ISE had a press conference today in Barcelona, outlining its reasoning and plans behind moving the big pro AV show in 2021 to Barcelona.
The show organizers laid out the thinking – notably the need to have a space large enough and destination attractive enough to keep growing the show.
“What is very clear is the future of ISE will be in Barcelona,” Mike Blackman told the assembled pro AV press – some who were presumably flown in. I know at least one cranky Brit who wouldn’t possibly have spent his own money to be there (but was).
I just clicked and watched the thing live-streamed from my house. Much easier.
What came out of it, of note:
- The time window will be the same as it has been in Amsterdam – as in the first week of February. Blackman said there is enough time in between the end of his show and the start of Mobile World Congress, a monster trade show that takes over Barcelona every February.
- The show will still be called ISE, despite speculation it might switch to InfoComm Europe (AVIXA, the organization that owns ISE, also owns InfoComm).
- In the two years that ISE will remain in Amsterdam, there will be more tents outside to accommodate yet more exhibitors, and there will also be ISE stuff happening at a nearby hotel (the TIDE conference was at one in 2018).
- A VR event run by the ISE team will stay in Amsterdam, with plans to grow it.
- 15% of ISE exhibitors are from China, and Blackman says they are accustomed to showing in Barcelona because of that big mobile show
- The economic impact shifting from Amsterdam to Barcelona is something like $400 million, though I’m not clear if they were talking dollars or Euro.
- Moving to the Barcelona venue allows the show to be more focused and segmented. There’s a digital signage hall at the Amsterdam RAI now, and little areas like home automation, but the show as now run is kind of here, there and everywhere across 15 buildings.
- Blackman thinks there is a better chance people will stick around Barcelona and the region after the show, because of the attractive destination … to which I say, “Ab-so-lute-ly!”
- Barcelona was the unanimous choice of alternative venues, mercifully. Places like Frankfurt or Dusseldorf in February would have been grim. At least Amsterdam is gorgeous even when it is all of plus 1 C and damp. The historical average high temperature in Barcelona during ISE weeks is 14C. Yay.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.