BES Asia 2013 was held in December in Kuala Lumpur’s impressive convention centre close to the world famous Petronas Towers.

It is very ably and competently organised and coordinated by BESA and exceptionally well supported by UKTI.

UKTI have a new focus on delivering help and support to the UK’s Education Industry, as noted in a previous blog piece on the UK’s education strategy for international markets and all the evidence and experience is that they are making a significant effort to very good effect.

The event is designed exclusively for UK education and training providers to showcase their products and services to the ASEAN market.

This market really does hold UK education and training in very high esteem.

There were more than 50 companies exhibiting, and you can look at the show guide here .

The nature of exhibitors ranged widely withe-learning and edtech companies making up about 45% of the exhibitors.

BES Asia can be seen as a smaller and more compact version of BETT, but with crucially a strong linkage to BETT as many of the delegates attending  BES Asia are interested in attending BETT in 2014 with the support of UKTI ….which is very welcome indeed.

BES Asia was well attended and therefore obviously well marketed. Delegates ranged from Ministerial level to teachers. Delegates came from not just all over Malaysia but many were form Indonesia Vietnam and beyond, often hosted by UKTI.

Exhibitors were given the opportunity to deliver seminars to delegates. The seminars were in rooms close to the exhibition hall. Only the opening ceremony was held in the main hall.

The seminars were well organised and well attended by delegates, though the protocol was not one of asking questions by delegates, more speaking to the presenter after the event or visiting the stand.

The delegates ranged from ministers and senior education policy makers to teachers from public and private schools. The private and international schools market appeared very buoyant.

Delegates appeared interested and very well informed on education and as mentioned previously held UK education in high regard. Interest in e-learning and edtech was considerable and there is no doubt that this is a growing market for education and edtech and e-learning benefiting from strong government leadership and a powerful desire and recognition amongst the population that education forms the foundation of economic prosperity.

BES Asia provided the opportunity to exhibit, gain a greater understanding of the ASEAN and Malaysian market and network with other exhibitors. Indeed 2 networking events were provided and organised. Firstly an informal evening networking arranged and hosted by UKTI and a second and slightly more format event held and the UK High Commissioners residence. Both events were very good and illustrated the commitment being made to this market.

BES Asia was interesting enjoyable event and a valuable introduction to an opportunity rich market.