It’s just past Christmas, a time for reflections on Dickensian masterpieces such as….A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, which led me to reflect upon the conduct of delegates at BETT 2012. To be blunt I was staggered and disgusted at the rude, dishonest and deceitful way that DELEGATES behaved. Here is some of what I have witnessed:
The Badge Scam:
Delegates turned their badges around to make them impossible to scan or read, meaning that the vendors (you know, the muppets who pay so much for a stand top promote their business and enagage with educators in discussions about their product, the buffons who actually make BETT possible.) find it impossible to read the badge and establish if the delegate might find their product of use. Thankfully the BETT team now make sure the badges are printed on both sides.
The Artful dodger Scam:
This is where the delegate sneaks onto a stand provided by a vendor (you know, the muppets who pay so much for a stand top promote their business and engage with educators in discussions about their product, the buffons who actually make BETT possible) on the blind side of the vendor team and reach around the people having a conversation, extend a hand and grab whatever is available, including sometimes the lunch of the vendors themselves. Some people seem happy to do this wearing a badge stating their school name and role.
The ‘I’m above discussions with Vendors’ Scam:
These people are amongst the most naive and irksome at BETT. They come to the event, paid for by Vendors (you know, the muppets who pay so much for a stand top promote their business and engage with educators in discussions about their product, the buffons who actually make BETT possible) and refuse to engage with any of them, on the basis that Vendors are dishonest, profit is dirty and is stealing from the mouths of children.
The flaws in the profit is dirty argument:
1) Teachers pay recycled tax.
- Profit generates wealth.
- Wealth generates taxation.
- Taxation pays the wages of Teachers.
- Therefore, teachers pay is in fact recycled profit.
- So, for a teacher to earn £35,000 and pay £5,500 in tax, a business has to generate £175,000 of PROFIT and pay 20% of that in corporation tax.
2) Profit encourages innovation
- If you remove profit for the education industry, you will remove any incentive to innovate.
- No new software & hardware will be developed & sold to schools because there would be no reward.
- Your children will suffer if innovation stops.
The ‘I’m a victim of unscrupulous vendors’ scam
It is easier to blame them than yourself. If you bought something that is crap, its your fault. A professional would make an informed decision, but you couldn’t do that. But never mind, you do have 35 pens you dont need and a bag from FROG.
The BETT Covenant:
Remember the following:
- You are coming to a tradeshow.
- You are coming to enjoy the networking possibilities facilitated by the Vendors who make BETT possible
- Your school benefits from the investment and creativity of the ICT in education industry.
- You are visiting stands and talking to human beings. People who bleed and feel and are just trying to earn a living.
- Nothing is ‘free’. When you steal from a stand, you drive the cost of the product up.
- If you leave BETT and know nothing more about the industry and possible innovations or opportunities to achieve best value, YOU HAVE SHORT CHANGED YOUR KIDS.
- If you turn up to BETT and network without having any conversations with vendors, you are NOT upright and decent, you are a parasite.
- The free stuff is there to incentivise a conversation, if you want free stuff, have a conversation. It’s basic humanity, not rocket science
Here’s a link to a blog suggesting several brilliant ideas about twitter names and talking to small vendors but also humourously exposing some despicable, dishonourable and duplicious behaviour that teachers attending a professional event should not even consider. If you think it is funny, ask yourself why, and if kids did this to you, what would you do? If you think this is funny, you perpetuate all that is worst about our profession and enable me to write a 2014 version of this. “How Dare You?”