Pro AV Industry Gears Up for ISE’s 20th Anniversary Show

Published: January 15, 2024
Photo courtesy of ISE.

Big celebrations are in-store for ISE 2024, the world’s largest AV systems integration show. The upcoming show will mark its 20th anniversary. According to Integrated Systems Events’ Managing Director, Mike Blackman it will be ISE’s biggest ever event! The expanded total show floor is 30% bigger than last year, with the addition of two new halls and several special features and attractions to mark the occasion. ISE is also planning a number of special activities throughout Barcelona, including extending its partnership with the Barcelona Llum lighting festival.

Since its inception in 2004, ISE has experienced incredible growth. In 2020, the show had 1,300 exhibitors and over 116,000 visits, making it the go-to event for the AV industry. And this year, anticipation is high for an even larger number of visitors.

According to Blackman, ISE has become a crucial event in the global AV calendar. It serves as a catalyst for innovation, bringing together industry leaders, professionals, and enthusiasts to showcase the latest advancements in audiovisual technology. Not only does it reflect the current state of the industry, but it also plays a proactive role in shaping its future direction through thought leadership, product launches and strategic discussions.

The four-day extravaganza will take place from January 30 to February 2, 2024 at the Fire Barcelona Gran Via. With over 1,300 exhibitors, including more than 80 companies making their debut at ISE 2024, this is an event many integrators won’t want to miss!

ISE 2024 Features

This special edition of ISE offers a whole range of exciting and inspiring features including:

  • Just over 7,500 square feet (700 square meter) drone arena
  • ISE Audio Museum, featuring Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon PA and Pompeii PA by WEM and many other gems of audio history
  • America’s Cup Team New Zealand land yacht on the show floor
  • ISE Time Tunnel, marking 20 years of technology developments at ISE
  • Plug and Play Stage, with a series of keynotes, panel discussions and fireside chats and the opportunity for start-ups to showcase their solutions on stage
  • ISE Tech Tours that will take visitors behind the scenes at key Barcelona installations
  • ISE Treasure Hunt to unlock prizes on the show floor
  • Barcelona Extravaganza – ISE 2024 offers visitors a unique mix of business and leisure against the vibrant backdrop of Barcelona

Technology Zones

two women gazing at projection at ISE 2023

Photo courtesy of ISE.

The Technology Zones, such as the Content Production & Distribution Zone introduced in 2023, serve to group related technologies and make it easier for attendees to explore specific areas of interest. Exhibitors also benefit from being clustered together, fostering collaboration and attracting visitors with complementary needs. The full list of Technology Zones for ISE 2024 is the following:

  • Lighting & Staging (Hall 1)
  • Residential & Smart Building (Hall 2)
  • Unified Communications & Education Technology (Hall 2)
  • Multi-Technology (Halls 3, 4 & 5)
  • Content Production & Distribution (Hall 4)
  • Digital Signage & DooH (Hall 6)
  • Audio (Hall 7)
  • ISE Sound Experience with Audio Demo Rooms in Hall 8.0
  • ISE Outdoor Sound Experience, located between Hall 3 and 4

AVIXA’s Pam Taggart, vice president of content development at AVIXA, says, “If you’re an audio expert, this is the year to be at ISE with the greatly expanded ISE Sound Experience, more demo rooms than ever before, the Audio Museum exhibit, Tech Talks on audio at the Sphere (in Spanish), and audio experts show floor tour (in German), and multiple conference sessions. You could easily spend all four days just absorbing audio!”

“If it’s disruptive tech and innovation you’re interested in, there are more than 15 sessions on AI,” says Taggart. “From the AI impact on conferencing audio to discussions at Xchange LIVE about who owns what AI creates, you could build an entire agenda just around this topic. Multiple presentations on cybersecurity, case studies on the new workplace with contributions from IFMA, the changing regulatory landscape of sustainability — it’s a packed agenda that carries right through the final show day,” she says.

On Friday, CEDIA and AVIXA will jointly host a Sustainability Workshop for integrators and others to start assembling their own plan. As a capstone, also on Friday, both associations have concentrated multiple events into the AV Career Day at ISE with student tours, workforce development presentations on the Tech Talks stage in Hall 4, and a job fair.

“There is truly so much going on – you can tailor the show experience to exactly your needs and you will find it,” says Taggart.

Sustainability in AV (SAVe) & The Inaugural European / Latin American AV Summit (ELAS)

SAVe ELAS 2024 poster


After Sustainability in AV (SAVe), the U.S.-based organization to bring stakeholders together in the AV field to take concerted action to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), introduced itself to ISE’s audience at ISE 2023, the interest and enthusiasm it generated prompted the creation of the SAVe Ambassadors program, which today includes industry leaders from a growing number of countries, including Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.

