ISE swings back
From 10 until the 13 of May, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) returns to a full-strength show. The first show to be hosted in earnest at Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via conference center brings the European AV world back together. Not since February of 2020 has this many EMEA audiovisual professionals been gathered together. Much has happened since then. Based on the excitement, energy of the show, and numbers, the AV world is coming out of the pandemic and is ready to come together.
ISE 2022 Fira Gran Via
First up, the Fira Gran Via is huge and is easy to navigate. The second floor allows attendees to quickly jump above the crowd and pop in and out of Halls 2 through 7. For some reason Hall 1 was not in use. Not certain why and it wasn’t overly important for the show. Hall 4 is where the IoT Solutions World Congress held their event in conjunction with ISE. On the second floor as well were four outdoor patios. These were sponsored by various organizations and featured food and beverage as well as comfortable seating. It was a nice respite for a hectic show.
The layout of most of the halls was straightforward. There were spaces for live events, digital signage, and video processing. Two of the halls were labeled “multi-technology” as those spaces featured a diverse set of manufacturers. Typically they were the biggest booths on the show floor. A couple of highlights from around the show.
Holoplot is touting themselves as the first “matrix array”. This speaker system allows dealers to pinpoint different audio throughout a venue. Designers can send different audio to different parts of the audience. This can include language translation, dynamic processing, and distributing.
Hall 7 also housed at least four local integrators highlighting their abilities. I found it refreshing to see AV experts showing off their skills.
ISE Digital Signage
Hall 6 is the new Hall 8 for those used to ISE’s past. Digital signage lives here, but not to the extent of years past; at least not yet. A large percentage of the Chinese manufacturers were not allowed to travel from their home country. We’ll see more LED and other signage manufacturers as that country’s COVID wanes. The hall also featured a Retail Showcase that gave attendees ideas for the future of signage and retail.
According to ISE, the attendance logged in at 43,000 “qualified attendees”. The reporting structure is different than years past. There was a time when we just received number of attendees. This new qualified attendees are just those who signed up and were scanned coming in. The number does not include manufacturer attendees which makes the number a bit more reliable. Based on the feeling of the show floor and I would absolutely agree with this assessment based on the business of the crowd. The AVNation PolyTweetup was a huge success thanks to our team and the Poly team.
Improving on ISE 2022
As great as it was getting back together with our EMEA counterparts, there were some areas that could use improvement. The ISE team provided attendees with a free public transit pass. That was a nice touch. Those of us who had never been to Barcelona may have been better served with buses similar to what we’ve experienced at InfoComm. The lack of coordinated transportation and the absence of Uber or Lyft, put an undue stress on the taxi system.
Then there is the issue of the badges. Had you not paid attention to social media, the bottom line is there were no badges. At least not officially needed. Should you choose to print your badge you couldn’t use it to get scanned in to get in. You had to use the app to get access to the show. It was inconvenient to some vendors and attendees to lean on the phone/mobile app to scan someone’s information. In addition, exhibitors can quickly assess someone’s geographic location and connect them with the right person. I’m certain there are areas others can point to, and this is the first show at the Fira for ISE, so they’ll have plenty to discuss before January of 2023.
It felt incredible to be back in person with so many AV professionals. The stands exhibitors put up were creative and highlighted their core strengths. Barcelona as a city was outstanding and I loved the opportunity to explore it’s unique beauty. As an industry we are getting back. As live events and conferences, that segment is getting back as well. Put ISE 2023 on your calendar of events to consider. From 31 January through 3 February, 2023 back in Barcelona. I’ll see you there.