The 15th edition of ISE delivered a vibrant showcase of exhibitors and an exciting programme of events. We look back at the highlights from the final show in Amsterdam as ISE prepares for the next phase of its evolution.

ISE 2020 completed its 15-year stay at RAI Amsterdam on Friday 14 February 2020. Against a backdrop of the international health crisis and a storm sweeping across Europe, ISE 2020 delivered a vibrant exhibition floor and a compelling programme of content that included conferences, keynotes and training. The four-day show ended an exciting chapter in the exhibition’s history.

Thought leadership and expert opinion were to be found across many channels at ISE 2020, ensuring that delegates had an abundance of opportunities to ‘Learn. Discover. Be Inspired’.

Fourteen conferences in two venues addressed business strategies and technology trends across the broadest range of vertical markets ever served by an ISE professional development programme. This well-received line-up included the inaugural CEDIA Design and Build Conference, which was well attended and received excellent feedback from its audience of architects, interior designers and other design and build professionals.

Stephen Dick, Director of Residence Interior Design attended the conference. He commented: ‘The CEDIA Design and Build conference was a great event. As interior designers, we want to have an understanding of everything that can improve the homes and lives of our clients. This event was a great chance to meet industry experts and CEDIA members, to learn about the current state of smart home technology, and to get a peek at where it’s heading in the future.’

On the Main Stage, jointly organised by ISE, AVIXA, CEDIA and AV Magazine, expert speakers offered thought leadership on a wide range of topics. Attracting a diverse and talented workforce within the AV industry was the focus of a number of these sessions. BIID Member and Interior Designer, Cinzia Moretti, joined Wildwood PR’s Jeff Hayward to share insights into Wellness and Biophilia. Together they explored a number of different concepts and solutions that can make for a better, more ‘human’ indoor experience.

The largest AV Career Day ever held at ISE was an outstanding success. Over 170 students and faculty from 12 different universities across five countries took part in the event, organised by AVIXA and CEDIA. Presentations, discussions and show floor visits gave participants a real flavour of the wide variety of career paths that the industry has to offer.

AVIXA reported excellent take-up for its FlashTrack sessions, which offered 20-minute presentations on key topics across User Experience, Design, AV-IT and Emerging Trends. The association also launched its Digital Art Challenge at ISE 2020, in which digital content creators are invited to submit one-minute videos to be considered for a special big-screen showcase at ISE 2021.

The considerable efforts expended by its exhibitors in creating attractive and effective stands were celebrated in ISE’s fourth annual Stand Design Awards. Independently run by EXHIBITOR magazine and judged by a third-party panel of exhibition industry experts, the competition determined the best stands against seven criteria across four size-based categories from small (up to 49sqm) to XL (400sqm and above). The respective winners in these categories were Rocketsign, Lindy, BenQ Europe and NEC Display Solutions.

Outside the RAI, a spectacular projection mapping installation on the upper floors of the complex’s Elicium building – created by ISE and the RAI in conjunction with seven Technology Partners – presented an unmissable demonstration of AV technologies for ISE attendees and for local passers-by.

The special ¡Hola Barcelona! event held on the final day brought down the curtain on ISE’s residence at Amsterdam’s leading exhibition centre. Politicians and executives saluted the RAI venue and the City of Amsterdam while looking ahead to the future with the show’s move to the Fira de Barcelona next year.

Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events, commented: ‘This year’s show demonstrated to us just how determined our attendees were to come to ISE. Many of our exhibitors exceeded their targets for customer engagement and lead generation. The show has delivered on all fronts: as the global industry’s biggest annual forum, as a launchpad for new solutions, as a place to do business, and as a source of professional development and education.’

While attendance was understandably down against the previous year, crowds still flocked to the event. Daily attendance figures, which include exhibitors and attendees, were as follows:

• Monday 10 February (build-up, conferences and Opening Address): 11,112
• Tuesday 11 February (first day of exhibition): 27,592
• Wednesday 12 February: 34,004
• Thursday 13 February: 28,678
• Friday 14 February: 15,213

This makes a cumulative total of 116,599 visits to ISE 2020. Removing repeat visits by individuals on subsequent days gives a total of 52,128 unique attendees.

ISE 2021 will take place at the Gran Via – Fira de Barcelona from 2–5 February 2021.

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