COVID-19 Update

AV Industry Research Highlights Value of In-Person Events

ISE, AVIXA and CEDIA market research finds that AV professionals are eager to attend face-to-face events in 2021.

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AV Industry Research Highlights Value of In-Person Events

As you might expect, AVTweeps around the world can’t wait to get together in person again—as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Integrated Systems Europe commissioned research in October that, targeted AV professionals to evaluate visitor appetites for conferences and events following COVID-19.

The research, completed before news of a COVID-19 vaccine, was carried out by Fusion-Insight to gauge interest in face-to-face, digital and hybrid event formats. The results show that 98% of the audience missed attending in-person AV industry events.

ISE was forced to postpone its Barcelona debut in February 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the absence of in-person events, there has been a sharp rise in digital events to fulfil education, networking, and profiling agendas.

ISE launched its own series of digital events called RISE Spotlight.

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“Virtual events are useful for lead generation, deepening customer relationships and building brand profile but live experiences such as touching, seeing and hearing AV products, are yet to be replicated,” said the ISE announcement.

Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2021 is now scheduled to be at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Vía June 1-4, 2021.

The ISE research consisted of a web-based survey sent to ISE’s database and a collection of in-depth interviews with ISE exhibitors. The survey generated 711 completed responses analyzed and used within the research by Fusion Insight and Strategy.

People from 96 countries (71% of respondents were based in Europe, 13% North America, 8% Asia, 5% Middle-East, 1% Central and South America, 1% Australia and New Zealand, 1% Africa) responded to the survey with 95% having attended ISE before (60% in February 2020).

ISE 2021 Postponement, ISE Barcelona, Integrated Systems Europe

Inside the ISE Numbers

Findings show that 98% of the research audience missed attending events, with 42% of these missing meeting and networking with people the most, 32% missing the live experience of products, and 21% missing the direct exchange with suppliers and customers.

Almost 70% of the audience is ready to attend in-person trade shows and 57% would be ready to visit international ones. Given that this research was conducted before news of a vaccine, it shows a desire to get back out to physical events again.

As well as the independent market research study, ISE also spoke to key exhibitors who also confirmed their desire to return to in-person activities.

“We felt it very important to listen to our industry in shaping our offering for 2021 and so we commissioned independent market research specialists to conduct this intelligence project for us,” said Integrated Systems Europe managing director Mike Blackman.

“The results clearly demonstrate that, for an industry at the cutting edge of immersive technologies, there is no substitute to the touch-see-hear experiences that are at the heart of the AV industry and shows such as ISE,” he said.

“We are working very hard towards the goal of ISE2021 in Barcelona in June next year and it is reassuring to confirm that strong demand is there too,” said Blackman.

“The annual calendar of trade shows provides a rhythm and cadence to our ever-changing and advancing industry,” said AVIXA CEO David Labuskes in the ISE announcement. “As individuals move in and out of roles within the industry, these shows have always provided a touchpoint that allows us to reconnect with the people we do business with.

“I am certain that all of our past and future attendees are anxious to meet again in person soon, and the research reinforces that emotion,” he said.

“The incalculable value of ISE to the exhibitors as a platform for engagement and thought leadership and to the attendees as a community from which to learn and grow compels us to do everything in our power to ensure that there will be a safe return of ISE in 2021 and an exciting debut in Barcelona,” said Labuskes.

“In our industry, the experience is everything,” said CEDIA co-CEO Giles Sutton in the ISE announcement. “Home technology products need to be touched, seen and heard if integrators are to recommend and specify them on projects for their customers.

“More than that, our industry is a community that benefits from meeting, talking and build relationships with others as well as the opportunity to learn from experts at in-person training. These are all massively important factors for professional integrators who want to grow their knowledge and continue to do good business. That’s why we support the safe return of the ISE event in June 2021.”