Everyone who knows me is probably sick of my ISE rants. I've already placed my passport on my desk next to my ISE 2018 countdown clock. I practically have carpal tunnel from refreshing the #ISE2018 hashtag stream every few minutes. Believe me, I know how exhausting tradeshows can be. I’m no stranger to press conference fatigue or demo overload. But ISE is a different kind of event, and I'm honored to be a part of it this year. Here are a few of the reasons why ISE is my favorite AV happening of the year.
Add It Up
Not only is ISE the biggest AV show on the globe (75,000 attendees are expected in 2018), it’s refreshing. What ISE offers, in addition to superior Dutch coffee and beer, is an opportunity to widen the aperture and see AV’s evolution in an international framework. More context and more perspectives mean better decision-making. And with its base in historic Amsterdam, ISE lends itself to more design-focused conversations.
Elevating the Value of AV
What’s also notable is that ISE's high attendance reflects the growing organizational value of professional AV. The number of attendees reinforces how crucial proAV has become across the vertical market spectrum. For many facilities, especially in higher ed and the enterprise, AV is critical to creating collaborative, engaging environments. Last year, Frost & Sullivan reported skyrocketing interest in huddle spaces currently40 million huddle rooms globally, and many would argue that huddles are the most productive rooms in the building.
Because AV—collaborative technology in particular—is more clearly understood as a business essential, we are also seeing an increase in the number of end users and tech managers attending ISE.
A Holistic Approach
Tech managers and integrators alike will be scouring the 15 halls of the RAI Amsterdam searching for intuitive solutions rather than isolated SKUs. Tech managers are looking for technology that is easy to deploy, simple to use, and manageable through the lifecycle.
To that end, SaaS, software-driven environments, and AV as a Service are going to be key refrains in Amsterdam. It’s about the experience, and the experience starts with software.
Disruption and Re-calibration
I’d also argue that the migration toward software that we will see at ISE correlates with the evolving nature of AV/IT job ownership. Almost every end user is touching IT in someway, whether it is an AV team within an IT department, or an IT manager overseeing AV, or some combination therein.