ISE Is Moving From Amsterdam to Barcelona

It’s the worst-kept secret in the AV industry with hundreds of people openly talking about it at InfoComm. But, as we are under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with ISE (Integrated Systems Europe), we couldn’t disclose what we knew. To our readers, we apologize. rAVe will never sign another press-based NDA again.

Interestingly enough, a Spanish newspaper broke the news this morning:  ISE is moving to Barcelona in 2020. (This is wrong – it’s actually moving in 2021.) It is, of course, all about getting more exhibition space for the continuing ISE growth. Talks have been going on for some time as ISE for good reasons has been reluctant to leave Amsterdam, a city where ISE has thrived.

As press prepare to fly next week to Barcelona to hear the news directly from Mike Blackman and his organization, EL PAIS publicly confirms the general director of the Fira de Barcelona, Constantí Serrallonga, has agreed with Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) that, starting in the year 2021, ISE will be held in Barcelona.

We’ll have to wait until next week to hear ISE’s official explanations on the move. But here is what we know already…

Fira de Barcelona has two large venues that are ranked among the most important in Europe: Montjuïc and Gran Via.

Montjuïc and Gran Via are 3.5 km apart, very close to the airport and to the main access roads into Barcelona and connected to the city’s public transport network.

Overall, they have over 400,000 m2 exhibition floor space, spread over 14 pavilions and two congress centres. That compares the RAI Amsterdam’s 112,200 m² (1,207,710 sq. feet) of hireable space with 12 multi-functional halls.

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Both Barcelona venues host around 1000 events every year, from important trade shows and national and international congresses to all sorts of corporate, social, cultural and leisure functions, conferences and meetings. But it is the Mobile World Congress that has put Barcelona on the high tech map. With more than 100,000 visitors, MWC is supposed to bring in 470 million euros per year and about 13,000 temporary jobs to Barcelona.  The FIRA are expecting something similar from ISE 2020.

The Mobile World Congress (to be held February 25-28 in 2019) has a contract with the city of Barcelona until 2023, so the two major fairs will coincide (but not overlap) for at least three years in the Catalan capital. Barcelona has positioned itself as a city of technological attraction and innovation.

Barcelona has been in the press lately as Spain contends with a Catalan move to separate the region from the country. In the same issue of EL PAIS as our ISE move, an article explains Germany will extradite former premier Carles Puigdemont for misuse of public funds. A court in the northern German state of Schleswig Holstein has rejected the charge of rebellion brought by the Spanish judiciary against the ousted Catalan politician. This highlights the political tension of separatism that Spain confronts regularly from various regions.

Read ISE’s announcement here.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (, a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (, rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at