ISE 2018: The World’s Largest AV Show

By Veronica Esbona
Published on: February 16, 2018

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The numbers are in and ISE did not disappoint. Yet again they broke all records in what managing director Mike Blackman called “our most successful event ever.” The event – which went to a four-day tradeshow last year to accommodate growth – hosted more than 80,000 attendees, beating last year’s numbers by 10 percent. Every single space at the RAI convention center was taken, with the addition of an entire new hall (Hall 15) to accommodate the likes of Google, Intel, and more, totaling 1,200 exhibitors – with 180 being first-time exhibitors. ISE has become the biggest AV show in the world, but perhaps too big with speculation that it has outgrown the RAI and Amsterdam and is looking for a new city in a couple of years. That said, the show’s energy was palpable and for many vendors ISE has become the launch pad for new technology and products to a global audience. Each year, the show adds more educational courses and diverse conferences that continue to attract new audiences like the TIDE Conference this year, which brought interesting discussions by European thought leaders on smart building design.

ISE is a very successful joint venture between CEDIA and AVIXA, which adds to the show’s popularity, and this year it welcomed CEDIA’s new president and CEO, Tabatha O’Connor for a great opportunity to chat with members and discuss the Association’s new strategy: “CEDIA has enjoyed a phenomenal ISE 2018,” stated O’Connor. “We are so proud to be co-owners of this amazing event. Our training program featured more than 50 classes, across business and technical topics, and certification examinations that were very well supported by the industry. Meantime, our booth was buzzing with visitors, finding out more about our new strategic plan, meeting friends from the CEDIA community, and making great, new connections. Our exciting program of CEDIA Talks at the booth also proved extremely popular. We look forward to our own CEDIA event in San Diego this coming September and a spectacular return to Amsterdam for ISE 2019.”

Dave Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, Chief Executive Officer of AVIXA commented: “What a great week here at ISE in Amsterdam. We kicked off the week with our TIDE conference and never stopped learning and connecting with the global AV community. It was very exciting to unveil our new AVIXA brand to the ISE audience and welcome attendees to our vibrant stand. Although the week has come to a close, we’re already looking forward to InfoComm 2018 and our TIDE conference this June in Las Vegas.”

Highlights of the show included: an Opening Address from architect and inventor Carlo Ratti that explored the evolution of smart building and ‘Senseable Cities’, nine dedicated B2B conferences covering a wide range of AV topics from innovation and design to theme park ‘night-time spectaculars’, a Stand Awards competition, ‘Tech Tours’ to three leading AV installations including the Amsterdam ArenA and five days of professional development programming curated and delivered by AVIXA and CEDIA.

ISE 2018 also saw the debut of the World Masters of Projection Mapping competition, a joint venture between the Amsterdam Light Festival, RAI Amsterdam and ISE. The competition saw leading video artists’ project video artworks onto the EYE Filmmuseum in the centre of the city. The competition culminated in Florian and Michael Quistrebert receiving the winner’s award for their artwork Stripes 5 on the last day of the show.

Three big trends I noticed at the show:

AV over IP. While there are many protocol options for managing AV content over Ethernet, Audinate’s Dante was clearly the most pronounced at ISE. With over 1,300 Dante-enabled solutions available, you couldn’t miss the “Dante Spoken Here” signs, including product launches from the likes of Yamaha, AKD, Allen & Heath and Focusrite.

Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality. Mixed Reality (MXR). These were major themes at the show and AR/VR is already transforming industries, such as training with simulators and marketing – think digital signage – increasingly becoming embedded with facial recognition technology to provide targeted advertising and audience awareness.

OLED. From 8K and 16K projectors to LG’s transparent OLED screen (designed for digital advertising), OLED displays were everywhere.

This show has grown so much and every year I stand amazed at how many new exhibitors and first-time attendees pack the halls. It has become the go-to AV trade show on the planet. Can’t wait for next year!

Veronica Esbona

Veronica Esbona

Veronica is the president of InGear, an integrated marketing communications agency that specializes in the consumer technology, professional and residential AV markets. With 18 years of agency experience, Veronica has worked closely with manufacturers, distributors, and dealers alike by employing creative marketing, event management and public relations strategies that effectively build brands by reaching their intended audiences and delivering results.

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