UK education suppliers in the US market

Last month, William Prieto-Parra, BESA’s Head of Events – UK & International, went to the ISTE Conference with Caroline Wright, BESA’s Director General, and 18 UK education companies.

Committed to supporting UK education suppliers in their export ventures, William explains here how he worked with them at the conference and what he learnt from it.

What BESA organised for UK companies at ISTE

As for all the international conferences where we bring UK education suppliers, we offer companies market information, stand logistics and help them deal with any issues they might encounter while under the UK Pavilion.

The day before ISTE, we arranged a briefing for the UK delegation with EdWeek, a US organisation similar to TES. The briefing was very successful and gave the delegation lots of invaluable information about the US market. This information is now available to our members – just email me.

Then, during the event, I was manning the stand, assisting companies and meeting delegates interested in UK products and services.

Satisfied UK companies

Most of the UK companies went to ISTE on a research trip to find out whether there is a market for their product or service in the USA. Others were looking for potential partners, and the rest were at the event to support their local office or agent.

From the feedback we have received, all of the companies achieved their goals and found answers to their questions about the market.

The international value of BESA’s name

BESA is recognised around the world by people in the education industry, so we often receive requests for meetings. At ISTE, Caroline Wright met high-level officials and potential partners for BESA, including EdWeek and ISTE organisers.

Moreover, we now see other countries replicating the BESA model – for example India Didactics, in India – which means trade associations for education suppliers play an important role to their members’ activity.

Differences in EdTech between the UK and the USA

What I find really interesting when I am at international conferences is to observe the differences in the countries’ approach to education. In general, I think the UK has more innovative products in education than the USA. However, the ISTE conference focuses on education in technology, and it seems teachers in the USA embrace technology more easily than other markets, including the UK.

Future plans

ISTE is a great event and is on our list of events for DIT support for the next financial year.

This financial year we still have plans to go to Didac India, GESS Indonesia, BETT Mexico, GETT China, BETT Asia, L&T Expo and GESS Dubai. For the first time we will also be at SXSW in the USA next March.

Find out more on upcoming shows on the BESA website.