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  • The Technology Guy 08:55 on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Lt13uk   

    #LT13UK Honest review 

    I decided unlike others to knee jerk a blog out about #lt13uk this year until I had a few days to gather some thoughts.

    The day after I attended an International Think Tank meeting hosted by the LPI and then Friday I walked the floor at BETT (another post).

    So hear I am, thoughts gathered and ready to hit the keys. (new pen to paper?)

    Three shows in one. Learning Technologies, Learning and Skills and The Cloud. Oh yes and a conference upstairs.

    Very few of them at the conference ventured down to the exhibition floor. Well excuse the pun but it was below them (two floors). The most expensive conference on the circuit and sold out. Many however spend £1000 to attend but won’t spend the same £1000 on their staff as they have no budget! That’s not me being controversial but a reality. Shame really.

    So to the exhibitions. LT first.

    First day was very busy, second not so much. First impression was that the stands were far bigger, much more self build extravagance and to be honest, to much ‘ours is bigger and better than yours’ for my liking.

    Networking around the floor was great. So many good conversations over two days. Lots of upbeat life in the market but little expecting to spend any real money on anything. Great to look to see what’s new said many. But they also said its hard to find anything new.

    Responsive web design seemed the big theme with a very limited talk of xAPI (Tin Can). Those I met were interested in seeing what I had produced in xAPI as it was not talk about it but the chance to see it. I found only two vendors with anything to show and to be honest they were not good examples. More if a replacement for SCORM. Since the show I have been asked are there any case studies I can provide. Well the spec does not release till April, so a bit early I would say for a case study of any worth. Early adoption is probably a better way to look at it.

    There was mobile mobile mobile on every stand. However, it was very clear from the vast majority of corporates that they have no mobile strategy at this time and for many it’s not on their radar! Maybe that will be the biggest change if the show has any influence on the market.

    All in all LT was a good exhibition, the stages were well attended but they were very much sales presentations. If I am honest I think there were too many stages. All back to back and very noisy.

    Onto Learning and Skills.

    Whoa, what a difference 20 yards into the red zone makes.

    The stark difference as you walked out of technology sales and into the real nitty gritty learning and training and skills world. This is what training and learning is all about, no?

    The big stands were gone, shell scheme everywhere and so many who need a lesson in how to promote themselves. Hand drawn pictures stuck poorly on the walks, messy tables, unclear statements. People in stands clicking on phones not even noticing the punters walking by. Many less people, stands closer together and it felt like you were walking the gauntlet in every isle.

    Henry at Happy Computers grabbed me and gave me a copy of his book, thanks Henry will read it this week.

    I was offered 5 types of post it notes, and lots of trainer props. Oh and of course the hotels and conference centre people all want to do you a deal.

    I am not completely sure I got this section of the show at all. It did however have the quietest coffee area and I met a number of people there to talk.

    Did it promote anything new to me about learning or teaching skills? Err no!

    Onto The Cloud

    Feet now killing me after two days I ventured down to The Cloud. I think it was the same organiser, hence you got free entry. But it really was a different exhibition.

    Down a long staircase and into the great hall of Olympia and this was a huge exhibition selling you…. The Cloud!

    I am sure there was every major exhibitor here. The theme? Data farms, data storage and app delivery from.,. You guessed it, The Cloud.

    200 exhibitors all selling me the same thing. I started asking what makes your cloud better than theirs. I got a few nerdy answers about redundancy and networks and gigabyte throughputs but I am not better informed.

    No post it notes here, but I got a couple of USB drives and free water. £2.50 a bottle upstairs.

    Then I had a realisation. Big one!

    If these people come upstairs are they going to see what I see downstairs? Loads of vendors some on huge stands looking to big to approach, all selling the same stuff?

    If you are an upstairs vendor, think about this for next year!

    Pedometer reported 10.7 miles in two days. No wonder my legs hurt!

    Lots of people to follow up conversations with next week after two interesting days at Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills.

    Next stop, Singapore for Learning World at the end of the month, then looking forward to Learning Solutions in Orlando. This for me is normally the best conference of the year. Time to start getting excited.

     
  • The Technology Guy 07:57 on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BETT, ,   

    My day at BETT 

    Spent all day Friday walking the exhibition at BETT and all day yesterday thinking about it.

    A new venue, coincided with LT13 and for the first time to include workplace learning.

    They called it a conference (that’s a laugh) thousands of teachers with little budget oo’ing at technology they probably can’t afford. Hundreds of kids milling around. Why?

    A few stages dotted about, crammed to the gills with people trying to hear over the exhibition noise and about 1000 exhibitors trying to force their brochure in your hand. Everyone with multiple huge carrier bags full of them. I wonder how much ends up in the recycling by the end if this weekend!

    There has to be a better design.

    No roadmap to find your way around, no logical layout of the hall, no real colour scheme and a lousy map. I thought the iPhone app was cool till I tried to use it on site.

    They set out the hall supposedly in areas but with little signage, I was, according to my badge, part of ‘workplace learning’ took me 4 goes round and I found something called workplace learning lounge. It was full of teachers eating their packed lunch. Not another workplace badge in sight. My pedometer reported 3 miles by the time I left.

    Were there specific workplace vendors? If so I missed that entirely.

    Networking was non existent. I had two conversations with vendors. One with the coolest overhead projector I ever saw making an Elmo look like a monster from an older era, I can’t wait to order one. And, a conversation with a guy with some animation software. Problem you would need a year to make a 10 minute animation.

    I had a further two conversations with attendees who were willing to chat none who was confused like me and another when I stopped for an overpriced tasteless bagel. He was from Eastern Europe and was surprised that everything was video technology.

    Lots to learn from this shambolic ‘conference’.

    Maybe they will hire me to make it a real conference next year.

     
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