Beware the Bett Barcode
It seems pretty good to be fair – the technology appears to be better than what you’ve got which is the main thing. At the end of the demo, you add their business card to your bag of other cards and blag another generic freebie, and the presenter scans your Bett barcode. You shake hands, grin, and agree that you’ll be in touch.
You then move onto the next stand, and they move on to their next barcode.
At the end of the show, the exhibitor downloads their spreadsheet which shows your name among a list of perhaps 200 if they’ve hit their target. They congratulate themselves about all the barcodes they’ve spoken to, and if they’re on the ball they then ship out a generic email to you:
So let’s drill down…
You’re a school with unique needs and a unique back story – you may have 4 new touchscreens running Smart Notebook 11, 7 ageing projectors, a new-build extension in September 2017, staff mainly use Powerpoint, ICT support is patchy and you’re about to invest in some iPads. Even if the guy on the stand took the time to ask, does the magic Bett barcode record all this? Of course not.
Yes, your line on their Excel spreadsheet has a unique barcode number on it, but that’s as far as your back story goes.
So of course – grin, shake, and take business cards. Politely listen and learn about HDMI ports and spend £9 on a baguette for lunch. You absolutely won’t get the answers you need if you walk around as a barcode zombie getting zapped all day though.
Remember you’re there to get answers (and freebies, of course) and you’ll only get these right answers if you ask the right questions.
- What specific information or new understanding would you like to walk away with? What’s your pecking order of priorities when looking at new equipment?
- A bit of pre-show fact-finding will be useful, for example our Guide to Interactive Touchscreens for Education is stacked full of accessible information to point you in the right direction.
- After a morning of sales patter, do a bit of a mini-plenary over your over-priced baguette – what have you learned so far and so how does this affect the questions you’ll be asking in the afternoon? If you get given a tech-spec brain dump from someone, steer them back to your agenda.
- Keep chat efficient and don’t rely on these companies to get back to you with detailed notes. At Bett, the onus is on you.
And don’t forget! Whether on the telephone, at the Bett exhibition or at your school, our team are always available to trouble-shoot, advise or clear the muddy waters before or after the show.
We’re independent, education technology specialists without loyalty to brands. Our loyalty is to supplying the solution with best ticks all your boxes – and more. Just don’t send us your Bett barcode number – that’s about as helpful as a 4th HDMI port.