ISE takes a hit on visitor numbers as it bids ’˜Vaarwel’ to Amsterdam

After 15 years, Integrated Systems Europe has held its final show at the RAI Amsterdam, concluding with a special ¡Hola Barcelona! event on the 14th February 2020. However, disruption to this year’s event resulted in visitor numbers being down against last year.

Although another great show for the AV industry, the international health crisis and a storm that hit Europe caused a lot of disruption to the show, causing visitors and some exhibitors to make last minute cancellations. 

Due to the issues surrounding this year’s show, ISE organisers have decided to change how they measure and report attendance. Historically, pre-show and on-site registration figures have been released. However, due to many pre-registered people unable to attend at the last minute, or deciding not to attend, the show organisers are instead reporting actual visits to ISE 2020, and plan to use this metric going forward. 

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Therefore, organisers have released the following as daily attendance figures, which include exhibitors and attendees:
- Monday 10th February (build-up, conferences and Opening Address): 11,112
- Tuesday 11th February (first day of exhibition): 27,592
- Wednesday 12th February: 34,004
- Thursday 13th February: 28,678
- Friday 14th February: 15,213

This amounts to a total of 52,128 unique attendees across the week, with people making 116,599 repeat visits to ISE 2020. 

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With no data on unique visits from last year, it is impossible to see the true impact on ISE 2020, but it is fair to say the halls were quieter this year. Having said that, many exhibitors have reported that although they had less visitors to the stand, they were still happy with the footfall and having less visitors meant they were able to have longer, quality conversations with attendees and potential customers. 

ISE’s managing director, Mike Blackman commented: “This year’s show demonstrated to us just how determined our attendees were to come to ISE. Many of our exhibitors exceeded their targets for customer engagement and lead generation. The show has delivered on all fronts: as the global industry’s biggest annual forum, as a launchpad for new solutions, as a place to do business, and as a source of professional development and education.”

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¡Hola Barcelona!
With the show moving to the Gran Via – Fira de Barcelona next year, it is unclear how attendee figures will compare to previous years. However, during ISE 2020, over 950 exhibitors booked their stands for 2021, with 61,968 square metres of stand space sold by the close of the show. This equates to 82% of the available show floor for ISE 2021 and approximately 115% of this year’s exhibition space. 

With extra space, organisers are adding extra Technology Zones to reflect the growing number of vertical markets ISE serves. The new additions include Live Events and Lighting, Broadcast, and VR/AR/XR.

Next year’s content programme will be made up of three new strands produced by TNW (The Next Web). The new cooperation between ISE and TNW was announced on the first day of this year’s show, with the aim to bring the best of technology and innovation to ISE 2021. 

The content programme will focus on technology and its impact on society: Growth Quarters, Startup City Summit and The Assembly. 

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Charity support
As part of its goodbye to Amsterdam, ISE has engaged support from its global community in a charitable project for the Emma Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the Amsterdam University Medical Centre. 

Several AV brands and a CEDIA Award-winning installer, Woelf, are working together to create an entertainment room at Het Jeroen Pit Huis, the new transitional care unit for chronically ill children and their families. 

During the ¡Hola Barcelona! ceremony on the last day of the show, ISE organisers presented the head of the Emma Children’s Hospital, Prof. Dr. Hans van Goudoever, with a popcorn machine to go in their new entertainment room when it is ready. 

Building preparations for the facility are starting in Spring 2020, with completion scheduled for the end of 2021. The project is also supported by Crestron, an ISE 2020 Platinum Sponsor. 

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