ComQi

ISE’s Final 2018 Tally Logs Almost 81,000 Attendees

Last week’s Integrated Systems Europe attracted almost almost 81,000 people, a massive foot traffic bump and one that spread across four days.

The number of registered visitors to the Amsterdam show reached 80,923, an increase of 10.3% on the 2017 edition. Almost 20,000 visitors attended the last day of the show – impressive considering how many multiple-day trade shows are deadly slow on the last day.

I know of several people who specifically came in for Thursday and Friday, dodging the opening day throngs but maybe not expecting it to still be QUITE busy.

Over 30% of the total attendees said they were visiting ISE for the first time.

The number of exhibitors totalled 1,296 – 294 exhibiting at ISE for the first time. Combined, they filled 53,000 sq. meters of exhibition floor space and 15 halls.

Floor space already confirmed for ISE 2019 currently stands at 103% of the total booked space for ISE 2018 – so next year is already bigger than this year. There is talk, right from ISE, of a 16th hall to meet exhibitor demands.

There is also speculation, and suggestions, that the show is now outgrowing the Amsterdam RAI and may need to relocate after next year. Alternate cities range from amazing – Barcelona and Milan – to ones that would make me sad, like Birmingham.

Paired with that, there is also a suggestion that AVIXA flip around ISE and InfoComm, the theory being that Orlando/Las Vegas are nice in February but brutally hot in mid June, while Amsterdam would be warm and lovely in June, whereas it was chilly-chilly damp and grey last week.

I don’t go to ISE for the scenery or weather, but the canals and period architecture on the walk or ride to the venue, and the downtime attractions, are big parts of the overall experience and therefore important. Going to some industrial city like Birmingham or a German city that would be chosen only because it has a giant convention center would be a downer.

I’m happy with it being in Amsterdam forever. Traffic and taxi lines were a bit of a challenge this year, but the North-South subway line will be open by this time next year. The line, 15 years in the making and set to open finally in July, runs through the central district and the second last stop on the south end squirts people out just steps from the main RAI entrance.

There’s already a subway line that runs from central and stops near the RAI, but it’s still a big walk to the facility, and the trains seem under-spec’d for the numbers of people trying to wedge their way in.

Next year’s show is Feb. 5-8.