How do you map the best route to your destination when the road takes unexpected turns every day? Therein lies the challenge for technology associations and representative bodies such as the Audiovisual Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) and Integrated Systems Europe (ISE). Now in its fourteen year, ISE is designed to help navigate the rapidly evolving AV landscape, and its February 6-9, 2018 event at the RAI Amsterdam promises to be the most dynamic show yet.
Do The Math
ISE’s 2017 benchmarks were impressive—73,000 visitors, 1,200 exhibitors, 14 halls, and countless stroopwafels…and 2018 is poised for an even greater showing. While these numbers are significant, here’s an even bigger figure for you: $178 billion. That's the valuation of global professional AV spending, according to AVIXA. With its international aperture, ISE offers global stakeholders opportunities to connect, share best practices, and cultivate relationships to elevate AV’s perceived value.
ISE is more than a trade show. The confluence of live AV demonstrations, training courses, market intelligence, educational tracks, networking, keynotes, and community celebrations makes ISE a destination for AV professionals around the world.
To comprehensively cover the latest tech developments and AV trends big and small, ISE designs its exhibition space as curated zones. The RAI will be sectioned into seven areas across 15 halls: The Audio & Live Event Technology Zone, Digital Signage & DooH Zone, Education Technology Zone, Residential Solutions Zone, Smart Building Zone, Unified Communications Zone, and XR Technology Zone. The zones give attendees concentrations of relevant exhibitors and help simplify navigation around the labyrinthine RAI.
New in 2018, the XR Technology Zone was created to address the growing importance of augmented, virtual, and mixed realities in AV. Located in the Park Foyer, at the rear of Hall 8, the XR Technology Zone's centerpiece will be provided by Holovis and highlight B2B immersive technologies. Attendees and exhibitors are invited to try emerging technologies in real-time and discuss potential business opportunities enabled by XR.
Exemplified by XR, AV/IT convergence, and data visualization, the industry ISE represents is protean by nature. Mike Blackman, ISE’s managing director, says that to stay relevant, the organization believes in the power of trying new things. "The upside of that is we stay on the front foot as the industry develops on an ever-evolving, technologically driven trajectory.”
Before the exhibition halls begin their hands-on AV demonstrations, TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience.) Conference creators hope to inspire higher-level thinking about AV. On February 5th, the day before the ISE expo floor opens, TIDE will convene at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam for a one-day conference to explore "the creative forces shaping the AV industry and how AV businesses can benefit from these concepts,” according to AVIXA.
TIDE’s moderator for the day Kevin Jackson is editor-in-chief of Live magazine and an influential marketer who has worked with some of the world’s leading live-event agencies. Jan-Erik Baars, head of the Design Management program at the University of Applied Science in Lucerne, Switzerland, will join the event to share his expertise on design thinking and lead a workshop on how his principles can be applied. Other speakers include Pedro Gadanho, director of MAAT, the new Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology in Lisbon, and Julien Le Bas, senior vice president and executive creative director for Jack Morton Worldwide.
AVIXA at ISE 2018
As part of its professional development program at ISE 2018, AVIXA will host four education tracks that highlight changing expectations in the AV industry. Attendees can select sessions from the following tracks: User Experience; AV/IT; Design; and Emerging Trends.
Value for End Users and Tech Managers
A conference with the depth and diversity of ISE is a draw for residential and commercial systems integrators, and now end users are attending the show in greater numbers. According to ISE staff, exhibitors at the 2017 show "were seen increasingly to present their products and solutions in ‘real world’ scenarios, designed to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of end users visiting the show."
Chris Mcintyre-Brown, associate director at Futuresource Consulting, observed that ISE has steadily grown in both size and importance over the last decade, taking over the mantel from InfoComm which was once the premier global professional AV trade show. "The show has evolved in line with the changing demands on the entire supply chain to recognize and embrace the opportunities that IT, software, solutions, etc. present,” he explained. "These converging opportunities have changed the language of the entire Pro AV world and created a far more complex technology landscape for both the supply chain and end users to navigate. ISE provides unique access to a wide range of suppliers, allowing attendees to develop knowledge and insight, learn this new language and harness those opportunities."
Margot Douaihy is the editorial director of AV Technology an advisor at Franklin Pierce University.