A projection by Teresa Man at the Amsterdam Light Festival. 
You’ve heard all the buzzwords for 2018: collaboration, user experience (UX), innovation, partnership. Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2018 is all of those things—and all in one place.

The show, held February 6-9 at the RAI in Amsterdam, has broken its own attendance records year after year, and plans on doing so again in 2018. So how is it drawing in the AV industry and all its side-hustlers?

“ISE attracts new visitors each year by carefully delivering what AV professionals are searching for,” said Mike Blackman, managing director, ISE. “It features the world’s leading technology vendors and service suppliers all under one roof. In addition, ISE provides a rich set of conferences, keynotes, and show features that occur over the four days of the show and the day preceding it.”

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If you’ve attended ISE in the past, you know the show floor is enormous, and the number of new technologies is borderline overwhelming. To get the most out of the show, a carefully executed strategy is a necessity. So what are some of the key trends to explore?

Collaboration is one of the first things that comes to mind, and not just in the sense of manufacturers teaming up to create a nice little AV package. “There will be the need for customized collaboration solutions that can be tailored to today’s enterprise employees and their teams,” said David Schweer, director of product marketing, Prysm. “As each employee, and the teams they’re a part of, has their own unique work style and technology preferences, enterprises need to offer them a tool that is flexible yet unifies any existing technology investments to promote continuous productivity and drive business insights.”

Datapath also expects “collaboration to be big business at ISE,” according to Bjorn Krylander, managing director. The company will host “demonstrations of how any application window can be easily shared, with the option to share to a video wall for meetings and process management,” in its Hall 11 stand, and using its Quant application software.

Corporate and educational efficiencies are part of the larger collaboration trend. We’ll continue to see subsets of this highlighted at the show, including huddle room solutions. “Enterprises are looking beyond typical meeting rooms and more broadly at the dynamic shared spaces their teams are using,” said Rob Abbott, Nureva’s vice president, products. “This is less about the traditional view of collaboration, which is focused on better meetings, and more about improving a structured core methodology like agile or lean.”

 
Mike Blackman speaking at the ISE show. 
On the video side of the house, quality will continue to improve, creating stunning displays and projections that our eyes have only dreamed of. “The biggest trend at ISE will be still be the advancements in solid-state illumination and the rise of higher resolutions,” Mark Wadsworth, international marketing manager, Digital Projection, said. The company will be launching its new 8K INSIGHT Laser Projector, which can be seen at stand 1-F40.

ISE also plans on helping integrators and installers understand the “power of trying new things,” according to Blackman. New in 2018, the XR (Extended Reality) Technology Zone, will be located at the rear of Hall 8, in the Park Foyer. Attendees can test out different types of XR, including augmented and/or virtual reality, to gain firsthand experience with the business opportunities they can create.

Here Comes the Rising Tide
Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience. The aptly named TIDE program is sure to be the belle of the ball at ISE. This thought-provoking, daylong session explores the creative forces from design, architecture, technology, live events, and art, and discusses the results and experiences design-thinking creates for business, according to AVIXA.

“TIDE is a great forum for gaining a fresh viewpoint on the possibilities of AV technology,” said Dan Goldstein, senior vice president of marketing and communications, AVIXA. “The conference will help contextualize the technology that people will see while they walk the ISE trade show floor. TIDE’s innovative speakers will show how organizations are pushing the limits of technology to deliver extraordinary business results.”

Daan Roosegaarde, internationally acclaimed creative thinker and founder of Studio Roosegaarde, which develops projects that explore the relationship between people, technology, and space, will keynote the TIDE conference. Following the keynote will be a series of fast-paced talks, panels discussions, breakout sessions, workshops and networking opportunities.

TIDE will be held Feb 5 at Hotel Okura Amsterdam, the day before the ISE show floor opens. The event will close out with artist and designer, Monika Bielskyte. Bielskyte creates future-world prototypes and spends a large portion of her time focusing on research and strategy in the immersive technology space. With clients like Universal, Dreamworks, Aston Martin, and the United Arab Emirates government, there is no doubt attendees will leave TIDE dreaming of their own future and how they can incorporate next-generation tech into AV projects.

Light Up the Night
Innovation and partnership are the pillars of ISE. Thus, it makes sense that the show is working with the RAI (its host venue), the Amsterdam Light Festival, and Artifex, a local cultural organization, to host the inaugural World Masters of Projection Mapping.

The event will showcase the art of projection mapping and explore collaboration between artistic creativity and cutting-edge technology. Amsterdam Light Festival, now in its sixth year, is managing the competition, which will showcase work from five competing artists on the façade of the EYE Filmmuseum; the winner will be announced at the RAI on February 9, the final day of the ISE exhibition.

“With this first edition of the World Masters of Projection Mapping, we are keen to show the high-quality artistic level of projection mapping combined with the possibilities of technological innovation,” said Lennart Booji, artistic director for the Amsterdam Light Festival. “This is an outstanding opportunity to display art on one of Amsterdam’s most iconic and spectacular facades. For over four weeks, the EYE Filmmuseum will be the canvas for contemporary video art—accessible for everyone to admire and experience.”

Plan Ahead
Between the education, show floor, special events, and more than 75,000 anticipated attendees, taking advantage of everything at ISE can get stressful. Don’t let any of those things intimidate you—“there are numerous ways to learn how to navigate the show floor,” said Blackman. “I would start by looking at the ISE website. There you will see a show floor plan and a full list of exhibitors.”

In addition, the show floor is broken down into easy-to-navigate technology sectors like digital signage, unified communications, audio, and more. You’ll surely hit your FitBit goals at the RAI, but, at the same time, you’ll discover new technologies, make new friends, and take all of that back to improve your business.