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43,000 professionals: ISE is back, without a doubt

43,000 professionals: ISE is back, without a doubt

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It was not a first edition since the biggest audiovisual trade show already took place in Barcelona in june 2021 after deciding to move from Amsterdam to the Catalan city. But without a doubt it did feel like a first “true” edition in ISE’s new home city. More than 43,000 professionals filled the Fira de Barcelona for 4 days of pixels and structures, of hardware and creation, of products and debates. For the bruised AV community, this felt like a balm after the pandemic. We were there of course and enjoyed the feeling of an industry being completely back in business… though with new challenges like the lack of both equipment and technicians.   Eric Mottard

ISE finally arrived in grand style at the Fira de Barcelona, Gran Vía. From the inauguration mapping session on Monday night (9th May) to the last contacts on Friday the 13th, Barcelona hosted the European and even global AV community, for an amazing show. With 43,691 unique attendees from 151 countries, making 90,372 visits to the show floor, exhibitors reported busier than expected booths and many fruitful business connections. This is not triumphant press release information: our contacts with exhibitors all pointed to an extremely fruitful show, besides the emotional dimension of being back in business.

Why? We can point to several reasons. First, because we know personal connection and direct product experience are important in the purchasing process, especially for important and pricey items like AV equipment, and this personal connection was gone for 2 years. Second, because this is an industry of innovation, and even though you could learn almost anything online, human beings are much better at walking in a trade show, see what catches their eye, and getting a complete view of the available solutions, that doing this online. Third, because after such a deep crisis and in a moment of recovery, many companies need to purchase, to renew their equipment.

The event featured 834 exhibitors in 48,000sqm of show floor across six Technology Zones. But as many such large shows, rather than a monolithic moment, ISE was like a festival, with many areas and activities. Education is essential in a show like this one, which included seven conferences, two keynote addresses (Refik Anadol and Alan Greenberg). Local promotion agency Acció setup an area where local companies could exhibit and promote themselves, illustrating the strength of such a large event to help local small companies get visibility and clients (we know some international companies decided to open in Barcelona following ISE’s decision to move here, illustrating the power of a large show to promote investment). Two projection mapping projects were organised within the city of Barcelona, illustrating the fact that the event does not want to be limited to a trade show ground, but aims to be experienced somehow in the city. An Experience Zone, set up by Sono, featured educational sessions in Spanish, illustrating the trend to go for content segmented to specific audiences (eventoplus participated in one of the educational sessions). And some areas featured specific innovations, like a IoT hall. As you see a festival of contents and activities…

Mike Blackman, Managing Director of ISE, explains that ISE 2022 is an event to be proud of, saying: “We are so pleased to have provided a successful platform for our exhibitors and partners to showcase their innovation and technology solutions. As we all recover from the impact of the pandemic, it is wonderful to be here in Barcelona with what feels like a ‘normal’ ISE in its new home,” he continued. ISE returns to Barcelona on 31 Jan-3 Feb 2023.

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