orunner
  • Get your bearings. Bett is big. Walk round and use the map/app to see key stands, e.g. Microsoft Village. – @ianaddison
  • If an online app runs slowly during demo, you can bet it’ll do worse on a school network. Avoid, despite sales pitch. – @4goggas
  • Check out what seminars are running at key stands such as Microsoft and the Microsoft Village. – @ianaddison
  • If you are stationary or walk slowly, don’t do this in middle of walkways, stick to the sides or chaos builds up behind you. – @edugeek
  • Arrange for others to see sessions you can’t get to so you at least have some feedback on things. – @grumbledook
  • Meet up with virtual friends for moral support – helps you not to be freaked out by size of it – in my experience. – @lisibo
  • Make sure you’ve spread your seminar viewing schedule to last the day. Better than all AM sitting and all PM walking. – @rayfleming
  • Be cool. Keep mind open/suspend prejudice so you get pleasant surprises. Avoid conflict and paper. Duck n dive. Weave. – @merlinjohn
  • Try to arrange with others you know to see similar demos so you can compare notes. Good to get different viewpoints. – @grumbledook
  • Don’t rely on hearing your phone if you’ve arranged for a contact – put it somewhere where you’ll feel it vibrate! – @billgibbon
  • Better to come away with a couple of good, useable, ideas for use at school than 2GB memory sticks. Seek the former out. – @iusher
  • Grab as many free pens as you can to last you the rest of the year. – @dannynic
  • Carry a bottle of water – talking a lot at a louder level (it’s very noisy) will do your throat in.- @billgibbon
  • Enjoy yourself. Yes, it is big/overwhelming but enjoy it. This could be due to meeting people, but it is all fun.- @ianaddison
  • Don’t grab every single flyer and brochure you are offered. You’ll end up weighed down.- @dannynic
  • Drink lots of water, don’t wear much – it’s really hot in there, get some fresh air, exercise in the hotel at night. – @claireashton
  • Wandering halls aimlessly is either (a) exhausting & pointless or (b) serendipitous – frequently both. – @iusher
  • Sit down for 5 mins and empty bag of things you don’t need. There is rubbish out there but also hidden treats. – @ianaddison
  • Check out if there is free Wi-Fi there . Saves on 3G / data.- @edugeek
  • Important supplier? Arrange to meet off deafening show floor so you can hear what they’re trying to tell you about. – @domnorrish
  • Freebies available, but don’t go crazy. Don’t take *all* the pens. Take one, look at products but don’t take all of them. – @ianaddison

After the show

  • Follow up on any free trials you have. Chat with companies if you need a bit more time. – @ianaddison
  • Don’t worry if you miss people/don’t get to chat. Can’t see everyone. There is next year, other events or twitter. – @ianaddison

I hope you have a great time and fully benefit from the experience!


Robyn Hobson

Team Mobile Guardian


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