AudioMedia - February 2012 - (Page 18)
ISE Breaks More Records
JIM EVANS spoke with Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events.
he first Integrated Systems Europe trade show was held in Geneva, Switzerland, in February . The event was launched to fulfil the need for a pan-European forum for the emerging markets of professional AV and electronic systems integration, and quickly grew to become the undisputed annual marketplace for these industries – a focus not just for doing business but also for networking, education, and technological innovation. Always owned by not-for-profit trade associations, since ISE has been a joint venture between InfoComm International and the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA). As well as ensuring that all proceeds from ISE are re-invested into the industry, these associations also act as the cornerstone of the event’s extensive education programme, which continues to grow year on year. ISE was held, like the previous eight shows, at the RAI convention centre, Amsterdam. Occupying an expanded footprint with the addition of Hall , the event broke all of last years records, with exhibitor numbers up percent, floor sapce increased by percent, and pre-registrations up by percent. Early estimates put actual attendance at over , , compared to last year’s record figure of , . How do you account for the show’s phenomenal success? MB: I must admit with the very first event I was nervous. One of the problems we had was people registering very late. When you do a first show, you have no pattern to work from. People may have registered but will anyone turn up? We had a good start in Geneva in terms of identifying what we should be doing and where we should be going. We had a moderate success, enough for the industry to get behind us and believe in what we were trying to achieve. They indicated a willingness to work with us, to develop and grow the idea. And that’s what’s happened. Having everyone behind
us and working with us is what gave us the confidence that we would have success. We’ve got to the stage we’re at now a lot quicker than I anticipated. But there is still room for further growth. At the time we launched the event, the AV industry was looking for a suitable show vehicle in Europe. Up until then, they had been participating in events that weren’t totally dedicated to AV – like CeBIT, Pro Light & Sound, and Photokina. Basically, we came up with a formula the industry wanted. We also had the industry associations behind it. It wasn’t a case of a commercial organisation saying let’s see if we can make some money out of this. We made serious investment in the first three years which has paid off. The show has grown and the emphasis has been on growth not profit. Have you expanded the market sectors the show covers? MB: Yes. For example, in the first year I think we had only about two display companies, now we have all the display companies participating. We had hardly any pro audio companies and now all the major names in that sector are participating. We review every show with the team, go through what was good, what was bad, what didn’t work. We also consider in which directions we should move, what changes need to be implemented. We look at each sector and consider what we need to do to convince those sectors that ISE is the right platform for them. It’s always a bit of a chicken and egg situation. The attendees in a particular sector don’t come unless they see the relevant exhibitors are there and the exhibitors don’t come unless they see the attendees are there. Generally we tend to invest in the attendees first. Get them on board, then go back to the exhibitors There have been major changes in our audience too. The first year it was primarily integrators, distributors, and manufacturers and very much at senior level. That side’s grown, but what’s happening now is that
their customers are coming with them. Specifiers are coming to ISE to see what they need to discuss with their integrators. They want to gather the information to be able to appreciate and understand what the integrators tell them. That’s where much of where our focus is at present. And the manufacturers want to see them and influence these people as well. Julius Caesar used to say to his soldiers: If you want to walk in the shade, you have to plant trees. We do a lot of tree planting, sowing the seeds, and once they start growing we get our shade. Which sectors have been strongly represented this year? MB: It really is across the board. We decided back in that the digital signage market was of serious interest to us and part of our market, and we needed to embrace certain sectors of it. We worked on it and now we have the largest digital signage representation of any exhibition in Europe. We also now have a dedicated hall for multi-media conferencing. In the pro audio sector we’ve been working with the parties involved, asking the key players what they need and how the exhibition can work for them. We know we have the attendance, but what else do we have to do? We talk regularly. We have an advisory board – about strong – that’s made up of representatives from the various sectors of the industry: pro audio, display, control, conferencing, etc, and also from a cross section of countries. We like to involve smaller companies as well as the big players. We have representatives from just about all areas of the AV industry. We ask these guys to come along, take off their company hats and put on industry hats to discuss what we need to focus on in the future. When we’ve got the feedback, we come back to them with ideas. And will the show be staying in Amsterdam? MB: Our contract with the RAI runs until , which provides a clear business path for our exhibitors, allows us to facilitate our forward planning as organisers, and enables the RAI itself to plan for the future growth of ISE... What happens after I don’t know. If we do outgrow Amsterdam that will be a luxury problem we’re facing. Amsterdam works as a location. More than million people live and work within a direct three-hour flight of Schiphol airport, and these areas represent some of the most developed and sophisticated economies in the world... Beyond the hard numbers, the city of Amsterdam is a welcoming, relaxed, and culturally diverse city in which it is easy for people of almost any background to come and do business.
AU DIO ME D I A FE BR UARY 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AudioMedia - February 2012
Audio Media - February 2012
Special Report: BVE
Cut Scene: PS Vita
New at NAMM
NAMM Show Wrap-Up
RND Portico 5024
Untrason Signature Pro
Final Cut: Drive
Allen & Health GS-R24
Product Sampler: Broadcase Consoles
ClassicCut: The Haunting
AudioMedia - February 2012
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