Following our latest piece on trends expected at ISE, we at CI took a long pause and thought, “what about the poor, unfortunate souls who think they’re going to step out on the Integrated Systems Europe show floor for the first time and get around easily?”
The RAI convention center in Amsterdam is not exactly conducive to first-time visitors… Heck, it’s not exactly conducive to tenth-time visitors. Just ask Mike Blackman, the managing director of Integrated Systems Europe.
The guy manages the largest trade show in pro AV… so I guess we can understand if he’s a bit straightforward with us. “Wear your trainers!” was the first bit of advice he gave on how to get around at ISE.
But there’s a bit more to it than that.
Here’s some advice for first timers (and those who’ve already been) to Integrated Systems Europe:
Prioritize Before the First Day
Though Blackman recommends visiting for a full four days, he does admit it is impossible to see all of ISE even in that amount of time. So having a plan beforehand is non-negotiable!
Take note of whom and what you must see. Set up a spreadsheet of appointments and visits. Prioritize — then, when you have time, you can wander.
If You’re Traveling to ISE in a Group…
Good for you! This means you’ll be able to split up and cover more ground. Don’t go around together on the first day — rather, cover different sectors in smaller divisions, then meet up at the end-of-day and discuss what you think should be seen by everyone.
Use the ISE App!
Let’s face it: you’ll be too busy interacting with clients and the commercial tech you came to see, but if you’re going to stare at your phone for anything, the ISE App is a perfectly understandable reason.
We think the most useful feature has to be the map. Sure, you’ll receive a map at the door, but that piece of paper won’t give you directions like the app will. And believe us: you’ll need the guidance.
Available on all platforms, the Integrated Systems Europe app is an invaluable tool which also features:
- full agenda and ability to create a personalized plan using the session info
- info on each of the 1,200+ exhibitors
- show news pulling from social media channels
- activity feed showing what people are saying, photos, and trending session topics
- waiting times at all of the on-site restaurants
Take heed: whether you use the app or the complimentary show plan, you need at least one to navigate the show.
“The RAI exhibition center floor plan, the RAI is NOT an easy building. It was built over a period of time, piecemeal. In Europe, we don’t do grids. It’s easy to get lost without a plan,” Blackman warns.
Come Towards the End of the Week
If you don’t have lots of time to dedicate to the show, come during the final couple of days. Exhibitors will be more relaxed as their initial rush on the first and second day will be behind them.
You’ll therefore likely receive more attention… and you’ll certainly have an easier time navigating the RAI.