As ISE – or at least the “special edition” hybrid ISE Live & Online 2021 iteration of the annual event – finally got underway, Integrated Systems Events managing director Mike Blackman marked the show’s opening with a presentation at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via in front of an audience of attendees from government, local executive boards and agencies, ISE’s owners and the media.
Taking place June 1-2, ISE Live & Online is being live-streamed from the Fira and broadcast to a global audience via the ISE Digital platform. The original event was launched by Blackman 17 years ago with a staff of three, and it took a global pandemic to pause what has been near uninterrupted year-on-year growth.
Along with representatives of the Fira, ISE co-owner AVIXA and ISE exhibitors, Blackman made a symbolic trip by motorbike from ISE’s office in Munich to Barcelona, stopping en route in Geneva, the location of the very first ISE show in 2004, before addressing his audience.
“What a journey! I’m not just talking about my motorbike trip from Munich to Barcelona over the past three days, though it did give me plenty of time to reflect,” said Blackman. “We stopped off in Geneva for a break. A beautiful city. Geneva was the location of the first ever ISE in 2004. I started thinking… How things have developed, how ISE has grown, how we have faced down challenges and how we have finally landed here today at Fira Gran Via Barcelona. The destination of a journey that began for ISE 17 years ago… today marks the next stage on our journey that began in Geneva, paused in Amsterdam for many years, and has now taken us to the beautiful city of Barcelona. The new home of Integrated Systems Europe.”
Dave Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA, added: “We always knew the ISE journey from Amsterdam to Barcelona would not be an easy one. None of us ever imagined what would transpire between February of 2020 and June of 2021. And yet, with steadfast commitment to our industry and our members, we have arrived. We’ve shed old assumptions and business models and we’ve suffered extraordinary losses of life and life’s moments. But now, we come together to celebrate and lead our industry on to greater heights than ever imagined as well. The commitment of our new host Barcelona and our new home, The Fira, is reinforced by the dedication of those of you who join us this week. Let us reflect and remember – and dream and aspire – together, as we reconnect and revitalise at an ISE like none other before it or yet to come.”
ISE@London will take place at Evolution, Battersea June 23-24).
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