We have just got back from the Sunday Times Festival of Education – which was very different from any other show we have done.
Firstly it was held at Wellington College – one of the best public schools in the world and secondly it was held outdoors. Luckily the weather was hot and sunny for the whole two days. We actually went down there on Thursday as it is a three and a half hour journey from here in Staffordshire, where we are based.
We packed up the car with Jigsaw School Apps banners, leaflets, pens, biscuits and staff and set off for Royal Berkshire. Our phone satnav capabilities got us to the school by 4pm and we gasped as we drove through the security barrier and up the long tree-lined driveway and saw the main buildings. It is such a beautiful place with huge grounds including a lake, cricket pavilion and ground and full-sized golf course. It was opened in 1859 by Queen Victoria and names after the Duke of Wellington. It has had many famous pupils – more recently Rory Bremner, James Hunt and Will Young!
We saw lines of white marquees so heading that way we found the Festival office in a Portacabin. We handed over the paperwork to register and he got our official festival badges – and we could go and set up our Stand 114 in the marquee ready for the next day and the beginning of the festival.
Everywhere was bustling when we arrived the next morning at Wellington just after 8am. Other exhibitors were setting up their stalls and even a few visitors had arrived. We were next door to the Shakespeare Trust – who kindly traded one of their Shakespeare insult badges for one of our Jigsaw School Apps pens
We were pretty happy to see that we were situated opposite the food tents with their barbecues and hot dog and kebab stands. Not only would we be within easy reach of food when we got peckish – but it would also be a very popular area with visitors too. The sun was beating down on us and it got hotter and hotter as we talked to people and handed out leaflets and gave demos. Gradually as the day wore on our stand went into shade and gave us a bit of relief.
We chatted to lots of lovely educationalists – some heads of schools, lots of teachers and even families and children. Also the students from Wellington itself were walking around and many were really interested in what we were doing. Some of the staff came to look too. It was very different as they had a lot of sessions going on with high profile speakers and guests. This meant that it was only the breaks in between when people were strolling around the exhibits. So we had quiet times – then sudden bursts of activity!
There was lots of interest in our apps though – thanks to everyone who stopped to have a look and a demo! We will be in touch soon about setting up your free trials!
Of course – you don’t have to see us at a show to get a free trial – check out our website for more details:
In other news the Jigsaw School Apps team have been out and about since we got back from the festival. Darren has been over to Crewe to do some demonstrations for interested schools in Cheshire. Nathan went to the Xamarin Developers Conference at Olympia, to see how it works to improve cross-platform coding. He also came back with a very cute code monkey – which now has pride of place in one of the JSA offices!
Berni went to the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce to attend a seminar on using social media in business – which featured three award winning organisations sharing the secrets of their success with social media. There was a lot of very useful information – so look out for more useful and relevant tweets and Facebook updates soon!