The EMEA market offers plentiful opportunities to North American AV companies seeking to broaden their horizons. The leading tradeshow for the EMEA AV systems integration marketplace is Integrated Systems Europe (ISE). Co-owned by AVIXA and CEDIA, the show—which takes place in Amsterdam each February—has grown steadily since its inception. The 2019 edition attracted more than 81,000 registered attendees and 1,300 exhibitors over four days.
Should North American AV professionals attend ISE? Dave Labuskes, CTS, AVIXA’s CEO, thinks so. “AVIXA believes that for certain segments of the market, attending both InfoComm in North America and Integrated Systems Europe can yield real strategic benefits,” he said. “As commercial AV grows globally, and as AV companies evolve to serve global customers, the two shows complement each other nicely.”
CEDIA has a similar message for the industry. “ISE is relevant for all our members, as you can see from our 2018 Market Size and Scope of the Residential Technology Systems Industry survey,” said Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA’s global president and CEO. “Looking at our integrator members in North America, approximately 75 percent of total revenues for our members come from residential installations, with the balance drawn from light commercial and hospitality work.”
“Many of our manufacturers will also find great value in attending ISE, especially those trying to break into international markets, or looking to build their brands, find distribution partners, or understand the technical and cultural challenges of doing business outside of the U.S.,” she added.
Labuskes believes InfoComm (organized by AVIXA) and ISE have their own distinct characters. “The experience of the two shows is different,” he explained. “InfoComm puts special emphasis on professional development—for example, hundreds of people test to become a Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) at InfoComm every year. ISE exposes people to applications of technology in a broad set of markets, such as smart buildings and stadiums.”
“Each features hundreds of exhibitors you won’t meet at the other show. And clearly, the breadth of service providers, customers, and partners you meet at both InfoComm and ISE effectively doubles your addressable business opportunity,” Labuskes added. “We understand if time and resources limit an AV company or end user to one show or the other, but for anyone in the industry wondering if they’d benefit from attending both, I’m here to tell them they absolutely would.”
On the CEDIA side, O’Connor is similarly upbeat: “We firmly believe that our members can benefit from the opportunities presented by ISE. It’s important for U.S. brands to develop a robust international business, and there are significant opportunities in the European market.
“For integrators, ISE 2020 will be an excellent platform to take a closer look at international brands they may not be familiar with,” she added. “As well as fresh ideas and a different design aesthetic, ISE 2020 offers a great opportunity to see evidence of the global trends likely to impact on our industry.”
O’Connor cited CEDIA’s professional development offering at ISE as another draw for the show. “CEDIA provides an extensive training program that’s relevant for attendees from North America,” she said. “We offer a range of business and technical training classes that are valuable to all visitors, with great insights and advice from our global team of experts.”
In conclusion, Labuskes made a point that could apply equally to the InfoComm shows in China, India, Latin America, and other locations around the world: “Regional markets are different. Meeting people who operate in those markets, and understanding their unique needs and challenges, positions companies to better serve those markets and grow their businesses.”
ISE 2020 takes place Feb. 11–14, 2020, at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Center. The conference program—which is held in the nearby Hotel Okura, as well as in the RAI—begins Monday, Feb. 10.