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ISE 2024 Recap: The Higher Education Perspective

Higher ED take on ISE 2024

To open this 20th ISE, Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Europe, spoke at a press briefing, recapping how far they have come in the last 20 years.  The first show was in Geneva with only 120 exhibitors… fast forward to this year in Barcelona where there were 1408.  He reiterated the theme of the show, “Your Destination for Innovation”.  He was not exaggerating.  I had the chance to experience the latest innovations that will help shape campus AV technology in the coming years.  ISE 2024 allowed me to see cutting-edge products firsthand, collaborate with industry experts, gather intelligence on emerging trends, and build relationships – all crucial for making informed strategic decisions that can help advance my institution’s classroom technology initiatives.

Classroom Technology

Vaddio ISE 2024 award
Vaddio ISE 2024 award

Walking the extensive ISE show floor, through eight halls, I was impressed by the sheer breadth of vendors that have products that fit the needs of higher ed. The big names in professional AV all have new offerings – from projectors and control systems to lecture capture and collaboration solutions.  I was equally impressed by some of the smaller companies that either brought new twists to typical tech or gave us elegant solutions to problems we had.  There were plenty of impressive displays of technology that may not be immediately applicable in classrooms but may still have a place on our campuses, like transparent LED and set-ups for immersive experiences. Even though many of the North American Higher Ed reps that most of us are familiar with were not in attendance, there were plenty of engineers and product managers present to discuss potential implementations.

ISE 2024 vs. InfoComm

ISE differs from InfoComm in that there is not as much of a focus on education sessions tucked away in rooms away from the show floor.  Instead, there are plenty of sessions held on the show floor in places like the AVIXA Xchange Live area and the Influencer Hub.  Both of these were great areas to take a break and listen to industry luminaries talk about topics relevant today and reveal emerging AV trends.  Iffat Chaudhry, a finalist for AVNation’s AV Pro of the Year, spoke about “Understanding Privilege” and “Mental Health Matters”.  Amelia Kallman, Futurist and host of XR Star Podcast conducted a session on “Trends, Technologies & the Future”, much of which involved AI.  There was also a session led by Steven Ooms about “How EdTech Can Enhance Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom” among others.

Networking with my counterparts at ISE 2024 who manage AV technology at universities internationally provided invaluable insight as well.  There were certainly plenty of networking opportunities between the women in AV, education technology managers, and Higher Ed specific meet ups and happy hours, as well as after-hours gatherings.  It has become evident that there will be a continued effort to increase the opportunities and elevate the experience for the higher education technology manager.

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Immersive Experiences

AVNation ISE2024 transparent display
AVNation ISE2024 transparent display

Barcelona itself captivates visitors with its vibrant blend of art, architecture, culture, and cuisine. The blend of the new and the old, like Gaudí’s masterpieces, stand as icons while the city’s dynamic energy pulses through lively streets, tapas bars, and buzzing nightlife – creating an unforgettable Mediterranean metropolis.

In just four overloaded days of back-to-back demos, presentations, networking, and discussions, I left ISE armed with a wealth of knowledge that will help drive strategic planning and decision-making for future projects. Staying ahead of the trends highlighted at the show enables me to deliver world-class technical facilities, simplify operations, and power experiences that continue to position my institution as a leader in education. ISE 2024 was truly a career-defining annual event for higher education AV professionals like myself. I look forward to the opportunity to attend again in the future and hope to see even more of my peers there.

Erin Maher-Moran is the IT Manager – Classroom Technology at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). She manages the Classroom/Audiovisual Technology Services team. Her team designs, installs, supports and maintains the classroom technology in general pool classrooms, as well as supports events, on the Homewood Campus in Baltimore, MD. She is also the Vice Chair of the Higher Education Technology Managers Alliance (HETMA.org) and the host of AVNation’s EDTech podcast. With 25+ years in Higher Education AV, Erin has been programming Crestron control systems since the early 2000’s and an AVIXA Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) since 2008.

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