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Viva the Fira! Preview of Barcelona’s first winter ISE

With many industry stalwarts having barely finished unpacking following this year’s consumer electronics CES extravaganza in Vas Vegas, the AV (and broadcast) sectors gear up for pro tech’s main event, in Barcelona. Installation editor Rob Lane looks at what’s in store for the Fira’s second full-fat ISE

Taking place in the winter for the first time, Barcelona’s second ‘proper’ ISE event starts 31 January, running until  3 February – the traditional show slot hosted at the Amsterdam RAI for 15 years up until and including 2020’s ‘Covid event’. 

Organiser Integrated Systems Events has announced that over 1000 exhibitors are now committed to this year’s show, making 2023 the biggest ISE event in Barcelona yet, with loads of space to grow from 2024 onwards. It’s clear that, following 2022’s excellent return, ISE 2023 is shaping up to be a vibrant, exciting event, with an abundance of new technologies and thought leadership sessions. 

This year’s keynote address by Fran Chuan of InnoQuotient takes place on Thursday 2 February, focusing on “How Innovative is the AV Industry?” – and will also present the results of ISE’s Culture of Innovation 2023 Survey, using the proprietary InnoQuotient tool. Hundreds of companies completed the survey, which will pinpoints strengths, as well as identifying any gaps to then provide guidance on building and improving an organisation’s culture of innovation.

Shure has confirmed its commitment as Conference Audio Partner for the second year running. “We’re thrilled to support ISE 2023, not only as Platinum sponsor once more, but also through our Conference Audio Partnership for the second year in a row,” says Tuomo Tolonen, senior director, pro audio, at Shure. “ISE is the most important occasion for the AV industry as it gathers the most renowned AV experts at one event. Every detail of the audio has to be perfect and work flawlessly, and we know our Digital Wireless Portfolio won’t disappoint in doing so.”

A new concept for ISE, the Audio Demo Rooms is
a free-to-attend feature located in Hall 8.0, allowing attendees to experience audio in a controlled, specialist environment, with rotational live demos throughout each day. Contributors include AED Group, Coda Audio, d&b audiotechnik, Holoplot, Martin Audio, Pioneer and Void Acoustics. Each Audio Demo Room is tailored to the requirements of the manufacturer to provide the optimal listening conditions. For the full schedule check out the ISE App or visit

This year a new zone makes its debut in Hall 6. The Content Production & Distribution Zone features an exciting array of different exhibits from a select group
of leaders in content production and distribution. The Content Studio by GRUP MEDIAPRO and invidis will showcase broadcast technologies and will combine a schedule of C-Suite interviews and industry panel discussions with practical demonstrations. The Content Studio will use the Unreal Engine platform showcasing ‘live’ content production and postproduction throughout the day. Interviews will be conducted with senior execs programmed and hosted by Florian Rotberg, chair of the Digital Signage Summit and managing director of invidis, alongside senior executives from GRUP MEDIAPRO and ISE. 

The Esports & Gaming Showcase from Absen, with support from PSCo and Big Purple Productions, will highlight the latest LED displays designed for gaming and esports, together with the technologies required to create, capture and distribute gaming content. Real-life 1-2-1 gaming league will be run throughout the week, with daily prizes drawn from participants during the show. There will also be a grand prize awarded at the end of the week.  

The public Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation (CCMA) will be sharing its experience in immersive production and new audio and image transmission systems on its 200 m² stand located in the technology zone in Hall 6. In this large space, visitors will be able to see, live, how innovative 360-degree cameras are used to create content or a live broadcast of human towers, a Catalan tradition in which men, women and children raise constructions of up 10 levels.

Content production and distribution solutions abound throughout the show floor at ISE 2023, where attendees can experience solutions including monitors and media servers, VR headsets and virtual sets, cameras and tracking equipment, video switchers and networking solutions, as well as audio equipment such as speakers and consoles.

Entry to ISE 2023 is only possible via the event app. All attendees need to download the app to access their personal digital entry voucher. To enter the Fira venue, the digital voucher must be presented on a mobile device for scanning, then on initial entry to the Fira, attendees must show the digital entry voucher at
one of the desks to receive the printed show badge.

The ISE 2023 app is sponsored by Presenting Show Partner KNX and includes everything attendees need for a successful and seamless visit to ISE, with features to help navigate the show with ease, including enhanced filtering and bookmarking for the packed events programme throughout the four days. Attendees can tune into Rise TV to catch up on the day’s events or enjoy the video news highlights. Among other features, the ‘Networking’ tool, allows visitors to message other ‘enabled’ visitors and make connections. 

The vibrant tech hub city of Barcelona is known for its beautiful historical and modern architecture, smart city status and rich culture, so as well as a comprehensive programme of content for ISE 2023, there’s plenty to explore outside of the show. ISE is sponsoring the Llum BCN, festival of the light arts, which takes place in the city from 3 – 5 February. Attendees can head out after dark as the urban Poblenou neighbourhood is transformed by large-scale projections and AV displays created by local and international artists and students. 

Taking place in Hall 4  from Tuesday 31 January to Thursday 2 February, the IOT Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC) is the largest international event dedicated to the transformation of industry through disruptive technologies – and as was the case last year, all ISE 2023 attendees have access. This year’s special focus is  the new industry 5.0, which aims to develop AI so that machines become capable of performing processes like those executed by human thought. The IOTSWC combines a congress with various tracks, a testbed area where technologies are demonstrated in real-world settings, and an exhibition show floor.

As well as these brand-new features and attractions, visitors can enjoy a comprehensive, busy show floor spanning 8 technology zones across 5 halls. At this year’s event, ISE, and its co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA, are set to deliver exciting show features and enriching learning opportunities to create an unmissable event for the AV channel and end-users alike.  

ISE 2023, takes place at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via, 31 January – 3 February 2023.

Check out our exclusive interview with ISE managing director Mike Blackman here.