There is always a danger that no matter how good an event is, it will turn out to have very little impact in the longer term, as you forget what you saw and more pressing concerns vie for your attention. Here are 7 suggestions for preventing that from happening.
- Arrange a team meeting for as soon as possible after the show. Have each team member say what three things most excited them, and three new ideas they picked up, plus what needs to change in your current practice. OK, “three” is an arbitrary and artificial number, but you get the idea.
- Draw up an action plan for following up. That may take the form of arranging visits to other schools, or demonstrations from suppliers, or introducing some new ideas into your lesson plans.
- Arrange a meeting with the Headteacher or other senior manager as soon as possible after your team meeting. The aim is to discuss with them what you learnt at the show that may impact what you are doing, or the school’s plans. If you discover that you are ahead of the game and don’t need to change anything at all for the time being, that is in itself an outcome that needs to be conveyed to your boss.
Make sure that you are well-prepared for the meeting, especially if you will be suggesting changes in what the school does, or you wish to ask for extra funding.
Also take into consideration whether your boss is a shoot-the-messenger type, if you need to report back on a new – and unwelcome – Government direction.
- Give feedback to the rest of the staff on any key messages you picked up from the show. This is as much for diplomatic reasons as anything else: for some reason, there are people who believe that spending 12 hours travelling and walking around all day along with thousands of other people is the equivalent of a day off.
- Allow at least a week after the show to hear from any suppliers to whom you gave your business card.
- Find out what others thought about products and events seen at the show. Use the tags BETT2010 and #bett2010.
- Check the ICT in Education website and the Computers in Classrooms newsletter for news and reviews about the show.