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ISE 2018 preview: conferences and events

ISE 2018 has a bigger programme of conferences and events than ever before. Here’s our second preview of what will be on offer in Amsterdam in February.

The event programme at ISE 2018 is a mixture of tried and tested favourites and brand-new events. Among the latter is blooloopLIVE, a new experiential-themed conference that will debut on the Friday of ISE 2018. This half-day event will explore the trends in delivering night-time spectaculars for visitor attractions, and cover the latest technologies and innovations that are facilitating this drive. Operators and leading AV players will present key examples of successful events.

A highlight of the conference will be Philippe Bergeron, CEO of leading projection-mapping group Paintscaping, discussing his world-renowned work. Bergeron has worked across the world with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry on live projection mapping events. His varied career has also included computer animation and acting roles in The Sopranos and Iron Man.

Starting at 09:30 in Room E102 on Friday 9 February, blooloopLIVE will conclude just before the winners of the World Masters of Projection Mapping competition are announced at the show.

Charles Read, managing director of blooloop, comments: “With key developments in the attractions industry meaning many theme parks and visitor attractions have turned towards true multi-day destination resorts, live night-time spectaculars are often an integral part of the mix. The blooloopLIVE conference represents a great opportunity to hear from the operators and AV companies creating such memorable events.”

Tickets cost €150; early bookers (by 8 January) and AVIXA and CEDIA members can purchase them for €125.

New sports venue summit

For the past four years, sports broadcast association SVG Europe has staged the Sports Venue Technology Summit at ISE, to inform delegates about the rapidly evolving design and applications of the modern sports stadium.

For 2018 the association is partnering with venue publication PanStadia & Arena Management to create a brand new event, Sports Venue and Fan Engagement Summit. This new-look event will take place in Room E102 from 09:30 to 16:00 on Thursday 8 February and will expand the focus to consider other areas related to the overall experience of the modern stadium – in particular those technologies geared towards enhancing fan engagement, including mobile and OTT services.

Incorporating multiple networking opportunities, the Sports Venue and Fan Engagement Summit will feature panels and presentations involving leading broadcasters, service providers, vendors, architects, designers and consultants.

With a number of new landmark stadiums and arenas due to open over the next few years, the event promises to capture an important moment in time as the needs and expectations of the modern sports venue continue to evolve – particularly with regard to network infrastructures and display technologies.

John Sheehan, editor of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine, comments: “Venues need to continue to engage more diverse user groups and to do this they will increasingly rely on technology. A closer relationship is also evolving between the fans in the stadium and what is happening on the pitch, with more content likely to come from players.”

The conference is free to attend for pre-registered ISE 2018 attendees.

Digital Signage Summit returns

The Digital Signage Summit at ISE is returning on Wednesday 7 February after its successful debut last year – although its parent event has been taking place for over a decade, with attendance growing year-on-year in line with the growth in the market.

Targeting senior executives throughout the entire digital signage value chain – including integrators, hardware suppliers, end-customers, network operators, software suppliers, agencies, content providers and media – the summit is expected to attract over 150 attendees.

“DSS will deliver exclusive market intelligence and insight to delegates, as well as providing unparalleled networking opportunities,” says Florian Rotberg, managing director of digital signage research company invidis consulting and a co-organiser of the event, along with ISE. “The half-day conference will largely focus on the evolutionary shift in the digital signage value chain. A key question that will be debated is: what are the future roles of systems integrators, software suppliers, display vendors and other ecosystem partners?”

According to Rotberg, 2018’s most significant developments are likely to include retailers increasingly expecting digital signage to be designed as part of an omnichannel ‘experience marketing’ strategy. “The customer journey is in focus,” he believes, “and digital touchpoints need to be seamlessly integrated with mobile, online and other digital media.”

Tickets cost €200, but you can get one for €130 if you are an AVIXA or CEDIA member, or you book by 8 January.


AudioForum, a one-day summit where pro-audio and installation professionals meet to focus on integrated technologies and workflows, returns to the RAI on Monday 5 February.

The conference, which is produced by long-standing ISE media partner Connessioni in collaboration with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), is open to all ISE attendees and is aimed at anyone interested in knowing more about the latest audio technologies and how they interact with, and impact, AV and systems integration.

Chiara Benedettini, Connessioni president and editor-in-chief, explains: “Audio networking is both an old and a new topic so we will discuss the history and development of technologies and techniques and how that has led to the present situation, as well as looking more closely at AVB, AES67 and AES70, and Dante. We are very happy to have a number of distinguished speakers, including representatives from Avnu Alliance and AES.”

The 2018 conference will focus on three main themes: Digital Audio Transport; Audio Design with Audio over IP; and Digital Audio Protocols. The sessions will end with a series of open table discussions with the speakers. These 20-minute smaller group sessions are designed to encourage people to take part, ask questions and start dialogue.

Full-price tickets are €89; the early-bird rate of €49 applies until 15 January.

Drone Pavilion

The pro-AV industry’s largest drone exhibition is set to return, as distributor Stampede brings a larger Drone Pavilion to ISE 2018.

The 2018 attraction promises to feature more models from more manufacturers, demonstrating applications across a broader range of vertical markets. Also on the programme will be a full schedule of application-specific presentations and training sessions, as well as small group and one-on-one information sessions. Separate Unmanned Vehicle University classes will cover in-depth discussions of various commercial applications and how drones are being used currently – such as public safety, infrastructure inspection, survey/mapping and aerial cinematography implementations.

AVIXA and CEDIA passes

As in previous years, AVIXA (formerly InfoComm International) and CEDIA, the two industry associations that own the ISE show, are offering comprehensive professional development programmes.

AVIXA is hosting two conferences, and numerous workshops, as well as free 20-minute FlashTrack sessions on its stand. Its workshops are organised into four themed tracks: User Experience, AV-IT, Design and Emerging Trends.

CEDIA is hosting more than 40 training sessions over the four days of the show. Different sessions are targeted at engineers, designers, salespeople, business owners, and anyone interested in keeping up with emerging trends. The association is also offering a series of free-to-attend CEDIA Talks.

Each organisation is offering simple and cost-effective admission to its professional development programmes with an ‘All Access’ pass, which covers entry to its entire at-show education offering (with the exception of professional examinations). Attendees interested in attending AVIXA and CEDIA sessions may be interested in the joint Superpass, which covers both organisations’ programmes.

Early-bird pricing applies to the passes. Up to 8 January, AVIXA and CEDIA all access passes cost €250 for members of the relevant association (or €325 for non-members); these prices then rise to €325 and €400 respectively. The joint Superpass costs €350 (€425 for non-members), rising to €425 (or €500) after the deadline.

ISE has set up an online ticket shot at for attendees to purchase passes or entry to individual sessions.