With the vast amount of choice at the forthcoming Bett show (15 different events, hundreds of seminars, loads of exhibitors, plus networking), we need some criteria by which to judge whether or not something is worth going to or not – or worth staying for if you already have gone. Here are my suggestions. And remember: your time is precious, so if it becomes apparent that a seminar you thought would be relevant to your needs turns out not to be so, then get up and leave. That happens a lot at Bett, so nobody is likely to feel offended. (Note for first time speakers: don’t be offended if someone leaves your seminar!)
- Is the topic relevant to you and your professional goals?
- What makes the speaker qualified to talk on the subject?
- Is the speaker trying to sell you something? Nothing wrong with that, but it would have been better if the seminar description had made it clear that that would be likely.
- What is the speaker’s situation? For example, suppose the talk is about how Method X of teaching computer programming, and Method X sounds brilliant. It might be useful to know if the speaker has one day off timetable a week and a budget of £10k per annum.
- Have you learnt anything genuinely useful? I was going to write “new”, but actually even old stuff can be useful because it’s easy to forget things you used to know. And sometimes even mundane and obvious things need stating.
Have you looked at or downloaded the brand new unofficial Bett guide? Over 170 useful hints and tips, a floor plan you can actually read, and absolutely nothing to pay!
Feel free to make it available on your own website by using the link below or the embed code on the Slideshare site: