ISE 2020: Voices from the show floor

ISE 2020 offered a fond farewell for visitors at the show, but with a noticeably lower footfall across the show, the upcoming move to Barcelona, a sea of technology to discover and the days of ISE in Amsterdam being fondly remembered, what did attendees think of the show? Inavate’s Reece Webb hit the show floor to discover what AV experts on the ground really thought about the show as it unfolded.

Day one of ISE 2020 was noticeably quieter on the show floor. Storms raged the UK and Europe,forcing many attendees and exhibitors to be delayed or forced to cancel altogether, creating a perfect storm for attendance in addition to global concerns surrounding the Covid-19 coronavirus.

How busy will ISE be this year?

Danny Rogers, AVI-SPL: “If it’s an indication on today, we think it could be a little quieter than normal years.”

Kelly Bousman, AVI-SPL: “We’re hoping that there is a lot more people tomorrow once the travel delays are resolved.”

Fintan Mc Kiernan, Ideal Systems:“I think it’s going to be a pretty busy show but unfortunately, I think a lot of our target market from APAC aren’t going to fly because of the coronavirus so it’s just one of those years where the Chinese, understandably, are going to be thin on the ground.”

Ingo Aicher, Jones AV: “Over the last few years, ISE has been a success story that has outdone itself year after year, with visitor numbers increasing so I would expect, given the circumstances that this could be difficult this year and I hope that the figures will be up compared to last year.”

Bob Michaels, ZeeVee“I think this year will be comparable to many years in the past, of course attendance is going to be down, not only because of concerns about the coronavirus but probably more so because of the number of flights that have been cancelled or delayed, which means people who were planning to come probably decided that they just weren’t going to because it’s just not worth the hassle.”

On day two, the buzz around the move to Barcelona had been brewing, and looking around the show floor, it was clear to see a lot of love for the show’s traditional home and a strong feeling amongst show attendees and exhibitors of a chapter closing. With preparations for ISE 2021 Barcelona well and truly underway, what does the AV world think will happen once the show moves to its new home in the sunshine? 

What will happen at ISE Barcelona? 

Helmut Barthel, DMB Systems: 
“Since I am from Germany, we decided only three days agothat we were going to come to the show this year.We decided to jump in the car and in three hours,we were here, we found a hotel last minute but for Barcelona, that will be a bit more difficult for us.”

Erez Or, Or Tech:“The weather will certainly be better! The Fira Barcelona is a huge place, I hope there will be a lot of space for all the exhibitors and that the move is for the best.”

Florian Eustache, Nexo“I think the show will be quite the same as previous years, I’m just afraid that the Nordic countries will not come because it’s further away.”

Rupert Brown, Experience Design: “Hopefully,the show gets bigger. As the industry grows, it has to find more space. If I’m being honest, I’m quite sad that the show is leaving Amsterdam, it’s a city that I love, but we’re moving on to bigger and better things, our industry is always about evolving so it’s a good thing that we’re moving. See you in Barcelona!”

Day three saw attendees and exhibitors really digesting what the show had to offer, with experts taking in their own tech highlights, whether it be the domineering presence of LED as a defining aspect of a show or the controversy surrounding a suggestively dancing robot, attendees were keen to share their thoughts.

What was your ISE tech highlight?

Matthew Deayton, Vega Global: 
“One thing that stood out to me was the pole dancing robot,I thought that was very amusing. Apart from that, the screens are getting brighter and the technology is just advancing.

Peter Cliff, Holovis: “For me, seeing some of the ultra-short throw lenses that can squeeze around corners was really interesting, I can think of a couple of projects where I thought that our only option was to use very fine mm pixel pitch in LED, but actually now I think projection is an option.”

David Davis, Davis Audio & Video: “I really liked the collaborative smart boards that allow for writing and sharing, working in different locations but being able to bring up the technology on the same platform and be able to view it.”

Carlos Morono, Anna Valley: “I think the interactivity side is growing quite quickly, there are people doing retrospective and other vendors are building interactivity into the design of the panels themselves, I think that’s potentially going to be a big game changer in the LED, LCD discussion. It’s obviously not going to kill the LCD discussion but it’s certainly going to enhance it, it’s a complimentary discussion point.”

Day four, the final day of ISE in Amsterdam,brought with it a feeling of joy and bittersweet reflection for people around the show floor. As the day wound down and ISE at the RAI become history, a group of AV experts shared their favourite memories.

What was your favourite Amsterdam 

Sagi Lichtenberg, Atlona“Seven years ago,we were sitting in a nice bar in the dam square and while we were sitting, the music stopped and the screens in the bar showed the news. We asked the waitress what’s going on and she said that [Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands] had abdicated and that her son would become the new king of the Netherlands. While showing the news, I was looking at the news on the screen and I saw the same journalist interviewing a woman right across the street 

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