Category Archives: Show Round up

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Bumping into Bob Geldoff, spotting Michael Gove and visiting one of the 700 exhibition stands – just some of the highlights from a visit to the ExCel London, where this year’s BETT show celebrated its 30th anniversary.

By Jenny Laird @Texthelp

2014 marked my second visit to the  BETT show, the world’s leading event for learning technology.  To celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary, this year’s BETT was bigger than ever before with visitor footfall up by 6% on 2013, to a massive 46,508.

Having previously visited the show in 2012 at the London Olympia I was initially shocked by the sheer size of the show at the ExCel.  The exhibitor stands were huge, hi-tech, artistic structures each competing with the next for delegate’s attention.

BETT 2014 had over 700 exhibitors coming together to showcase their latest products and discuss key topics in the education technology sector.  Top of this year’s agenda was the impending computing curriculum.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove opened the show on Wednesday.  In his keynote speech he said the curriculum, which will be taught in UK primary schools from September this year, was built “from the bottom up” by academics because government departments would not be able to keep up with the rapid pace of technology.

The Texthelp exhibition stand was located in the Special Needs zone.  We received lots of attention because of our creative stand design, with some delegates even taking photos of the beautiful butterfly on our stand! BETT Stand

We met lots of visitors from Schools, Colleges and Universities but were surprised by the large increase in enquiries from International students and organisations.

Dominic Savage, Director General of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) mentioned that BETT’s growing international presence played an important part at this year’s show. “The show aims to be reflective of the global move of education technology.  Inviting the international companies along gives them and the UK-based firms a chance to talk all things industry.”

Google

On a trip around other exhibitors’ stands at lunch time we noticed the exhibition stands of some big players in the technology market, including Google, who had a fabulous stand with lots of visitors chatting and checking out their wares.

We also bumped into Sir Bob Geldoff who was taking great interest in the tour he was being given around the many exhibitors stands at the show; and Laura and I made friends with some cuddly mascots.

Jen & Laura

The BETT Awards

Entries to this year’s BETT Awards were up by a quarter on last year.  Texthelp’s Angeline Kelly, Caroline Cuddy and CEO Mark McCusker attended on behalf of Texthelp as we were shortlisted as as a finalist in the Exporter of the Year category. Although we didn’t go on to win the award, a great night was had by all.

Bett 2014 Finalist logo

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Dyslexia Awareness Week Round up!

We’ve been busy, busy, busy here at Texthelp HQ ever since Dyslexia Awareness week, when a little cuddly toy created quite the buzz!

We would like to introduce you to Arty, the Texthelp Monkey. Monkey Pic

Arty was free to a good home with every download of Read&Write Gold 30 day Free trial during Dyslexia awareness week! He proved so popular that we extended the giveaway an extra week! The only thing we asked of the recipients was a picture to let us know he had settled in in his new home.

Odie 2

Monkey Rio

 

Monkey Facebook

The theme for Dyslexia Awareness Week this year was “Beyond Words.” In keeping with this theme, we ran a competition to find the most creative of thinkers amongst our customers! We asked that entrants describe how it feels to have dyslexia without using words – the entries could be in the form of music, art, photography or video. We had some great entries but the panel decided that Ruane Cashmore was the worthy winner. I’m sure you will all agree her entry was both eye-catching and thought provoking!

Ruane Cashmore

BETT 2013 Round up!

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Welcome Back! It’s been a busy month here at Texthelp with our team out visiting customers and exhibiting at shows, including BETT 2013 at its new location in ExCel London. A small team from Texthelp made the annual pilgrimage to London this year for BETT, excited to show off our dyslexia software and the new look stand!

This year on the stand we decided to take a whole new approach and went for something completely different! If you take a look below you can see the theme we went for – Reach your potential. We chose the salmon swimming upstream to represent people’s struggle to reach their potential. The quote from Albert Einstein (who experts believe was dyslexic) says, “Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree…” This means that everyone is talented in their own way. If you can only judge someone by what they can’t do, then you won’t be able to see what the person can do.

BETT Stand

For some of the team it was their first visit to BETT, Carolyn from our marketing team made her first trip to the annual show this year and said, “I did not know what to expect at all. The sheer size of the exhibition took me by complete surprise and the buzz and energy in the hall was brilliant. As a member of the marketing team, what I enjoyed most was seeing what the different stands had to offer and how they promoted themselves. Between being amazed by giant character mascots on some stands and seeing some seriously funky promotional items, I definitely have some great ideas for next year!”

Laura, from the education team, who had only been with us for a few weeks before she jetted off to BETT said, “I had a great experience at BETT, I especially enjoyed meeting people who had dyslexia as I gained a better insight into the difficulties they face with reading problems and the writing support they need. It was also great hearing from those who use Read&Write GOLD and getting the positive feedback on how it has improved their lives.”

CC LO BETT 13

We also ran a competition for people who visited our stand at BETT, offering a Read&Write GOLD site licence for their school, along with sponsorship for a school team of their choice. All the entrants had to do was to tell us why their school needed Read&Write GOLD! We’ve just recently picked a winner from all the fabulous entries – congratulations to Laura Tarve from Eagle House School for winning her school a Read&Write GOLD site licence! We look forward to hearing how the school are using our literacy support software and sponsoring one of their sports teams or societies.

We were joined by Arran and Alan from the British Dyslexia Association for a day who gave us an insight into dyslexia, the symptoms, such as struggling with reading and writing and how our software offers great support!

Visitors to our stand at BETT got a chance to have a sneak preview of our brand new iPad App! Visitors were given a chance to have a play around with this as well as seeing Read&Write for Google Docs in action!

RA BETT 13

Our team came back filled with positivity about our products and we’re already planning for next year’s show with some exciting ideas up our sleeves!

Did you visit BETT this year? What did you think of the show and its new location?

See you soon!