Hello, Sarah here, it has been a while since I have written a blog post for the website, so after a gentle nudge from Emma, I thought I would let you all know about The Schools and Academies Show that myself, Phil and Scarlett attended last week at the NEC in Birmingham.
We decided to attend the Schools and Academies Show as a way to try our hand at some sector-specific marketing. We have worked with a number of schools over the years but had never thought of it as a sector that we should work more in so we wanted to talk to people in the Education Sector, find out what they needed from a supplier and increase awareness of our brand.
This was the first Exhibition that we had ever attended as a company and whilst the costs were high, we decided that we really need to be proactive and dip our toe into the water. We drove down last Tuesday to set the stand up with the show opening on Wednesday. I think what we all enjoyed seeing was the transformation of the NEC from a complete building site on the Tuesday night to the polished show we saw on Wednesday, some people must have survived on very little sleep that night!
We spoke to lots of brilliant people, education providers and other exhibitors and came away with some great new contacts. We also learnt lots of lessons for any future exhibitions that we may do-one of them being that we needed to invest in a trolley to move our stuff around!
One of the challenges that Schools and Academies face is that their websites have to appeal to so many different stakeholders, the site needs to work for Parents, Pupils, Prospective Teachers, Local Authorities and of course the Department for Education (DfE.) The site also needs to be attractive, demonstrate the school’s ethos, values, and vision as well as have simple navigation which can easily provide access to a wealth of important information for parents.
We have worked within the Education Sector for many years and it was really useful to be able to talk to visitors at the show and give them some real examples of our work, one recent example was a website that was launched last year for the Kedleston Group that many people were interested to see.
Overall, we absolutely loved exhibiting, we got to stay away in a hotel, eat lots of chocolate, meet new people and we have the added bonus of not needing to buy a new pen for a number of years!! We are already talking to a few people that we met at the show and fingers crossed, we may be writing news posts in the future about Education websites that we have launched from these initial conversations!