This evening, I'm delighted to introduce Darren Williams, Network Manager at The Abbey School, Reading, who has offered to share his experiences at BETT.

Guest Blog: BETT from behind the scenes

As a Network Manager, the BETT show is always an interesting event to attend, with a very large number of companies coming together in one location for best part of a week.  This enables you to move from stand to stand talking to different companies about their various offerings. Being an RM Pioneer school, the RM stand would always get a long visit.  This year that visit just seems so much longer.... 4 days in fact.

Having just completed a case study on the school's use of RM's CC4 Anywhere and being possibly the largest installation of such a system, an offer came our way that I hoped the school would allow. RM asked the school if it would be possible to have a member of our staff on the RM stand, i.e. me.  To me this speaks volumes of the working relationship we have with one of our suppliers.

The school agreed that I was able to attend and I was quickly emailed different details of briefings that RM were holding in preparation for the show.  Then came all the show details.... lots of it...  as a customer you never see the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes and was an eye opener of me.  Just the amount of time and effort to make the show a success seemed very high.

On day one of the show, meeting the staff at the stand was awe inspiring.  The RM stand looked great and the new RM branding looked good, with stand staff in their group colours.  Again, the planning and design was clear with tours around the stand through the different parts of the RM brand, something to show the world.  The day started and the public poured through the doors.  The stand quickly got busy and RM were demo'ing and talking to schools, companies and international leaders about the products and services they offer. I had a number of questions about the products and services I was using and what my views were....

Day 1 came to a close, and my feet, after all the standing and walking, was as if I had gone around the show.

Day 2 and after another staff briefing the staff ascended on the stand ready for another day. Again the stand filled quickly and the day seemed to whizz by.  The staff have been very welcoming and it seems easy to talk to them about my own school, and other schools that may be having the same ideas. Again it was good to talk to other schools about their views and experiences with a number asking for me by name...

Day 3 and yet another briefing to start the day and again, once the doors opened, it proved to be a very busy day, even busier than yesterday. I was let off the stand for a couple of hours to attend the RM Pioneer lunch where Pioneer schools were able to network and share ideas with each other, followed by a number of presentations. Again, talking with a number of schools about what The Abbey had been doing and what we were looking to do, sharing ideas. The day closed with the legs and feet just starting to ache.

Tomorrow is the last day and I am sure it will follow the same pattern as the others, just with the need to talk to a different host of people.....

I would like to thank The Abbey School for allowing me to come for the duration.  I would also like to thank RM for allowing the opportunity to have a customer on the stand and giving me an insight into the show from a different view. I have enjoyed the experience.

I'm really grateful to Darren for the time he spent writing this guest blog, on his life behind the scenes at BETT, and for his tremendous efforts over the past few days working alongside us all at BETT.

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