Each year, the National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) introduces thousands of preK-12 educators, administrators and IT professionals with the insights, strategies and technologies that can contribute to student success and schoolwide advancement. Perhaps nothing exemplifies this mission more than the event’s Expo Hall. The epicenter of breakthrough education technology, the 2018 FETC Expo Hall will give attendees the chance to see and experience the latest innovations in the space first hand.
The 2018 event will feature more than 400 leading ed tech vendors, enabling you to get up close and personal with today’s most innovative educational software providers. As a result, you can get all the information you need about the solutions that can transform education at your school or district. Whether you’re looking for mobile learning devices, open-source products, library technology, IT security, professional development or any other ed tech solution, you can find the right provider at the expo – and watch live demonstrations and on-floor presentations to see these products in action before making any purchasing decision.
Given the size of the expo floor and sheer number of exhibiting companies, we admit it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why you should come with a plan for tackling the expo to ensure you spend your time most productively. Consider the following ways to do just that:
- Schedule your day: With more than 600 courses and workshops, you’ll likely have a busy few days at the conference; but make sure you leave room in your schedule to walk the floor. With expo hours on Wednesday, January 24 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, January 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Friday, January 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., you’ll have ample time to explore the expo floor and see all that it has to offer.
- Know in advance what you want to see: The expo has something for everyone, with all aspects of ed tech covered. Making a list of the solutions your district needs most will help you connect with the relevant vendors. Even better – If you’re coming with a team, you can always divide and conquer to make sure you cover the most ground. Take a look at our exhibitor list or download the FETC Mobile App and determine which vendors you want to meet with to plan your visit accordingly.
- Come with questions: While the exhibitors will be eager to demonstrate how their offerings can make a difference at your district, you’ll want to ask them specific questions about their solutions. How quickly can the solution be integrated? How will it connect with existing systems and processes? What level of ongoing support do you provide? Having a list of questions handy will help you find the vendor that can best meet your needs.
- See the latest and greatest solutions: In addition to the hundreds of established ed tech providers presenting on the expo floor, you can also learn about the newest vendors in the space. The Startup Pavilion (located at Booth 2011A-T) will showcase the emerging ed tech companies and entrepreneurs bringing their next-gen solutions to market.
- Go beyond the booths: In addition to connecting with the many vendors, make sure to take part in other activities in the Expo Hall. For one, stop by the new Startup Pavilion to discover emerging companies, demo original products and meet the entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing the market. You’ll also find Technology Solution Seminars located in OCCC South 331B where you can explore the latest technologies and hear how educators and administrators have successfully used technology to solve specific problems in preK-12 environments. And you won’t want to miss the “Shark Tank”-like PitchFest as technology startups will pitch their innovative products and services, and you and fellow attendees can vote on the best one!
With so much to do and see at the 2018 FETC Expo Hall, it’s important to have a strategy in place to get the most out of it – and return to your district with the solutions that can lead to immediate and ongoing improvement. As we get closer to the event, now’s the time to create a plan – you’ll be glad you did!