Lots Of Second Thoughts About Making ISE Trip As Giant Covid Wave Keeps Building

December 20, 2021 by Dave Haynes

I did a little poll on Linkedin last week that asked readers about their plans for going to Integrated Systems Europe, which opens in Barcelona six weeks from now. The poll – which has imprecise questions that would make proper pollsters do pre-teen girl eye-rolls – asked if COVID-19 case counts rocketing up once again was making digital signage and pro AV people think twice about going.

The response: mixed.

Of 231 people who did the poll:

  • 25%  said they were still going
  • 15% said they were rethinking their plans
  • 27% were in wait and see mode for now
  • And 33% said they weren’t planning to go to Barcelona  anyway
This sample is probably kind of meaningless in pure research terms. I dunno. But I was still intrigued by how more than 1 in 4 were waiting on more news and data before making a go/no-go decision.
I was dearly, dearly wanting to get out of my bunker after two years, particularly since my travel plans included London and Barcelona. But I spent an hour clicking away on Saturday to cancel lodgings and convert flights to future travel vouchers. It was already going to be a challenge getting there and back with all the (sometimes expensive) tests required to enter and leave countries, and all the time needed to get those done … as well as all the extra stuff layered on to the process and time of getting through airports.
The data piling up about the high transmissibility of the omicron variant had already led me to conclude a networking event, that put a bunch of people together in a venue, wasn’t a great idea. So … for the I’ve-lost-count time, I have had to cancel plans for a Sixteen:Nine mixer tied to an industry event. Maybe the DSE re-boot in Vegas come March will look more positive?
I sense ISE is likely going to happen no matter what the situation – as some of the gear for the bigger vendor stands is probably already on the way to Spain. I really do hope the show organizers are able to stage the event, and that those who can get there find enough reasons to conclude it was worth their travel efforts and cost. But it is likely ISE, at least this year, will revert to its roots as very much a show attended by Europeans who can get  there by car, rail or short flights.
Canadians are being discouraged from non-essential international travel, and I suspect a lot of my US industry friends who were thinking about going, have or will be doing risk/benefit analyses that probably come out on the side of staying put.

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