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Editor’s comment: IBC, ISE, Covid and a new edition of Installation

Installation editor Rob Lane discusses Covid's impact on events, plus the latest mag

The latest edition of Installation is the last of 2021, and it marks the (near) end of what has been another Covid-crazy year. Whilst many of us just want to move on (or perhaps “get Covid done”), the stark reality is that this pandemic isn’t over yet. Cases are surging in Europe, and even the usually boosterish Boris Johnson has spoken of “storm clouds gathering” over the continent.

It came as no surprise when the organisers of IBC decided to cancel this year’s in-person event (December 3-6), following  the news of 150,000 new Covid cases across the Netherlands in the week leading up to November 23, and the existing partial lockdown. It’s hard to see how a “protected zone”, with a perimeter fence surrounding the RAI, would have been enough to protect everyone from the virus! The teams on Installation and its broadcast-focused sister mag TVBEurope had already decided not to attend not long after the lockdown was announced – influenced partially by the horrible two/three-week dose of Covid I endured a few weeks ago, even after being double-jabbed!

Now, of course, many of us are planning ahead for ISE 2022, and we must all hope that the situation in Europe doesn’t worsen and scupper our chances of all getting together again. The timing isn’t great of course, with the cold weather leading up to the event – and the Christmas get-togethers – giving further fuel to the virus. However, the timing might also be in our favour, with more vaccinations and boosters hopefully giving a figurative and literal shot in the arm to Europe and the UK in the weeks and months leading up to the event.

The Installation team has already started working on some of the content for The ISE Daily and the pre-show Preview. The ISE Daily is a long-standing partnership between ISE and Installation publisher Future, delivering the official show daily publication for what is still the world’s leading systems integration and AV trade show. The 2022 team is led by our own editorial director James McKeown, editor Jo Ruddock, and managing editors Michael Burns and myself. Check out the first ads for the 2022 event in the latest issue: surely even Covid wouldn’t dare stand in its way, would it?

The new issue of Installation boasts a 20-page edtech special, with a raft of features, reports and case studies covering all things AV-in-education. Our cover story promotes part two of our ‘resimercial’ investigation, looking at the growing overlaps between commercial and consumer AV. You can access parts one and two via the link at the end of the feature. (For those not in the know, should you prefer to read individual articles from this and other editions of Installation, we provide links to off-page, online versions within each feature.)

Elsewhere in the mag, we’ve an important report into diversity in AV, something we intend to return to very soon. The report is both encouraging and disappointing: we are moving in the right direction it seems, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Finally, there are the usual interviews and commentaries from industry experts, a round up of some of the news you may have missed here on, and the latest appointments. It only remains for me to wish you all a healthy rest of 2021, and I hope to see many of you in Barcelona.