BETT and Beyond - A Unique Exhibition

18/03/2014

The air was buzzing with anticipation at Computers 4 Africa (a working name of Digital Pipeline) as we prepared to exhibit at BETT 2014.  With the show open to delegates from Wednesday 22nd until Saturday 25th January; a staff team would be needed for each day to run the stand, mingle with the other exhibitors and visitors, whilst sharing about the work we do.  BETT is the largest learning and technology show in the world and it is packed with educators from all sectors - people passionate about transforming the education landscape. With approximately 36,000 visitors BETT is a great opportunity to meet and great supporters, donors and raise our profile.

Computers 4 Africa come in with a unique angle as not only are we offering a cost free service but we work into Africa to improve educational facilities.  Throughout the exhibition we ran our ‘African Village Football Competition’, which became known to other exhibitors as ‘the stand with the ball’!  A member of the Computers 4 Africa team made a traditional African football, using carrier bags and cord.  We then asked entrees to guess ‘How many bags make the ball?’  Answers varied wildly from ten right through to the thousands.  At the end of the event we did have a winner who was presented with a Kindle Fire HD.

Social Media was key at this year’s BETT, with exhibitors getting into conversations over Twitter and likes happening across Facebook.  Computers 4 Africa capitalised on this, engaging with other stands, using hashtags #BETTfreebies and #BETT2014.  We not only increased our online following but engaged in the new level of interactivity at the BETT show.

“The event was well organise, well facilitated and the staff were helpful and friendly. From a Computers 4 Africa perspective I made many contacts that will be of benefit in the distribution of PC’s to Africa and further afield,” Morgan Hopkins-  Head of Beneficiary Management.

During the show we met the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma who is responsible for representing the commonwealth publicly.  Computers 4 Africa anticipate developing this relationship as we share similar ideals, particularly when it comes to equality that encompasses gender, race, disability and sexuality; in many of the same geographical areas.  We are driven by a need to empower and equip people to reach their individual potential and believe this connection can flourish on that basis.

It is important for Computers 4 Africa to reach a target market of people in the education industry as one of our key principles is education in Africa.  The majority of our computers are supplied to schools across the continent.  We were excited to share our reuse process with people at the show.  Our work is not only environmentally sound but also ethical as we aim to narrow the digital divide between Western Countries and Africa, breaking the poverty cycle and advancing education.

“BETT is a really exciting start to the year.  We always relish the opportunity to interact with people face to face and spread the trend of reuse and repurposing before thinking recycling.  This year we ran a competition, which effectively pulled in the crowds and got people chatting,”  Sharon Roberts – Head of Marketing.

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