Among its activities at ISE 2024, SAVe will host a SAVe Ambassador event, provide short overview presentations highlighting its efforts to advance sustainability in pro AV, and host a happy hour networking reception in partnership with Edge in Room D1 banquet Room, Wednesday, January 31 from 4-6 p.m.

Related: SAVe to Host Inaugural ELAS at ISE 2024

In addition, SAVe has been named the official sustainability partner of the inaugural European / Latin American AV Summit (ELAS) and will host the session, “The Sustainable Development Goals and the AV Industry.” Panelists for this presentation will include Christina De Bono, founder and president of SAVe; Juan Carlos Medina, SAVe Ambassador for Mexico and CEO of Guadalajara-based Viewhaus AV; Juan Carlos Gutierrez, SAVe Ambassador for Colombia and founder / CEO of Bogota-based Integración AV; and Cristiano Masso, SAVe ambassador for Brazil and partner at São Paulo-based Discabos Group.

SAVe will be located in Congress Square at Booth CS220, right at the heart of the Fira Barcelona. The Congress Square location can be found in the central aisle between Halls 4 and 6 and Halls 5 and 7.

Current Trends & Future Direction of the AV industry

The AV industry is experiencing a pivotal moment, and ISE 2024 is right in the midst of it. Sean Wargo, vice president of Market Intelligence at AVIXA, says, “Up to this point we’ve been mostly benefiting from growth associated with a recovery from the pandemic induced recession. Right at the crux of that was the conferencing and collaboration solution area, exemplified by the Unified Communications tech zone. In fact, it was one of the few solution areas that did not decline during the pandemic, instead growing. And while it is still likely to represent the largest amount of revenue for integrators in 2024, other areas will grow faster.” He notes most notable among them are live events and performance/entertainment which represent the temporary and fixed installation aspects of the same trend — the return to in-person.

He continues, “This means that the audio and lighting & staging areas should see some increased activity this year as the underlying technologies see strong growth, translating to opportunity for AV providers, as represented by the latest trends in AVIXA’s Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA). A related and sometimes intertwined opportunity exists in content production and distribution, which is benefiting from increased investment by enterprises in their capabilities for the creation of content to engage their audiences, customers, employees, shoppers or visitors. Not just limited to a venue, where content is often distributed around the premises or out to remote audiences, this is now visible more in the corporate world as a part of social outreach. Virtual production represents the high end here, but this scales down to the integration of better cameras, mics, and lighting to facilitate improved production quality. In all, it’s an area to watch as a creative use case for surplus space in offices and another offering from integration firms,” says Wargo.

Advice for First Time Visitors to ISE 2024

First-time exhibitors and attendees at ISE are strongly encouraged to plan and use their time at ISE wisely.

two men looking at display mounts at ISE 2023

Photo by Benjamin Arthur/Courtesy of ISE

“In my opinion, to get the most out of your show, you need to come in with a plan, and you need to come for multiple days. The earlier you register, the more choices you have in the conferences and tours that can sell out closer to the show. If you know you want to attend, but want to keep your flexibility, consider the All Conference Pass to get your seats now and be able to step in and out of any of the conferences at the show,” advises Taggart.

David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, CEO of AVIXA advises, “At 300 exhibitors a day, you’ll have about 70 seconds per exhibitor if you want to see them all. At that pace, there’s no possibility whatsoever that you’ll extract the value that you could. So, you have to make decisions on where you spend your time. Make them with as many factors in mind as you can: the geography of the floor, the priority of your needs, the level of your current knowledge. Think it all through. Going from Hall 1 to Hall 8 and back to Hall 1 is obviously not an efficient path. That said, leave room for discovery and serendipitous encounters within your plan. These are among the most memorable of ISE experiences if not the most valuable.”

Blackman says, “Identify key conferences you want to attend, exhibitors you want to meet, or networking sessions you want to be present at, this way you’ll be able to come away from the show experience feeling fulfilled. I’d recommend attending for the full duration, January 30 to February 2,2024. A great way to explore new technologies and the city is attending the ISE Tech Tours that will take visitors behind the scenes at key Barcelona installations.”

He continues, “As for Barcelona, the city offers a rich tapestry of experiences. Don’t miss the iconic Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, or Park Güell for their architectural brilliance. As for the food, there’s so much to choose from – you can’t go wrong with the traditional cuisine. Barcelona’s blend of culture, history, and gastronomy is fantastic, providing a perfect backdrop for both business and leisure during your time at ISE.”

Labuskes adds, “Have a great dinner or a wonderful reunion with old colleagues at a restaurant or a club – don’t waste this opportunity on being alone for that week beyond the space you need for personal wellness. Reconnect with an old friend or make a new friend and above all, share a little kindness with a hospitality worker either at the Fira, your hotel or during that dinner. A little more kindness will have an ROI for all of us!”

Stay up to date with the latest information about ISE 2024 on Commercial Integrator’s ISE 2024 hub page.

Posted in: News

Tagged with: ISE, ISE 2024

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