ISE’s Barcelona Hybrid Live/Virtual Show Opens; Here’s What It’s Like To Get In

There have been a few small gatherings here and there in recent weeks, but the seriously downsized and hybrid live/virtual Integrated Systems Europe event this week in Barcelona provides a glimpses at what going to trades shows might be like in the second half of this year.

The German consultancy Invidis has close ties to ISE and Florian Rotberg, one of the firm’s principal’s, has posted a note via Linkedin explaining how things work for pro AV people attending the show at the Fira convention facility.

The Fira Barcelona exhibition center and the organizer ISE have put a lot of effort into building a multi-level safety and health concept for ISE. A simple ISE badge is not enough for entry.

In the first step, visitors and exhibitors must identify themselves with an official photo ID. This is followed by a free corona rapid test that is married to the badge. Without a database entry of a negative corona test, access will be denied. The PCR test required for entry into Spain – if not older than 2 days – is also valid and can be registered at a separate counter. 

A temperature measurement is then mandatory at the entrance. Last, but not least, a medical face mask or FFP2 is necessary – the mask is mandatory in all of Spain in public spaces.

Today on the day of construction we were able to enter the site in a few minutes with a negative test without queuing. It remains to be seen how things will look at the opening of the fair on Tuesday. The right litmus test for the concept is due at the end of June, when tens of thousands of trade visitors are expected at the Mobile World Congress.

We are just shy of six month out from InfoComm in Florida, and who knows what the requirements will be in place there. It’s Florida, so probably none from the state. At that point, most Americans who want vaccinations will have had two jabs and, barring a vaccine-resistant new variant emerging, it will be theoretically pretty safe.

The big challenge might be for people like me coming in from outside the U.S. Right now, I’m not sure I could go south even if I wanted to, and if I did, getting back into the Great White North would involve tests and two weeks of isolation and so on. That could change a lot by fall, and like many Canadians, I’ll be double-jabbed with Moderna within a few weeks.

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