ISE 2020 Rallies Amid Coronavirus Challenges
AVIXA and CEDIA, co-owners of Integrated Systems Europe, were faced with a unique set of challenges that were out of their control ahead of this year’s show. Nonetheless, the teams prevailed and celebrated accomplishments that spoke louder than the numbers.
Since its launch in 2004, ISE has experienced year-over-year growth, with each event drawing a larger crowd in terms of exhibitors and attendees. Before the coronavirus outbreak, ISE 2020 was expected to continue that upward mobility and mark the show’s biggest year yet. But, as to be expected, attendance was down against the previous year, though the crowd was not “small” by any means. There was a cumulative total of 116,599 visits to ISE 2020 which boiled down to 52,128 unique attendees.
“This year’s show demonstrated to us just how determined our attendees were to come to ISE,” said Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events. “Many of our exhibitors exceeded their targets for customer engagement and lead generation. The show has delivered on all fronts: as the global industry’s biggest annual forum, as a launchpad for new solutions, as a place to do business, and as a source of professional development and education.”
Visitors to the show had vast opportunities to “Learn. Discover. Be Inspired.” starting with the Opening Address delivered by former Disney executive Duncan Wardle who urged the audience to discover their creative potential. ISE, AVIXA, CEDIA and AV Magazine crafted a diverse agenda including a keynote session by BBC Creative Diversity Director June Sarpong, a joint session by WAVE (Women in AV) and the AVIXA Women’s Council, and a panel session produced by all four content partners to discuss practical measures for recruiting new talent to the industry.
The show also hosted the largest AV Career Day ever with over 170 students and faculty from 12 different universities across five countries. AVIXA conducted FlashTrack sessions, which offered 20-minute presentations on key topics across User Experience, Design, AV-IT and Emerging Trends. The association also launched its Digital Art Challenge at ISE 2020, in which digital content creators submit one-minute videos to be considered for a special big-screen showcase at ISE 2021.
There was also a big announcement made on the final day of the show at ¡Hola Barcelona! After 15 years hosting ISE at RAI Amsterdam, the association announced that ISE 2021 will be held at Fira de Barcelona. Over 950 exhibitors have already committed to ISE 2021, with 61,968 square meters of stand space sold by the close of the show.
ISE 2021, which is scheduled for Feb. 2-5 at the Gran Via – Fira de Barcelona will work alongside new partner, The Next Web, to produce three new stands focusing on technology and its impact on society: Growth Quarters, Startup City Summit and The Assembly.
“ISE 2020 has been our best ever show,” said Tabatha O’Connor, CEO of CEDIA. “Our Professional Development program proved to be the most popular yet with registrations at an all-time high. As part of that program, we ran our first, dedicated conference for architects and interior designers which was a phenomenal success. The CEDIA program for the ISE Main Stage was well supported as were the CEDIA Talks hosted on our booth. We were also delighted to be part of AV Career Day, welcoming a CEDIA party from Liverpool University. We signed up a record number of new members and enjoyed a great evening with our community at the CEDIA Party, held in the spectacular surroundings of the Johan Cruijff Arena, home of AFC Ajax. CEDIA thanks the city of Amsterdam, and the RAI, for its hospitality over many years, and for an exceptional finale in 2020. We can’t wait for ISE 2021 in Barcelona!”