BETT 3: Child Exploitation #BETT15

Well this post has been on the boil for a year, I’ve only just go around to posting it.  I can do it now, because no one can imagine it’s inspired by them.  BETT is a beautiful thing.  It is a place where people under pressure to keep their “people” employed for another year can do up to 50% of their annual business.  It is a place where the focus is on networking and sales.  It is high pressure.  It also has no minimum entry age.

For the purposes of this definition, consider “kids” to be human cubs under the age of 14.

Why are you bringing kids to BETT ?????

It’s a trade show where deals are done and work is discussed.  It’s not a playground.  It’s not a place for them to learn!

Why bring kids and pedal their “achievements” on a stand to buy yourself a day out of school?  Who benefits more? You or them?

Why bring them to demonstrate a tool for a company? You are allowing them to be exploited in order to sell.  I assume they are not paid.  Who benefits more? You or them?

It’s an insurance, health and safety, risk assessment nightmare.  At best the little kids learn that pilfering off stands is cool.

Think on, if you bring young kids, are you exploiting their cutsy value to allow you to fulfil your own agenda of networking, deals and self promotion?

Give over, it’s awful!

It imposes constraints on people going about their professional lives, you assume that everyone  will be happy and make it impossible for the ones who are uneasy to object.  Think of the impact it has on others.  Those under such huge pressure have further pressure heaped upon them by having to be in kid friendly mode, not knowing when they might be visited upon.

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5 thoughts on “BETT 3: Child Exploitation #BETT15

  1. I brought 6 of my pupils to do a BETT seminar in 2011. In preparation, they communicated with a media coach via Coveritlive and a Sky News presenter to help them develop their presentation styles. Thomas (one of the 11 year olds) told the world when reflecting over his experiences in my class said “I even went to the BETT Show in London because of blogging – I’ve seen so many more job opportunities out there than I have done before!”

    Now know that this was not on a company stand, but BETT is a company and people paid to see them deliver this presentation. I’d say that they did benefit, I’d say they benefitted massively from that experience. In the big scheme of things, I don’t think I benefitted as much as they did. Well apart from the pride of giving then that experience. I could post links to blog posts from the children and audioboos from them detailing their reflections if that would help?

    • David,

      If your conscience is clear and your motives were pure, then I have no beef with it. In this case the kids were clearly not exploited and the impact on them was plain to see. You are, however, a lovely and unique individual. Bald, mind you, but we can overlook that. I question the legitimacy of any child “exploring” the stands.

  2. I think though that other children visiting stands can gain massively from the experience, although I do see your point! Stands love nothing more than children presenting on them. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, children bring crowds! However, surely another example of amazing experiences for pupils is that of the Heppell stand?

    • I agree – I am questioning the purpose of the event and who it exists for – changing kids lives can be done in other ways. It’s not a disposable event fir a company paying £20k + for their stand.

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