For many of you this week will be about one thing and one thing alone. The stand will have been built and the first queue of visitors will soon be going through the doors. In can only be the Bett show.
The Bett show seems to get bigger and bigger each year with the exhibitors becoming more and more creative around how they attract the visitors to their stands, meaning it’s always an endurance contest for exhibitors and visitors alike! Here are my 5 top tips to help you survive the Bett show:
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Nothing can prepare you for how long, hot and tiring the day at Bett can be. The canny exhibitors know how big a draw the promise of some refreshing water or a hot coffee and the opportunity for a sit-down can be and offer these free to visitors on their stands. Be prepared and take a water bottle or risk dehydration. (Ditto lip balm – it’s a hostile environment in there!)
2. Throat sweets
You’re about to spend the next four days talking to potential clients and suppliers and, what with 600+ companies exhibiting and god knows how many visitors attending, the noise will be deafening! I’ll give you until Thursday evening before you’re on the Soothers.
3. Comfy shoes
Don’t look at your lovely new shoes that go really well with your suit and think “they’ll be alright”. They won’t. Excel is a huge venue – whether you’re a visitor or an exhibitor you are going to walk for miles and spend hours and hours on your feet. Choose the comfiest, oldest shoes you own – you’ll be glad you did.
4. Mints (and gum, etc.)
It may or may not be for you, but there are lots of people who really take advantage of the socialising and networking opportunities the Bett show offers. And by that, I mean lots of booze, restaurants and late nights. . . . which is a great thing to do but can often leave you and your colleagues feeling a little special in the morning. So do everyone a favour and have a good supply of mints and gum for anyone who needs it. And paracetamol for that matter.
5. Enjoy yourself
No matter how tiring you find it, Bett is a fantastic opportunity to network, find out what’s going on technology-wise in the education market and build relationships. Everyone who attends is there for a reason – they want to find out more. Everyone who exhibits is also there for a reason – they want to showcase their new stuff to schools and academies. Smile and enjoy it – it’s a fantastic opportunity to be made the most of (even if you can’t walk at the end of it!)
Best wishes to all exhibitors and visitors at #Bett2017 – hope you have a fantastic show!