Why Should Senior Leaders Of MATs Attend The BETT Show?

The BETT Show is a prestigious annual event which looks to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in the educational technology sector, highlighting products and services that significantly contribute to teaching and learning — with a strong focus on innovation, latest technological advancements, usability, and intuitiveness and accessibility.

For senior education leaders, there are a myriad of benefits involved in attending the event which, in the long run, can help develop better teaching and learning environments for their school or MAT. 

Let’s take a look at some of those benefits and get some valuable insights from both ICT specialists here at Computeam and those school leaders who’ve already reaped the rewards of attending the BETT Show 2024 as part of Computeams hosted guest experience.

Networking and collaboration

This was a great networking opportunity to share ideas and challenges.

Andy Blatch —  ICT Infrastructure and Innovation Lead, White Woods Primary Academy Trust

Perhaps one of the key take-homes of BETT is its standing as an epicentre of collaboration and networking; bringing together educators, policymakers, and industry experts from around the world. The convergence of minds can provide senior leaders with a unique opportunity to create valuable connections, share experiences, and collaborate with peers. The networking sessions at BETT can help MAT leaders gain insights into both innovative practices and strategies employed by other trusts. 

Here’s Mandi Jackson, Computeam’s Education and Training Lead discussing the value of collaboration in education:

"My big takeaway from  BETT 2024 was about connectivity and collaboration winning out over breadth. It's very easy to get overwhelmed and excited about all the shiny new toys and apps. But, ask these questions: does it integrate with my MIS or with my LMS? Can it be integrated into either #googleclassroom or #microsoftteams? Does it have a single sign-on for pupils and staff? 

If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, challenge that service to meet your needs. Don't change one type of workload for a different type!”

The BETT Show in London

Insights into technology trends

“The sessions provided a useful insight into AI and also provided the opportunity for us to understand the full scope of some of the packages that we already have, but may not be using to their full potential.”

Laura Watson — CFO, Changing Lives Learning Trust

Staying ahead of the curve with the latest trends in educational technology is crucial for MATs striving to provide cutting-edge learning experiences, and the BETT show is a wonderful showcase of the current innovations in the technology sector; and, importantly, helps school leaders discover how they might adopt them into their curriculum and teaching practices. Here’s Computeam’s CEO, Owen Napier reflecting on the emergence of practical use cases for AI:

"After all the hype and the froth last year over AI Technology, we are now starting to see real-world productivity gains as vendors, notably Arbor and of course Microsoft, integrate generative AI tools into their products, enabling schools to make better use of data.

Google for Education talk at the BETT Show

Professional development opportunities

“The Google roundtable event was particularly insightful and the recommended  Google interactive experience was also very informative and useful.”

Andy Blatch —  ICT Infrastructure and Innovation Lead, White Woods Primary Academy Trust

BETT offers senior leaders unencumbered access to a diverse range of workshops, seminars, and keynote sessions tailored for their own professional growth. Sessions can cover leadership strategies, governance frameworks, curriculum design, and seamless technology integration. 

Senior leaders have the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge to help navigate the complexities of technology integration within their MATs. Dave Walters, Procurement Manager at Computeam, outlines the opportunities for closing the skills gap in new technology solutions:

“From a 'new tech' point of view, I became very aware of my significant skills gap in the understanding of what AI solutions are available and what the scope for efficiency improvements in the education environment is.”

“I don’t think I’m the only one, either, as there seemed to be a large number of education visitors who seemed bewildered by the range and depth of the offerings from Google.”

Computeam and MAT leaders enjoying dinner at the BETT show

Technology solutions for MAT challenges

There’s no MAT that doesn’t encounter its share of challenges when it comes to delivering quality education. Whether it’s resource allocation and budgeting or the intricacies of curriculum delivery, the BETT Show offers the chance to gain insight and discover solutions that address these challenges through technology-driven innovation. 

Sessions and exhibitor booths focus on topics such as staff development and workload reduction, providing senior leaders with practical strategies to overcome hurdles and deliver positive change. Cris Cadby, Computeam’s CCO discusses the sheer scope of management solutions and software showcased at the awards:

"For me, it was the scale of the management solutions/software that was on show. I spent most of my time in that area rather than in the hardware hall that I only visited to meet Promethean and Acer.”

“It’s indicative of the move towards a full cloud environment. Lots of focus on the KCSIE 2023 updates particularly around the monitoring and reporting requirements with many vendors catching up with the market leaders such as Securly”

Computeam and MAT leaders enjoying dinner at the BETT show

Vendor engagement

“The most valuable part of the experience for me was the ability to put faces to names and have conversations with people that will inevitably make problem-solving easier and the relationship between schools and Computeam stronger going forward.”

Louise Thompson - Headteacher, Parochial CofE Primary

Engaging with EdTech vendors at the BETT Show allows senior leaders to explore a wide range of products and services tailored to their institution's needs. From learning management systems to interactive whiteboards, the exhibition hall features a host of solutions designed to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. 

Interacting with vendors gives senior leaders the chance to test and evaluate products firsthand, ask questions, and make informed decisions about technology adoption within their MATs. Here’s Dave Walters again underlining the value of face-to-face engagement with vendors at the BETT Show 2024:

"The most valuable part of the experience for me was the ability to put faces to names and have conversations with people that will inevitably make problem-solving easier and the relationship between schools and Computeam stronger going forward."

Large yacht at the BETT Show 2024

Policy and strategy insights

Staying informed about education policy and strategic planning is crucial for effective MAT governance. The BETT Show hosts discussions and presentations on these critical topics, providing senior leaders with valuable insights into government initiatives, funding opportunities, and best practices for MAT governance. By staying attuned to these developments, MATs can navigate regulatory frameworks and chart strategic pathways for growth and innovation:

"“Thanks to Computeam for navigating around BETT24, in an ever-changing world of Education landscape you make the directions easier to manage!”"

Dan Hennessy – CFO, Pope Francis Catholic MAT (PFCMAT)

How can we help?

The BETT Show offers a wealth of opportunities for senior leaders of MATs to network, learn, and drive innovation in education. By attending the event, senior leaders can gain valuable insights, forge meaningful connections, and explore solutions to enhance teaching and learning outcomes in their institutions.

If you’d like to find out more about the BETT Show and discover how attending the event as part of Computeams hosted guest experience in January 2025 can benefit your MAT, please click the button below:

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Posted on April 24th 2024

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