On the Move
AV pros react to ISE’s move from Amsterdam to Barcelona in 2021.
Integrated Systems Europe (ISE)—widely recognized as the world’s largest gathering of AV professionals—is moving from Amsterdam to Barcelona in 2021. The potential move was the talk of this year’s show as temporary structures had to be erected to simply accommodate the current number of exhibitors and visitors.
The 2018 show attracted close to 81,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors; with an average growth of 10 percent per year, it’s clear the show needed to make a move.
“Demand from exhibitors and the continued increase in the numbers of attendees showed us that limited floor space was in danger of putting a brake on the show’s development,” said Mike Blackman managing director, Integrated Systems Events. “In spite of all our best efforts this was not an issue we felt could be solved by staying at the RAI Amsterdam.”
After 18 months of research, the decision was made to make the Gran Via, part of the Fira de Barcelona exhibition complex, the new permanent home for ISE. “Not only is the new venue a state of the art home for our show but the city of Barcelona is one of Europe’s most vibrant and exciting,” added Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA global president and CEO. “It’s the perfect choice for an exhibition and growing industry that engenders creativity and commerce.”
Those are the official statements, but what do people in the industry really think about the move? We asked a variety of #AVTweeps about ISE Barcelona and here’s what they had to say:
Barcelona offers unique assets to both exhibitors and attendees. As a leading city in the field of technology, innovation, and design, with a rich ecosystem of more than 1.250 startups, it’s a perfect fit for ISE and the growing audiovisual industry to keep enhancing the experience for attendees. Having a much larger venue could make it even easier to engage with other industries as the lines separating them become blurrier, creating a sweet spot for open innovation. Barcelona itself provides the ideal atmosphere for such a compelling event: Mediterranean gastronomy, good weather, and excellent mobility options within the city. Amsterdam RAI has been a great location for ISE and the biggest challenge in Barcelona will be to keep developing the show to achieve continued success. We certainly will miss waffles as much as hanging around through the channels at midnight.
—Marc Torné, Sales Director, Ditec Communications
Anyone who has experienced the rapid growth of ISE, particularly over the past few years, will have seen how popular it has become. Although this growth has been great for the industry, it has meant navigation of the show can be tricky—particularly at pinch points between halls. The move to Barcelona from the RAI in 2021 should allow for a more comfortable experience for visitors and exhibitors alike. Plus, of course, we hope for a milder climate as we move further south! Datapath have always enjoyed a fantastic response to our ISE presence and we look forward to even bigger and better things in Barcelona.
—Kay Mumford, Marketing Communications Manager, Datapath
Having a larger space to accommodate the growth of an amazing show! Plus, our luggage will be lighter since we don’t have to pack as many cold-weather clothes. There won’t be as many direct flights for our U.S.-based colleagues, but we know they’ll be happy to put up with the flight time to get to Barcelona!
—Matthew Packer, Sales Development Director, Asia Pacific, Biamp
. The challenge is knowing whether the customers and the exhibitors will accept the new location and attend—especially not knowing the full cost of travel to Barcelona yet.
—Jochen Roggenkämper, Owner, Datavision, Datavision Deutschland GmbH
As an exhibitor and an attendee, AVI-SPL is excited for the move to Barcelona. With the continued growth and success of ISE, as well as our industry demands, the venue change to the more spacious Fira de Barcelona will help support strong engagements and ensure we can continue to create memorable event experiences for our customers, partners, and suppliers. For the first few years, more pre-event preparation and logistics planning will be required—we will just need to navigate the newness of the event changing locations to Barcelona.
—Dale Bottcher, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, AVI-SPL
Barcelona sounds exciting, especially for people like me who come from warmer parts of the world. It will be a great business atmosphere, with opportunities to meet casually outdoors without having to dress up in layers. I expect a lot more customers to join us due to very favorable weather. I understand that Fira Barcelona has more modern facilities, which will provide equal benefits for both exhibitors and visitors.
—Girish Narayanan, Managing Director, Granteq
The facilities in Barcelona have the scale to house an expanding ISE for the foreseeable future. Ensuring that the physical space is up to the demands from the market is a strong strategic move that will serve end users, manufacturers, and developers well. The ambiance of Amsterdam, even in winter, is hard to leave behind, but I am looking forward to learning more about Barcelona and all that it has to offer as host city to ISE.
—Nancy Knowlton, CEO, Nureva