Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 40

FINAL THOUGHTS
Transforming Cityscapes: Meeting
Goals, Reimagining Public Spaces
Reflections on the ISE
2022 Postponement
IN THE AFTERMATH OF ISE 2022's threemonth
postponement, I interviewed ISE's
Mike Blackman and AVIXA's David Labuskes
for CommercialIntegrator.com to discuss the
decision and its implications.
Blackman acknowledged that his team had
dialogued with stakeholders for months. As
late as December, the consensus had been to
proceed with a February staging.
With the omicron variant surge,
at a follow-up meeting in January,
organizers evaluated registered
attendance and customer feedback
and decided to postpone.
According to Blackman, one of
the key drivers was exhibitors'
belief that people would travel
more readily later in the year.
" You can't please all of the
come across the pond - doing NAMM and
then coming to ISE in Europe. " Thus, he underlined
Labuskes' point: Exhibitors can juggle
back-to-back events.
I asked Blackman and Labuskes whether
Both ISE and
InfoComm are
banking on
#avtweeps
having
the same
craving for
people all of the time, " Blackman
acknowledged, but added, " We
think we've pleased most of the
people with this decision. " He
cited feedback from major exhibitors that have
made clear their intention to participate in May.
With the postponement, we've once again
face-to-face
reconnection.
show participants will receive money back if
either ISE or InfoComm runs into COVID-related
headwinds. They alluded to show organizers'
tremendous financial investments
to put on their events, as well as
companies' fundamental understanding
of risk.
" Last year, we were very,
very generous in actually giving
complete refunds to the industry, "
Blackman said of ISE. But, he noted,
a sustainable business can't
be rooted in always refunding
money. Blackman explained,
" We're in this industry, and we
want to work with our customers.
We don't want them to get into
difficulties. But we also have a
found ourselves with ISE and InfoComm scheduled
within weeks, and the NAMM Show days
from InfoComm. This has spurred some consternation,
but Labuskes made clear that InfoComm
will not postpone, saying that such chatter is
not coming from trade-show experts. Indeed,
Labuskes argued that back-to-back events are
normal for many vendors. " They know how to do
this, " he said. " They have the resources for this. "
Labuskes noted that convention centers'
calendars are booked out years in advance,
making it difficult to alter plans spontaneously.
Indeed, given the logistical difficulty of making
changes, Labuskes praised the ISE team for
successfully pulling off the postponement to
May. Blackman added, " ...[W]hen everything's
normal, NAMM has always been about a week
before ISE. And those companies manage to
business to run. " And, naturally, putting on a
show like ISE entails committing large sums of
money upfront. Blackman declared that customers
and ISE alike understand the uncertainty.
However, he vowed, the show will go on.
Labuskes added, " All successful business
organizers evaluate risk and make decisions and
investments accordingly. And the investment
that our exhibitors make in an event like InfoComm
or ISE...[is] well thought out. They know
the risks, and they know the rewards. "
The essential value of shows like ISE and
InfoComm has always been networking, collaboration
and interaction. And, according to
Blackman, the core message from manufacturers
is simple: " We miss the face-to-face interaction.
We want to let people touch and feel and
see and hear firsthand what our products and
solutions can do. "
The shows are banking on #avtweeps having
the same craving for face-to-face reconnection.
Commercial Integrator, (USPS 005-160) (ISSN 2165-9850), Vol.12 No. 3, is published monthly by Emerald X, LLC., 100 Broadway, 14th
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Commercial Integrator March 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator March 2022

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Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 1
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