The news that Integrated Systems Events has officially confirmed that ISE 2021 has been postponed until June due to the ongoing impact of the global pandemic, has been the major talking point of the past few days.
ISE has today confirmed the dates as 1st to 4th June, which will put ISE in very close proximity to the scheduled InfoComm 2021 event which is set to take place in Orlando, Florida between 12th and 18th June. Mike Blackman, ISE MD, told Installation that the shows wouldn’t clash, and that they (and others) are likely to more as regional hubs for next year at least, which will help to address ongoing concerns around travel restrictions. “Talking to US-based companies, they’re concerned about travelling to Europe and whether they’ll be allowed to travel as we expect that travel restrictions may still be in place. The result of that is that they’re concerned that they won’t be able to man their stands,” he said.
“What we believe will happen is that companies with European staff may have a reduced presence – we don’t know that yet, and we’re still talking to them – and the same will happen to InfoComm as well, the other way around.
“We believe that next year, the family of shows that includes all the InfoComm shows worldwide will be quite regional in terms of attendance and maybe also with some exhibitors.”
In conversation with our sister titles on the AV Network AVIXA’s senior director of communications Joe Lloyd said that InfoComm remained committed to its scheduled June 2021 dates. “InfoComm is not moving [because of the ISE date change],” she said. “The show, with all of our best intentions, is happening June 12–18, with the exhibit hall open June 16–18. From a US perspective, we look at ISE as our show, just in another country. But what’s interesting is that when you look at the attendee breakdown, these really are regionalised shows.”
Rumours had been circulating online prior to yesterday’s announcement with some media outlets choosing to ‘announce’ the news ahead of any official confirmation. Blackman suggested that news of the postponement leaking out unofficially and ahead of time was frustrating their planning. “There’s a process to moving a show, and it’s not just about moving dates. It’s about negotiating contracts around everything to do with the event, and one of the most significant areas is hotels,” he said.
“We’re trying to move from a date where the hotels were relatively inexpensive to date when they’re normally busier, and trying to negotiate rates so that exhibitors and attendees are not affected by substantially higher pricing. We’re halfway through that process and most hotels want to work with us. But we haven’t finished that process. So the news getting out earlier hasn’t helped our negotiating position with those hotels; we’re still working on it, but it is more difficult now.”
Blackman also said that the details around content and planning for the new year-round Rise Digital offering was still to be confirmed.
The full official statement from ISE can be read below:
We’ve been monitoring the conditions in Europe since the beginning of this year and have worked hard on your behalf to balance health and safety concerns with the need for commerce and F2F interaction. These two factors have had shifting weight throughout the calendar year and although we’ve felt confident and hopeful regarding delivering this show in February, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best option for all of us is to delay the show edition until June 2021.
“The health and safety of our team, exhibiting companies, industry partners and attendees is our number one priority,” said Mike Blackman, Managing Director, Integrated Systems Events. “Given the understandable concerns among all of our stakeholders regarding coronavirus, and the uncertainty regarding travel restrictions and country lockdowns, we have concluded it is not prudent to maintain our original schedule of an in-person February 2021 trade show.”
“From our many conversations, it is clear the industry can’t wait to get back together doing business face to face and we are committed to delivering an engaging and safe in-person ISE in 2021. We feel by moving the event to June, it provides time for the industry to adapt and restore balance. We look forward to hosting the global AV community in our new home in Barcelona.”
Fira de Barcelona Chairman, Pau Relat, comments: “From Fira de Barcelona we highly value ISE’s strong commitment to Barcelona and, in moments as complex as the current ones, the decision to postpone the event for a few months in order to ensure the best possible edition with the largest international participation of companies and visitors, will be very positive both for attendees and for the city. We will keep on working together to ensure that a leading event such as the ISE has a great first edition in its new home in Barcelona in 2021.”
David Labuskes, CEO, AVIXA commented “AVIXA is proud to be a partner with CEDIA in delivering ISE to the audiovisual industry each year. We fully support ISE’s decision to postpone the first show in Barcelona until June 2021. This isn’t a trivial undertaking and has thousands of moving parts, but in making this decision, ISE reaffirms their commitment to the health of all those who participate in these events from the taxi cab driver to the exhibitor teams. And all of those same people will be even more committed to be a part of the extravaganza that ISE promises to be.”
Tabatha O’Connor, CEO, CEDIA added “We are eager to gather as a community once again at ISE 2021, the decision to postpone was made after careful and thorough consideration. We know moving the show to June will provide the time and resource needed to ensure the show is both safe to attend and can deliver on the exceptional experience that ISE is known for, fostering opportunities to learn, discover, and be inspired by the technology that is driving our industry forward.”
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our stakeholders – exhibitors, sponsors, visitors, media partners, contractors, and the team at FIRA Barcelona for continuing to support us through this uncertain and ever-changing situation.
Lastly, we wish you and your family all stay safe and well in these challenging times.
The Team at Integrated Systems Events