Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), the joint venture between CEDIA and AVIXA (formerly InfoComm) announced this week that the show held earlier this month set several records, including the number of exhibitors, number of new exhibitors, the number of attendees and the number of first time attendees. While CEDIA struggles to pull in 20,000 attendees, ISE tops 80,000 visitors.
With the growth of ISE, should you consider attending?
This year, the ISE show was held in the RAI Amsterdam on February 6-9, 2018. Much like the CEDIA Expo, this event combines exhibitor displays, educational classes, and keynote addresses by industry leaders. However, the scale is significantly larger, as evidenced by the fact that the show is spread amongst 15 separate halls.
According to ISE, there were a total of 1,296 exhibitors or almost 9% more than the 1,192 in last year’s event. Of this total, ISE notes that 294 or 23% of all exhibitors were new. That’s right, more than one out of five exhibitors were new this year.
Double-Digit Attendance Increase
The total number of attendees was said to be 80,923 or 10.3% more than the 73,413 who showed up at the show last year. The show promoters note that almost one out of every three attendees were first time attendees (30%).
“It’s been a great show that has delivered on all fronts,” said Mike Blackman, Integrated Systems Events Managing Director, in a prepared statement. “I’m delighted to report that visitor numbers and exhibitor satisfaction have both been very high.”
Dave Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA, of ISE said “What a great week.” Tabatha O’Connor, CEO of CEDIA called ISE 2018 “phenomenal.”
Should You Attend ISE? Maybe…
So should you attend ISE 2019? Well, that really depends on your situation. First of all, are you doing business outside of the United States? ISE takes place in Amsterdam and really represents Europe primarily, and to a lesser degree, the rest of the world. So if you are a small local entity, doing business exclusively or primarily is your immediate local market – then ISE is likely not for you.
Also, it can depend on just exactly what business you are in. ISE is something like 70-80% commercial. Interpolating that, if you are predominantly in the residential business, only about 20-30% of this show would potentially apply to you. In Europe, most integrators are doing both residential and commercial…and we mean real commercial, not just coffee shops and restaurants. Here in the U.S., integrators tend to specialize in one discipline or the other.
Local Sellers? Maybe No Global Marketers? Most Likely
Yes, new products are often introduced at ISE, but these are usually commercial models and designed to the standards of the international markets. So in the case of most U.S. residential integrators, it likely won’t make much sense to take the time away from your business to fly to Europe and attend ISE. Unless, you want a mini-European vacation with a couple of days spent playing with tech gear.
On the other hand, manufacturers and distributors who complete on an international basis, will likely find ISE beneficial. Most major and many minor manufacturers compete globally and ISE is a great opportunity to meet these foreign integrators, as well as your overseas distributors.
Many U.S. Shows Can Fill the Needs of Most Integrators
At the end of the day, most companies participating in the custom integration business will find that the CEDIA Expo, as well as some regional shows and buying group events, are more than sufficient to meet their needs to see new products, meet their manufacturing partners, and take some needed educational courses.
Agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below this article.
Learn more about ISE by visiting: www.iseurope.org.