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Article


January 19, 2012 | by Arlen Schweiger

Now that the annual madness known as CES has passed for another year, it’s time to focus on the next big electronics show.

And for someone who has never covered the show or traveled to Europe, I can’t wait for Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2012, which takes place Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in Amsterdam. “Wicked” excited, as we say in my Massachusetts neck of the woods.

When I went to CES for the first time, I was intrigued but I had also heard so many horror stories about how crowded it is that it colored some of my anticipation. Plus I’d been to Las Vegas, so it wasn’t exactly a fresh experience.

Last year after we launched Commercial Integrator, I was pretty thrilled to attend my first InfoComm. The show was described to me as bigger than CEDIA and not quite as large as CES—but without it being a zoo. The event lived up to the billing, and was extremely pleasant as far as tradeshows go; last year it was in Orlando, and I’ll be happy to head to Vegas this June for the warmer weather and less craziness than January’s CES brings.

Integrated Systems Europe was billed to me as InfoComm and CEDIA pretty much rolled into one. That’s fine by me, because I enjoy both shows.

And that should be even better for commercial integrators—including residential integrators who do work in the commercial space, which is becoming increasingly common. If they have the means (not counting the locals) and the time, what better excuse to visit Europe? You can go to the show, check out the latest products, take some education sessions, do some networking, and maybe build in some vacation time.

At last check, there were more than 800 exhibitors listed on ISE’s website. Heck, the show is so big that even some European arms of integration companies are setting up shop there with a booth, like Electrosonic and Verrex.

There are 18 CEDIA education courses, including three certification exam opportunities, and 34 InfoComm sessions with chances to earn CTS accreditation.

If you’re not already up on the latest in 3D, digital signage software, super-high-res projection, networked A/V, video conferencing and more, ISE figures to overflow your knowledge bucket with whatever you want to know.

I’ve been perusing the many press releases from exhibitors (we’ll have a product preview slideshow forthcoming), and you can expect to see plenty of innovation. In related news, there’s a dedicated Digital Signage Hall to the vendors in that surging sector.

I can already see a couple of the education sessions, like “Real World Stereoscopic 3D Applications” and “Unusual Display Applications” as potential big hits with attendees.

Plus as noted, ISE looks like a nice break opportunities for the super-busy integration community. If you’re not going this year, start planning for next year. As a Europe newbie who can’t be away for too long, I grabbed some extra time to squeeze in a day each in Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium (hey, wanted to christen my passport as much as possible).

The only downside? If you book extra travel time at the back end of your visit, you might end up watching the Super Bowl in the middle of the night. But if my anticipation is correct, that 12:30 a.m. kickoff will be well worth it.

Are you heading to ISE? Let us know, and why, in the comments section.

About the author

Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro and Commercial Integrator magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews.
View all posts by Arlen Schweiger
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