Dec/Jan 2020

ISE’s Mike Blackman on the show’s widening appeal

Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events, talks about ISE 2020 and why the show has become the ‘must attend’ event for users of AV technology as well as for AV industry professionals.

At the last ISE, we had over 81,000 visitors – and we expect more in 2020. In 2019, we had 56,100 sq m of net exhibit space, and that will increase in 2020 by over 800 sq m. Two important changes for this year

are that the Hall 5 extension has been made larger and permanent, while Hall 14 will be the home of a new Innovation Zone – a specially designed area for companies that are new to ISE to showcase their technology. The ISE Main Stage theatre will relocate to Hall 14.

What’s new in the way of conferences and professional development? All the conferences held at ISE 2019 will be back in 2020 – covering smart buildings, XR, digital signage, digital cinema,

hospitality, visitor attractions,

stadiums and pro audio, plus AVIXA’s two What’s Next... conferences, focusing on enterprise and higher education. In addition, we have a couple of new ones – the Control Rooms Summit and the CEDIA Design & Build Conference. As well as this, AVIXA is running 20-minute FlashTrack sessions on its

stand. CEDIA has a four-day programme of training sessions, beginning on the Monday with a workshop on cybersecurity, as well as hosting free CEDIA Talks on its stand.

What are the challenges presented by the event having become so big? One of the biggest is ensuring that visitors can easily locate what they’re looking for – and relevant exhibitors can easily be found. One of the ways we’ve addressed that is with the creation of six Technology Zones – for audio and live events, digital signage and DooH, education,

residential, smart buildings and unifi ed communication. The Technology Zones mean that visitors can quickly locate the part of the show where they’ll fi nd the technology and product trends that are most relevant to their interests.

The ISE app has proved a big hit with visitors, and its wayfi nding features are a key part of that. How has the average ISE visitor profi le changed over the years? Back when we fi rst started, our audience almost exclusively comprised systems integrators and other AV channel

professionals. Increasingly, though, the show has become a destination for end- users; our exhibitors want to engage directly with them, as well as meeting their existing and prospective channel partners. Today, ISE has become as much of a ‘must attend’ event for end- users as it is for the channel.

What trends in technology should visitors to ISE 2020 look for? ISE 2020 will provide evidence of the rise of LED-based screens. They have advantages over LCD – and prices are dropping rapidly. It will also be interesting to see the progress that OLED technology has made. Visitors should look out too for new generations of application-specifi c projectors. On audio: object-based sound will be heard everywhere.

Smeg UK appoints Acting Head of Products

Smeg UK has announced the appointment of Laura Jones as Acting Head of Products. She will oversee all categories within the company’s product portfolio during Lucy Dunstan’s maternity leave.

Ms Jones will focus particularly on Smeg’s extensive range cooking and built-in appliance ranges, making the most of her previous experience in these critical business areas. She joins the manufacturer with a wealth of industry experience. Having previously held the position of Product Manager at Miele for eight years, she also worked at Le Creuset for a further

four years in the same role. Ms Jones will strengthen Smeg’s product team and will be instrumental in bringing new products to market and supporting its trade channels and customers identifying key product ranges, supporting new introductions and stock profi ling. Speaking of her appointment, Smeg UK Commercial Director, Jill Ashford, commented: “It is a great pleasure to have Laura on board. She knows our industry very well and has a wealth of knowledge she can bring to the team. We look forward to working with her.”


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