Update from rAVe Editor Sara Abrons:
We reached out to AVIXA to see how the rescheduling of ISE would affect InfoComm and if there were any plans to delay, with ISE moving to June, the same month InfoComm is scheduled to take place. Rochelle Richardson, senior vice president of expositions and events for AVIXA, said that they are moving ahead with both ISE and InfoComm taking place in June of 2021 and that there are not plans to move InfoComm at this time. “We have been looking at third party research … and the confidence levels for events in the May/June timeframe are good … with input from all of the key stakeholders, we made a collaborative decision to postpone ISE,” said Richardson. She said they looked closely at attendance from past shows, and saw that less than 5% of attendees at ISE are from the U.S., and that less than 11% of InfoComm’s attendees are from Europe.
This attendance strategy makes sense for the attendees, but that’s not going to help the exhibitors that normally attend both shows and will have to make difficult decisions regarding budgets and product announcements. When asked about that, Richardson said, “We are still getting our arms around [the exhibitor situation] … the companies have a lot of questions and we still don’t know dates. As soon as we know the dates, we’ll get a better idea of how this will inform our exhibitor population.” AVIXA plans to work with exhibitors on a case-by-case basis to figure out their best options — Richardson said that more information, particularly for exhibitors, would be released as soon as the new dates for ISE were finalized.
This year and the COVID-19 pandemic have obviously left everyone in a difficult and unpredictable situation, and it puts large event organizers like AVIXA in an impossible, no-win situation. There’s a lot of different interests to consider and it’s probably not possible to come up with a solution that satisfies all of an event’s major stakeholders. Everyone wants to be attending in-person events again — as soon as it’s safe. It’s just nobody actually knows when that will be. For AVIXA and its partners, February felt too soon to be realistic, but June seems possible, a safer bet. Hopefully this is the last time, at least for ISE and InfoComm, that this choice has to be made.
After a period of consultation with the industry and the impact of the ongoing pandemic, Integrated Systems Events announce that ISE, scheduled for Feb. 2-5, has been postponed and will now take place in June, dates to be determined, alongside a virtual offering.
Additionally, ISE will launch RISE Digital, a regular program of content and networking events which will run throughout the year and support the live show.
Today, Integrated Systems Events released the following statement:
“We’ve been monitoring the conditions in Europe since the beginning of this year and have worked hard on your behalf to balance health and safety concerns with the need for commerce and F2F interaction. These two factors have had shifting weight throughout the calendar year and although we’ve felt confident and hopeful regarding delivering this show in February, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best option for all of us is to delay the show edition until June 2021.”
“The health and safety of our team, exhibiting companies, industry partners and attendees is our number one priority,” said Mike Blackman, managing director, Integrated Systems Events. “Given the understandable concerns among all of our stakeholders regarding coronavirus, and the uncertainty regarding travel restrictions and country lockdowns, we have concluded it is not prudent to maintain our original schedule of an in-person February 2021 trade show.”
“From our many conversations, it is clear the industry can’t wait to get back together doing business face to face and we are committed to delivering an engaging and safe in-person ISE in 2021. We feel by moving the event to June, it provides time for the industry to adapt and restore balance. We look forward to hosting the global AV community in our new home in Barcelona.”
Fira de Barcelona Chairman Pau Relat said: “From Fira de Barcelona we highly value ISE’s strong commitment to Barcelona and, in moments as complex as the current ones, the decision to postpone the event for a few months in order to ensure the best possible edition with the largest international participation of companies and visitors, will be very positive both for attendees and for the city. We will keep on working together to ensure that a leading event such as the ISE has a great first edition in its new home in Barcelona in 2021.”
David Labuskes, CEO, AVIXA commented “AVIXA is proud to be a partner with CEDIA in delivering ISE to the audiovisual industry each year. We full support ISE’s decision to postpone the first show in Barcelona until June 2021. This isn’t a trivial undertaking and has thousands of moving parts, but in making this decision, ISE reaffirms their commitment to the health of all those who participate in these events from the taxi cab driver to the exhibitor teams. And all of those same people will be even more committed to be a part of the extravaganza that ISE promises to be.”
Tabatha O’Connor, CEO, CEDIA added “We are eager to gather as a community once again at ISE 2021, the decision to postpone was made after careful and thorough consideration. We know moving the show to June will provide the time and resource needed to ensure the show is both safe to attend and can deliver on the exceptional experience that ISE is known for, fostering opportunities to learn, discover, and be inspired by the technology that is driving our industry forward.”