Philadelphia Freedom

Having spent over twenty-five years in EdTech in one way, shape or form, it’s probably surprising that I’ve not actually done much at all in the US and have certainly never been to a conference or an event; but all that changed a couple of weeks ago in Philadelphia when I visited ISTE 2023. This was my chance to see how the US do things and to understand what the market is like, how best to enter it and what the range of ‘go to market’ strategies look like.

Having completed my 24th Bett earlier this year my first observation was that it’s quite different, it’s certainly not as big and I’m told it’s the third largest in the world after Bett London and Didac. There is also an extensive programme that runs alongside of the event, therefore there is less of constant stream of activity, more bursts of activity as people re-enter the main hall. As a UK EdTech company entering the market my first recommendation would be to engage with the programme, there are multiple opportunities to do that through workshops and panels, but also lots of side events. The opening ceremony is an epic performance and there was a pre-event the day before which was well worth attending.

My second recommendation is not to do it alone the first time, we shared an area arranged by Besa and the Department for Business and Trade, two organisations that I will frequently reference in these blogs as pivotal to international growth. By being together with them, Hyve and other UK organisations we had a presence that drew people to us, it also meant that you avoided the many mistakes you can make going it alone.

My over riding thought was that to be successful in the US you need to go there and see for yourself whether the market will work for you, and just how you are going to take your product(s) to market, the prize is huge but the workload can be too. Happy to share my experiences with anyone who is thinking about the US as a market.


⇐ Back to Insights...

Lime Education Logo

About Ian Hunter

Ian has worked in the EdTech market for over 25 years and has worked for some of the largest education companies in the world including Tes Global, Discovery Education and RM Education. As Global Director, Sales Director or Commercial Director he has been responsible for driving growth across a range of EdTech products and services to schools, colleges, Universities and Ministries of Education globally.

Get in touch

+44 (0)7766 566184