Totem Takes Telford: The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge 2018

Wednesday proved to be an exciting day for Totem Learning. We were given VIP invitations to set up a stall at The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge, situated in Telford this year by Ben and Michael Dyer, the organisers of the event. If you looked at the scale of the event and the length at which they went to in order to inspire children and give them a platform to see what it takes to excel in the world of business, you would not have thought this had been going on since just 2012 after the two overheard people talking in a coffee shop about children lacking the skills for employment.  

The event was to begin at 10 am, leaving the team around an hour or so to set-up and network. Our stall certainly looked techy. We had a TV showing clips of some of the games we’ve developed, a laptop connected to a 3D-printed welding tool which proved to be the most popular attraction and a couple of leaflets which we handed out to explain to people what it is we do.

As soon as word got around that there was a stall that looked at VR, everybody wanted to come along and see what it was all about. It was wonderful to see the products drawing people in. Not only did it make our job easier, it reminded us that we make games that still generate excitement across all generations. The school kids were our real advocates however. Mark, one of developers, was glued to his seat with a constant influx of children all desperate to beat their scores and their friend’s scores on the welding game. Who would have known welding would be so appealing to Millenials?

One of the students from Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy said this was “way better than learning about it all like this”. It was great to see the students teaching each other how it works, proving to us that our product was easy to grasp and ultimately ‘fun’. Olympian, Patrick Huston, also tried it out and was instantly set on beating his own score. We had quite a few businesses coming up to us, curious about what we do. After a quick chat from Helen, Spencer or Hana you could see a sparkle in their eyes at the prospect of future collaborations.

Just before we were about to pack up, the ceremony began with speaker Theo Paphitis among others including last year’s The Apprentice winner, James White. Helen and Hana even managed to get a photo with Theo before listening to him inspire students with his own journey. The whole event was a brilliant experience and hopefully Totem will continue to travel and captivate people.