ise announcement

‘An ISE roadshow is an interesting idea’: Pro AV industry reacts to latest ISE announcement

Integrated Systems Events has reconfirmed its commitment to staging ISE 2021 as a live show in Barcelona this June, following a review of the COVID-19 situation. The pro AV expo will run June 1-2, at the Fira de Barcelona, Gran Vía.

ISE MD Mike Blackman cites the rapid implementation of vaccines, and the current reduction in daily new cases, as a positive trend that will enable ISE to take place as an in-person event. However he concedes that current attitudes to travel may mean a lower volume of attendance than in previous years.

Reflecting this, the show will run with a full supporting digital programme agenda.

Blackman has also floated the idea of bringing a localised regional version of the show to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, “taking ISE on the road for those who may not be able to make it to Barcelona.” This would be a first for organisers, and has piqued industry interest. 

“It’s certainly an interesting idea,” Keziah Newlove, marketing manager at Amina Technologies, told Audio Media International. “We hadn’t heard of this before. The ability to have multiple touchpoints with our customers is always beneficial. There probably has to be a very radical change in the format to focus more on relationships and less on expensive and environmentally wasteful stand building. That would be a positive change.”

“For us at Amina, the most important factor is the safety of our staff.  We are really excited to finally have face to face meetings, however, at the moment it just feels too soon.  I think if it was a month or too later it would have been much better timing. In person is always going to be our preference, however the timing does have to be right, and across Europe the vaccination process doesn’t seem to be far enough along.”

Newlove adds: “If it is safe, and our staff are vaccinated and want to go to ISE this year, we will send a small team to meet with our partners and customers on the ISE floor.”   

David Evans, director of Cambridge-based Node Audio Research, told us: “Localised or regional events could be a good idea to begin with. There would be more control, with regard to safety measures.  It’s difficult to predict the outlook for the rest of the year, but we remain positive, that live shows and trade exhibitions will return soon.”

“It seems ISE is trying to do everything they can, to ensure the correct safety measures are in place for the event. There are currently many travel restrictions around the world, so it will certainly still have an effect on any live events and shows.”     

Of course, it remains to be seen if a semi-virtual trade show, as also mooted by Integrated Systems Europe for ISE 2021, can really be successful. 

You may also be interested in:

Chris Mcintyre-Brown. Pro AV analyst and Associate Director at Futuresource Consulting, told Audio Media International:  “It really depends on how we define success. Learning from CES earlier in the year, attendance and engagement from exhibitors would clearly be limited. Online fatigue is also clearly creeping into the events business, as well as our daily lives, which would be another contributing factor. However, the ISE team has done a great job building an engaging conference program in recent years which I could see transitioning with more success into the virtual world.”

The show has suffered a serious setback following reports that Samsung, one of ISE’s biggest exhibitors, has pulled out, citing health and travel concerns.

Reacting to the development, Tom Garrett, International Sales manager for Trinnov Audio told Audio Media International:  “With the 2021 edition of ISE looking more and more unlikely, as additional big names pull out, it’s sad to say that AV professionals will be missing out on much needed networking opportunities and knowledge enhancement that only a big trade show can deliver which cannot be easily replicated in the virtual environment.”

“We had to pivot in 2020 but need to tell the industry that we have done so”
Read the Audio Media International partner plan.