ISE Grows again!

AUTHOR: Inavate

ISE has capped five years of continuous growth with an impressive 2008 tradeshow, recording almost 22,200 attendees from across the EMEA region.

A total of 22,199 attendees (up from 16,269 in 2007) were drawn to 481 exhibiting companies (up from 363 last year) during three hectic and, at times, breathtaking days inside Amsterdam's RAI Convention Centre at the end of January. If anyone in Europe's AV and electronic systems integration business doubted that ISE was the premier event for their business, then the 2008 edition must surely have silenced them.

Huge crowds gathered at the main entrance to the RAI on the opening morning - so much so that the traditional tape-cutting ceremony had to be moved to an adjoining area. The show remained busy right up until the afternoon of the third and final day, with record numbers of AV professionals not just visiting the exhibition space, but attending manufacturer training, taking part in education sessions from ISE's two supporting trade associations, InfoComm International® and CEDIA, and enjoying the many after-show social activities, many of which were over-subscribed.

Reflecting on the speed with which ISE has risen to prominence, Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events, said: "ISE 2008's exhibition area of 38,500 gross square metres is ten times that of our inaugural show in Geneva - just four short years ago. No other event in our industry can demonstrate that kind of growth, and what is really gratifying is to see that space being filled with professional visitors, many of whom have come to ISE for the first time."

After the 2007 edition of the show, organizer Integrated Systems Events focused its PR and marketing efforts on increasing the proportion of visitors from vertical markets. The figures show this paid off, with 30% of visitors to the 2008 event coming from outside ISE's core constituency of AV integrators and contractors - up from 15% in 2007.

"Architects, interior designers, IT facilities managers, live events organisers.these are the people who will help to grow our industry in the years to come, and that's why we are so pleased to have brought so many of them to ISE in 2008," said Blackman. "What is especially pleasing is the fact that so many exhibitors designed their stands to give them extra appeal to this 'non-AV' audience. Some of the exhibits were simply stunning."

Also broadening markedly is the geographical make-up of ISE's attendee base. Once seen primarily as a show for Northern Europe, ISE now attracts substantial numbers of visitors from across the continent and beyond. Italian attendance was up almost 40% on 2007, while Spain, Portugal, and many East European countries also sent more attendees than ever.

ISE will return to Amsterdam in 2009, in the slightly later time-slot of 3-5 February.