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.