Do you know the sound hundreds of people make at a rock concert just before the main act starts? That weird buzz? It’s funny how you can hear that same sound in expos, conferences, etc., but it just never gets cut off by anyone.

Eepos UK was exhibiting at the Music and Drama Education Expo in the Business Design Centre London last week, and I got to hear that sound yet again. This was our second time in a row, but this year was definitely different.

When I look back to last year’s event, I can say we were still rehearsing. We had our booth, screens for presentations, roll-ups, and other materials prepared, but we didn’t really know what to expect. Or who to expect…

This year we began our marketing campaign on time; we had our Twitter and LinkedIn going, we invited our current Eepos sites and their friends over, and we were more engaged with the expo facilitators as well. We made sure that people we know knew we were there, and that paid off.

We noticed that potential new Eepos sites had sent people over to the expo just to hear more about Eepos. We got traction, several interesting discussions with education facilitators (both music and other art forms), and our doors opened to music and art schools outside of the UK as well!

One downside of this expo is that it feels a bit overpriced for exhibitors. The smallest booth costs £1,446.50 (+VAT) without any furniture or electricity. One twin socket for power costs a bit less than £200, and a bar table with a couple of stools is another £170, so you really have to consider it as an investment. Although this year it was certainly worth it!

Other exhibitors

If you were to attend the expo, what would you see? Well, MDEE covers almost all aspects of the music education market in the UK. There were over a hundred exhibitors, but these are my top 10 favourite picks:

You can obviously find music education providers like Guildhall Young Artists and Rocksteady Music School.

Then naturally you have traditional educational content like sheet music from Hal Leonard and instrument resellers like Yamaha.

If you need to update your music technology software or toolset, you could go and meet Avid, Steinberg, and Focusrite.

For Learning Management Systems, you have Music First, and for Teachers online content and platforms, you have Charanga.

The weird one, for me at least, was WASP Barcode Technology. But then I thought of all the Music Hubs managing an inventory of thousands of hireable instruments, and it made sense. We will definitely need to talk to them again afterwards…

Conclusion

MDEE is a great expo no matter what your role is in music education. Whether you’re a Hub leader looking for new tools, a teacher looking for inspiration, a music techie catching the latest waves, or a music student looking for the next step, there’s definitely something for you.

And the freebies… Never forget the freebies! We gave out Finnish classic, amazing Fazer Blue milk chocolate, and people… They just love it!