There was an almost unanimous upbeat mood on the show floor among both exhibitors and visitors, and representatives from across a wide spectrum of exhibitors expressed their satisfaction at the number of leads gained through end-user sales and recruitment of new dealers and distributors.
With further growth in both exhibitor numbers and visitor registrations anticipated, the ISE Board has signed an agreement with the RAI that will see the show returning to Amsterdam for 2007 and 2008. Breaking the five-figure attendance barrier is a key landmark for ISE but Blackman believes there is plenty more growth to come.
“So far we have grown ISE substantially by promoting the show to our core channel audience of installers and systems integrators,” Blackman told The ISE Daily on the second day of the Brussels event.
“There is still further potential in that sector, but in the future we expect more growth to come from vertical markets – facilities managers in the corporate market, education and other sectors. These are people who may not specify AV technology now, but they are influencers and their role is becoming more important.”
ISE’s return to Amsterdam gives the event somewhere it can call ‘home’ for the next two years, but Brussels – with its substantial local conferencing market bringing a mix of new installers and end-users to the show – was popular with exhibitors and visitors alike, and Blackman says the ISE Board will meet next year to discuss possible future venues.
“Opinion is divided about location,” Blackman admits. “Our aim now is to ensure that we always have the next two years planned at any one time, because that gives us stability. But we will continue to listen to our exhibitors – we won’t dictate to them.”
Some 80% of this year’s space has already been sold for ISE 2007, and although the huge growth in exhibitor numbers seen in the past two years may not quite be replicated next year, Blackman is confident that the only way remains up: “There are still some significant players who did not sign up to exhibit in Brussels. But almost all of them sent people to the show and they will have been impressed by what they saw.”