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Blackman praises ISE’s Spanish boost

Integrated Systems Events MD Mike Blackman pictured on the eve of ISE 2023

Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events, spoke yesterday about the incredible impact that the support of Spanish institutions is having on ISE. He also revealed that today’s inauguration and tour by King Felipe VI will be followed by a visit from president Pere Aragonès of Catalonia on Thursday. “It’s a fantastic sign of recognition and of the importance Spanish institutions place on ISE,” he added. “We’ve never had this buy-in from any other city or region, they’re all getting behind us.”

In fact, this year’s ISE is the biggest ever in terms of floor space. “This is a record, with 56,867sqm (net), not including aisles and space between the halls,” Blackman revealed.

There’s also been a noticeable bounce back from Covid-hit 2022, with 1,055 exhibitors here in total compared to 1,300 at the last Amsterdam show. “We haven’t seen a full rebound, but it’s a substantial growth over last year, when we only had 800,” he said.  The big growth areas are audio, content production and virtual studios.

There are eight new Audio Demo Rooms on the lower floor of Hall 8, where companies can show off their equipment without annoying the neighbours. There is also a new outdoor audio demo area between Halls 5 and 7 and a Content Production & Distribution Zone in Hall 6. ISE is also having an impact on Catalonia’s wider AV industry, with eight companies having set up here as a result of the show.

In addition, the local government is establishing start-up creative facilities at Palo Alto and the Three Chimneys (Tres Xemeneies) project where an AV campus is being built with EU, local and
private funding. In addition, a project focusing on training and education in the sector has started in the area around the Fira. ISE is helping out through its own start-up section of the show – the Discovery Zone – something it has had for ten years. “If we encourage small companies to grow we will all benefit long term,” said Blackman. “It’s like a circular economy.”