The ISE Daily team caught up with Robert Hallam, CEDIA Region 1 chairman, during the show in Amsterdam. He talked about the buzz at the show, his organisation's educational sessions there, prospects for 2010 - and 3D in the home.
Q: What is your experience of ISE 2010?
A: All you have to do is look at the crowds to get a feel for the attendance, which is clearly very strong. People like this show, they like the venue and the fact that it is a show with a tremendous buzz attached to it. I think the timing of the show is great, it kicks off the calendar perfectly well and people are very keen to come along and see what is happening. Moreover I think we see this year that ISE has become something of a launch-pad for new product, and for those dealers who sit in the commercial and residential worlds it perfectly fits their business model.
Q: CEDIA has an expanded programme of educational activity at the show. Which courses have received most attention?
A: The ones that have introduced a lot of the European-based dealership to CEDIA and what it stands for and the benefits of becoming a member have garnered significant interest. We view ISE as a key platform to build increased awareness of what CEDIA is all about and we're very encouraged by an increase in member numbers outside of our traditional stronghold in English speaking parts of world. We feel that CEDIA is as a quality brand increasingly recognised on an international scale by specialised dealers and custom installers. We continue to grow and we will continue to drive that growth with the support of shows like ISE.
Q: What industry trends have you identified at the show?
A: The most significant aspect of the show is not so much a technology one, but the overriding impression of a general lift in the confidence of people and a more positive outlook for 2010 and beyond. The fact that 2009 was such a difficult year for everyone will hopefully fade fast in people's memories.
Q: Are you seeing signs of budgets being released and projects signed off?
A: Even in the first month of this year, our experience - and that of other people I have spoken to - indicates an uplift in business for 2010.
Q: Is 3D in the home receiving as much interest as the hype might suggest?
A: We have seen a significant amount of national press coverage recently surrounding the trials of 3D live sport by BSkyB following on from the tremendous buzz about new 3D-capable home entertainment systems at CES in January. It's providing a great injection of interest in the home entertainment market in general, which will hopefully translate into additional business for CI's in residential and, I think, the commercial world. I think the integration of 3D as a technology will be straightforward and, with the success of movies like Avatar, the industry is able to show that 3D is a tremendous experience that really does immerse you into what is happening on screen to provide a totally new experience.
Editor's note: you can see an ISE video interview with Robert Hallam at www.installationeurope.com/ise-video