“Education, education, education”
A famous quotation made by a young dynamic Labour MP in the 1990s which ultimately won him the election and the top job.
I was at school studying for my A-Levels at the time and remember it as a time for change with great anticipation amongst my fellow students. All work was hand-written (imagine that!), and also handwritten upon by the teacher. Our school had recently built itself a computer room and some classrooms even had their own white board! Those were the days! So imagine my amazement when last month DediPower arrived to exhibit at BETT, the UK’s largest tradeshow for educational technology and resources. Education is a major vertical market for DediPower and Britain is at the forefront of the design of e-learning which together make an exciting combination.
As the Account Manager for several large clients within the industry, I listened to my customers telling me about BETT – their biggest yearly event, and I figured based on their positivity it would be a great place for us to exhibit, certainly a great place to help us understand our customers’ market place and for new opportunities for DediPower.
When we arrived at the show, it was hard to believe every inch of Olympia could be filled with stands supplying educational software, hardware, ideas, literature and interactive tools, but it was. It confirmed what our customers had been saying about this vastly growing industry, and to make sure we really made the most of it, it took us the 4 days of the show to tackle the isles strategically.
Despite the enthusiasm the e-learning industry has taken a bit of a bashing recently. The Labour government had provided a badly needed fund for institutions to spend on their e-learning and IT, recent government cuts have meant schools and learning centres have now put this spending on hold. Providers of these innovative services exhibiting at the show must therefore be the very best in design and technology to attract the ever-decreasing audience, or look to a wide market abroad. BETT was again a great platform for these organisations with visitors coming from far and wide as they have realised the fantastic solutions being developed and sold in the UK.
In the long term, it is wrong to believe that UK spending will not recover, but providers must make sure their products are innovative, scalable and affordable and offer value for money per student if they are to survive. Those organisations that do, will reap the benefits, and not only that their customers will be providing learners with a superior learning experience – certainly better than anything I ever saw in my classrooms!