ISE’s 2021 Show Postponed To Sometime Later In Year

September 15, 2020 by Dave Haynes

Hat Tip AV Interactive

Integrated Systems Europe has postponed from its planned February 2021 dates to some time later next year – likely June.

There was a flurry of social media posts from the AV trade press on Monday and overnight, as well as some quiet, unattributed confirmations from stakeholders that plans were changing.

One trade press person was insisting it has been cancelled, which could be considered a semantics exercise. I think of cancelled as meaning it will never happen again, while postponed means it won’t happen as planned, but will later.

This morning, longtime show head Mike Blackman confirmed to the UK publication AV that  the world’s biggest pro AV show is postponed and that his organization, with its owners AVIXA and CEDIA, are negotiating with venue and hotel officials about a later, as yet undetermined date.

The most likely date is June – which would mean ISE would run in Barcelona in pretty much the same time window as its sister trade show InfoComm would run in Orlando, Florida.

Blackman told AV the conflicting dates for the show is not that big of an issue, at least not right now. “We see the shows being more regional in the first part of 2021. We realize that a lot of the American companies who participate in the show from the USA will have difficulties in participating or have concerns about participating. At this stage they are concerned about travel. That’s one of the biggest issues, and the same goes the other way around for European companies who won’t be able to get to the US.”

Blackman said ISE was looking to protect its customers’ costs in negotiating the show postponement. “Our exhibitors have to press a button at some stage when costs really start to accumulate. Looking at that, in discussions with our exhibitors, we know what that date is. Most have actually said it is the end of October and we’ve been working towards that to make sure that we can put our exhibitors in a position where they are not spending money unnecessarily. That’s also been part of the negotiations we’ve been having with the hotels to make sure our exhibitors can get that money back.”

Blackman also said the show will be taking some cues from AVIXA and running a series of online events. I have been working with AVIXA and invidis on a monthly digital signage power hour event, which has proven to be a good platform for roundtable discussions with top industry people.

Pushing the event to summer gives the show some distance from a now short timeline to do an event while a pandemic rages on. But there’s no guarantee things would be better by, let’s say, next summer.

Barcelona, if the pandemic calms down in Spain by then, would also be at peak hotel occupancy and pricing in June-July-August … because it is Barcelona.

This time next year might make the most sense, though the Barcelona venue would need to be unbooked and the event would have to not be in conflict with another major show.

I was almost certain to miss ISE in 2021 because of health safety concerns and the simple fact that I don’t think the world is going to be anywhere close to done with all this in just a few months. So a postponement is not the disappointment for me that it will be for many others. 

Barcelona is roughly 1 trillion times more attractive than Orlando, in any time window, but going to either even in June will require a big think, and probably some huge improvements in the current  global health crisis.

In Nova Scotia, where I live, there is one – repeat, one – active case in the entire province of about 1 million people. But we all mask up here when out, and I have yet to hear or see hissy-fits from people whining about their freedoms.

Do I really want to leave that to get into a plane or three to pass through a few hot zones and stay in another one for a week? No. 

Stay healthy, everyone. We’ll see each other in person again at some point.

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