Content is the big driver for ISE 2014 and Mike Blackman, ISE managing director, is feeling very comfortable in the run-up to the 11th edition of the show.
“This is the smoothest build-up we’ve ever had,” said Blackman. “We’ve grown, by more than 6%, up to 952 exhibitors. That’s a big increase, especially in these times. As for attendance, we’re not releasing figures yet, but it’s definitely got a lot larger. We’re expecting great feedback [from exhibitors].”
Blackman is also enthusiastic at the reception to the pre-show events, which took place yesterday.
Said Blackman: “There were almost 170 attendees at our third Smart Building conference, which was really great, really positive. We see Smart Building as a brand that we are building up and out of ISE, it’s a theme that’s very strong at the moment.”
He also spoke highly of the inaugural Investor Showcase event, organised with Go4Venture Advisers. According to Blackman, the Showcase received many applications to be involved but the organisers only had the time to feature around 15 companies who wanted to present to the investors.
“We decided to go for a half-day event to test it out, for free this year,” said Blackman. “Even walking around pre-show I’ve had really positive feedback from companies who were attending as presenters or were the audience for the showcase.”
He continued: “It’s not really about what it brings to this ISE, it’s what it will bring in four or five years' time, because these are the companies that are going to be our customers. What we are trying to do here is build the forward stream for our business. We’re investing in our future, indeed, we’re investing in our industry.”