Here we go again - Inavate previews ISE 2023

Here we go again - Inavate previews ISE 2023
Last year’s ISE show was the first step to how it will look and feel in Barcelona. This year will see the show return to its best says Paul Milligan in our show preview.

ISE 2023 will mark the second time in just nine months the entire AV industry has made its way to Barcelona in Spain. The event last year, held in mid-May (after a delay caused by Covid), marked the debut of the show at the Fira after a long association with the RAI in the Netherlands. The show, although smaller than usual, was widely viewed as a success by the AV industry, with the new spacious and modern site providing an instant hit. 

This year’s event promises to be bigger and better, with 30% more floor space sold already than 2022’s figures. As usual the show will continue a mix of exhibitors (700-plus) across a vast array of floor space (60,000 m2) for four days of the show (31 Jan-3 Feb). A full conference programme sits across all 4 days, with two keynote speakers, and a couple of new additions to keep you informed and entertained during your visit.

The conference programme takes place in a new home this year, in purpose-built conference rooms on the upper level of the Fira Gran Via. The line-up of events includes a CEDIA-produced Smart Home Technology conference, and the first ever edition of Tech Talks, which offers industry insight backed by global organisations in the business of tracking trends. Alongside familiar events such as the Digital Signage Summit, there are new summits on control rooms, education technology, smart workplace, live events, and content production and distribution to attend.

The four-day programme of events features the Smart Building Conference on 31 Jan, this year’s theme is ‘The Best Smart Tech is Yet to Come’. The conference takes place in CC4.1 and runs from 10:30-17:15.  It will explore topics including lower energy costs, healthier buildings, control and automation, and improved work environments. It will also look at the role of IT as Big Data, AI and digital twin technology change the building network landscape.

A regular at many ISE shows of the past, the Digital Signage Summit, co-produced by invidis and ISE, begins on the morning of 1 Feb in CC5.1. This year’s theme is ‘The Power of Pixels’, as usual the summit will look at relevant hot topics such as the role of digital signage in omnichannel retail, green signage and what’s next for the sector.  Also taking place on the morning of 1 Feb is the Control Rooms Summit in CC5.3. It will delve into the huge topic of data, and feature case studies and presentations from speakers from academia, supplier and user communities and focus on how to make optimum use of growing data streams in order to make critical decisions in a timely manner. Attendees of both the Control Rooms Summit and the Digital Signage Summit can also enjoy a combined networking lunch after sessions have finished.

The afternoon of 1 Feb sees the Education Technology Summit take place in room CC5.3. This year’s theme is ‘Connected, Compassionate and Creative: Edtech for a Changing World’. The summit will investigate new technologies and host discussions on the relationship between humans and digital technology. Sustainability, mental health and wellbeing, the need for compassionate pedagogy and more will also be up for discussion.

On 2 Feb, the Smart Workplace Summit will be held in CC5.1, and its theme is ‘New Priorities for the Workplace’. It will explore the latest thinking on strategies and technologies to move forward in smart workplaces. The summit will also bring together thought leaders to move past the pandemic-related uncertainty to chart specific courses of direction for companies, their integrators and their vendors.

‘The Inner Workings of the Live Events Market’ is the theme of this year’s Live Events Summit, which takes place on the afternoon of 2 Feb in CC5.3. Sessions include a look behind the scenes at a major world tour, speaking to those involved and discussing the challenge any production faces in 2023, and an exploration into how music venues will change in the coming years as well as the latest developments already impacting the live touring landscape.

Another new summit for 2023 is the Content Production and Distribution Summit, which takes place on 31 Jan in CC5.3. It will explore the strategies and technologies behind the creation, management and distribution of video content and explain how the power of a story can be unleashed to the world through the use of easy to access technology.

Aside from the main conference programme, a new series of Tech Talks, curated and produced by AVIXA, will also run throughout all four days of the show in room CC4.1. These free-to-attend sessions will cover topics including the Metaverse and how companies are factoring it into their business strategies, using video games to treat and rehabilitate patients, and the latest in innovative physical presence displays and immersive experiences. 

In accordance with recent ISE shows, there will be two keynote speakers. The first is BK Johannessen, Unreal Engine business director for broadcast and live events at Epic Games. BK’s keynote, entitled “All Paths Lead to Real-Time”, takes place at 17:15 on 31 Jan in the Conference Suite CC4.1.  As more industries adopt real-time visualisation technology, Johannessen will discuss how content creators are taking innovations from the games industry and applying them to broadcast studios, virtual production studios, live events, architecture, and more. The second keynote is from Fran Chuan, CEO and co-creator of Culture Innovation Assessment Platform, InnoQuotient. Taking place at 17:15 on 2 Feb in Conference Suite CC4.1, Chuan’s keynote, entitled ‘How innovative is the AV industry?’ will present survey results collated from registered visitors and exhibitors in the lead up to ISE 2023. The survey will pinpoint strengths, as well as identifying the gaps to provide guidance in building and improving an organisation’s culture of innovation.

As always Inavate will be present at the show in a few different forms, our stand (3P700) will feature the usual mix of hospitality (free beer) and comfort (lots of seats), and is designed to offer tired integrators a place to rest, and network with their peers at the same time. Our video offering has been rebranded this year, ( will feature an exhaustive array of videos with integrators, consultants, manufacturers, distributors and anyone else we find on the show floor you should be made aware of. This year’s Inavation Awards, is being held on the evening of the first night of the show (31 Jan) at the beautiful MNAC site in central Barcelona. Look out for interviews with many of the night’s award winners during the days following the event. 

New additions to the show this year include the Congress Square area, right in the centre of the Fira. It can be found in the central aisle between Halls 4 and 6 and Halls 5 and 7 and brings together a range of diverse partners all in one place. It is home to the Discovery Zone, International Media Showcase and the Influencer and Impact Lounges, and networking space. New for 2023, the Impact Lounge will offer visitors the chance to meet with organisations making a difference in the industry. This includes Women in Live Music (WILM) and ISE sustainability partner SAVe and The Circle Society.

In response to the growing relevance of content production and distribution technologies across the pro-AV and systems integration market, ISE 2023 will feature the debut of a dedicated area in Hall 6. The start of a long-term initiative, it will feature more than 70 exhibitors with offerings in content production and distribution that are located all around the Fira. For 2023, more space has been added to Hall 6 and exhibitors now and in the future will include suppliers of cameras, camera tracking equipment, switchers, monitors, virtual sets, video networking solutions, intercoms and audio consoles. 

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