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ISE 2013: A Major Focus on Smart Buildings
Annual gathering in Amsterdam has become must-see attraction for savvy integrators since CEDIA and InfoComm partnered on show in 2007.

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ISE 2013 Preview
ISE 2013 will feature a model smart building, which will serve as a showcase for a wide array of energy efficient technologies.
January 25, 2013 | by D. Craig MacCormack

Since it was launched in 2004, Integrated Systems Europe has seen its attendance figures grow and its importance in the industry rise every year. ISE 2013 marks the 10th ISE show and it promises to be another popular stop for those eager to see the technologies that could change their lives.

ISE, a partnership between CEDIA and InfoComm International since 2007, runs from Jan. 29 to 31 in Amsterdam and is expected to bring more than 800 exhibitors on more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit hall floor space with more than 1,000 new products, in addition to classes, special events and keynote presentations.

ISE managing director Mike Blackman has seen a shift in how the show is viewed by attendees, media members and others, but says organizers still try to preserve its roots as well.

“The intention was always for ISE to be a European show, and it still has a very European flavor,” he says. “But I think the sheer scale, diversity and potential of the European market have surprised manufacturers and other stakeholders who are not headquartered here. The result has been that our attendance now exceeds that of either InfoComm or CEDIA Expo – the flagship shows of our co-owning trade associations in the U.S.

The convenient location is a major draw, Blackman says.

“We benefit from a location, Amsterdam, which is less than a two-hour flight from a huge number of population centers, each with its own business culture and very defined set of industry players,” says Blackman. “It is much less common for an integration firm to be active on a pan-European level than it is for companies to operate nationwide in the U.S.”

That geographic diversity has been one of ISE’s strengths in the turbulent economic environment of recent years, he says.

“When one or other of our regions has been treading water, others have been on the rise,” says Blackman. “I think the fact that we embrace both commercial and residential markets also helps. Around 50 percent of our visitors are active in both markets, which is a big contrast with the States. This creates a show floor with a great variety of technologies and solutions, and a range of networking opportunities that we believe is unrivaled anywhere in the world.”

Attendees Will Be Busy
Globally renowned cyber-illusionist Marco Tempest will present the keynote address on the eve of ISE 2013. Tempest’s presentation, “Inventing the Impossible,” will address the use of illusion as a creative tool and how it can be used to bring seemingly impossible scenarios to life.

Several other pre-show events are scheduled, including the Smart Building Conference, which will focus on how designers and A/V integrators can maximize the energy efficiency and find the most effective ways to link building control systems of the projects on which they work.

“Our location makes it easy for attendees to fly into the show early in the morning and leave the same evening, but in all honesty, ISE is now much too big to see in a single day,” says Blackman. “Additionally, we have pre-show events such as our inaugural Smart Building Conference, keynote address by the globally renowned cyber-illusionist Marco Tempest and ISE’s 10th birthday party all taking place on the eve of the show. So there’s really every incentive for people to arrive early, book a night or two in a hotel and really see everything that ISE has to offer. Most newcomers who give the show only a day end up coming back for a longer stay the following year, and that really tells its own story.”

During the show, CEDIA and InfoComm will be well represented in the ISE Education Zone, with CEDIA adopting the theme “Developing Good Business Practice” and InfoComm University will offer educational opportunities in over 25 topics.

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About the author

Craig MacCormack is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years experience covering local and national news and sports as well as architecture and engineering. He joined Commercial Integrator in January 2011. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigMacCormack.
View all posts by D. Craig MacCormack
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