ISE’s Show Manager Says Barcelona Event Pressing Ahead, As Global COVID Cases Soar
December 21, 2021 by Dave Haynes
The show manager for Integrated Systems Europe says the exhibition and conference is going ahead in Barcelona as planned, unless Spanish government restrictions make that impossible.
Mike Blackman told UK-based AV Interactive the event slated for the start of February is very much on. He noted in an interview that stands for some of the larger vendor-exhibitors have already been pre-built, and in some cases shipped with product to Spain. He said some exhibitors have already had to “press the button” on booth construction.
“When you’re in our business, there are a thousand things that can go wrong and all you can do is prepare yourself for what to do when it does go wrong,” Blackman told the AV-focused publication. “Obviously we have a plan B and a plan C and a plan D, but I can tell you now, the show is the show until the show is not the show.”
He concluded: “If the Spanish government turns round and says we are locking down, you can’t run a show. If our exhibitors, all 700 plus of them, say we’re not coming then the show is not going to happen. But the exhibitors say they want it. The Spanish government doesn’t want to stop us. There are announcements coming, and we have to look and see what actually happens, but at the moment we are going ahead.”
One of the curious rationales floated by exhibitors, related by Blackman, is that COVID could be around for years to come, and that at some point manufacturers need to get on with how they market and sell goods. Which is reasonable in one respect, but maybe not right now, given the ferocity of this latest variant.
Everyone needs to make their own well-informed decisions. I’ve seen enough about the risks of this thing, and the miserable experience involved in international travel, to determine I’m sitting out ISE 2022, and hoping I’ll finally get to a Barcelona ISE in 2023.