By Gordon Dutch
Re-Sauce Sales & Business Consultancy Ltd
As I am sure regular rAVe readers will know, the regular ISE 2021 show in Barcelona planned for February 2021 was initially moved back to June 2021 and then canceled this year due to COVID. Shortly after, ISE announced a series of regional roadshows starting in early June in Barcelona, going on to Munich, Amsterdam and finishing in London, alongside a “Digital” ISE offering. Unfortunately due to ongoing COVID restrictions, Munich and Amsterdam were canceled. However, Barcelona launched as planned, (including the digital content) and London was able to run due to the U.K.’s advanced vaccination program.
The London Roadshow was held over two days, June 23-24, at Evolution in Battersea Park. There were over 20 physical exhibitors on display, including a number of well-established brands such as Barco and Panasonic.
In the first exclusive interview with rAVe the morning after the event closed, Mike Blackman, managing director at ISE, confirmed that the physical attendee numbers to London were around 1,000 unique visitors, with Wednesday being the busier day, but a number of attendees returned for a second day.
These physical events were billed by ISE as a chance for brands to not only display some new and exciting products at the roadshows but just as importantly, a chance for people and brands to come together and network “live again.”
Due to the limited numbers of physical attendees expected, many brands opted for a fairly low-profile booth, using the shell scheme provided to display a small range of products and often using rented flat panels and trolleys to run pre-recorded content. Many booths incorporated seating areas for customers to join them for refreshments and network, however there were a few brands who invested further.
Here’s a brief look at the show floor:
Let’s take a closer look at the different stands. As you entered the show, the first brand you encountered was Igloo Vision. Igloo is a fairly new business that offers a highly immersive meeting room experience and also plans to be at InfoComm.
As you continued down the hall, SnapAV and Control4 had a stand showing just a small selection of the vast product ranges the companies offer and revealed that they are about to re-launch as a new company (and they did — Snap One), more on that to follow in the next few weeks.
At the Shure booth, James Hill took us through the Microflex Ecosystem — and also debuted the Stem Ecosystem.
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Panasonic showed an impressive range of 4K projection, as did Lang — the company debuted an all-new projection screen.
BrightSign shared a stand with Nexmosphere and showed a range of “nontouch” sensors that allow users to change content by moving their hands across the front of the sensors, rather than actually having to touch any buttons or screens. Clearly, something that attracted a lot of interest in the light of the current COVID situation.
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Ashton Bentley showed a couple of integrated VC solutions and a number of other small booths displayed products and services from brands such as Jetbuilt, Digital Projection, Taylorleds, Logical Solutions and Ring.
We have been looking forward to in-person trade shows for a long time, and #ISE2021 allowed our team to experience them again.
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On the other side of the main stage, Barco had a stand mainly designed for customer hospitality.
Biamp, Jabra, DTEN and Wolfvision were all showing new products physically for the first time.
Our team traveled all the way to @ISE_Show 2021 in London and it was worth the trip! Check out @WolfVision_EU's booth that features an active learning solution. Interested? Check out this video that explains what it is: https://t.co/qRzgfdn50V.#highered #ISE2021 #AVtweeps pic.twitter.com/PmFqMzodYf
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The main stage offered a chance to watch a number of fascinating speakers, which is detailed on the ISE site. For virtual attendees, however, the digital part of that content is planned to be available until the end of the year. According to Mike Blackman, over 8,000 unique users have already spent time reviewing that content.
Finally, ISE built an ISE bar aptly named Eve O’Lution Irish Pub; this became very much the networking hub for attendees and exhibitors alike later in the day.
So, all in all, it was certainly a very different event to the main ISE in scale and exhibitors, but for those who attended, it did provide a great chance to see some new products in the flesh, and — most importantly — get to meet up with customers, friends and colleagues again.
Later on that night, many of the exhibitors and attendees gathered together outside in a local pub all socially distanced to watch the Euro’s soccer tournament only to see Germany beat Hungary and set up a next round clash with England — and that certainly provided another talking point at the show the next morning (along with a few sore heads).