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What ISE means to the manufacturers: Biamp president, CEO and co-chairman, Rashid Skaf

As we build up towards ISE 2018 in Amsterdam, AVTE speaks to some of the industry’s leading manufacturers about their experiences of the show and the value it offers

As we build up towards ISE 2018 in Amsterdam, AVTE speaks to some of the industry’s leading manufacturers about their experiences of the show, the importance of speaking to end users and what they can expect 

Ahead of the world’s biggest AV trade show on earth, AVTE wanted to find out what it is about ISE – a show that attracts more than 1,200 exhibitors – that keeps them coming back for more.

We sat down with Biamp Systems – a leading provider of professional AV equipment – president, CEO and co-chairman Rashid Skaf to find out more.

Hi Rashid, why do you think it’s important for you and your company to be present at ISE?

“ISE is an important event – for both the education and the exhibits. And, like many companies in our industry, it gives us the opportunity to connect with integrators, system designers, end users – and of course, colleagues – from around the world. It’s also the perfect opportunity to participate in speaking presentations and trainings, plus introduce new technology or solutions while seeing what others are doing in our industry.”

It’s amazing to have so many innovative companies assembled to demonstrate the next generation of professional AV solutions

How many ISE shows have you and your company attended including this one?

“I’ve attended 13 of the 14 years ISE has been around, and Biamp has participated in one form or another almost since the beginning; we’re especially excited about the coming ISE show. It’s not surprising that it’s grown consistently over the years. It’s amazing to have so many innovative companies assembled to demonstrate the next generation of professional AV solutions.”

How does ISE compare to other shows around the world that you exhibit at?

“ISE is a great counterpart to InfoComm held here in the US. I’ve found ISE to be the premier event to reach customers from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.”

End users are becoming increasingly important

Who are you looking to appeal towards at the show?

“We look to ISE to connect with integrators, consultants, and end users in many of the verticals we’re used in – houses of worship, education, transportation, healthcare – while exploring other possible business opportunities. We talk to a variety of people across different businesses with a goal to connect with people who are looking for audio, video or fully networked media solutions.”

ISE has become a major destination for end users. How important is it for you to be able to speak directly to end-users?

“End users are becoming increasingly important. By building relationships directly with end users it’s easier to better understand their communications challenges and talk to them about how products can be used to solve them. This knowledge also enables us to more effectively see new ways to help our integrators and distributors can be successful. Finally, it also helps us identify market shifts and emerging needs we can use to guide future product development.”

“We will be exhibiting some exciting new products at the show. I invite everyone to swing by, grab a coffee, and we’ll fill you in”

Likewise, how important is it for end users to be able to speak directly to you?

“I’ve found the most successful endeavors are ones with open and clear communication. So, when we can learn directly from end users what they need and want, as well as what frustrates them, then we can get ahead of the curve and deliver a variety of solutions more quickly.”

The MD of ISE, Mike Blackman recently told us that manufactures are sometimes concerned that end users don’t always get to see or hear about many of their AV products and services, because their integrator may have an ulterior motive (often financial) to recommend your competitors – due to existing relationships or limited knowledge. What are your thoughts on this?

“Biamp values the relationships we have with our integrators and distributors – it’s a big part of our why we’re successful. It’s not at all uncommon for our sales people and field sales engineers to be called on to participate in end user meetings. It’s extremely difficult for an integrator or a distributor to have all the knowledge and resources needed in-house. This is why partnering with a manufacturer who’s knowledgeable, and dedicated to education and support – like we are – is so essential to success. Manufacturers need to provide value beyond a product or solution.”

What can our readers expect to see at your stand and why should they take the time to stop by?

“They can expect to see what we believe are the industry’s best audio and video solutions for professional AV buyers and have the chance to speak to incredibly knowledgeable and passionate people about solving their specific challenges. And if they haven’t already, attendees should stop by to experience the only integrated audio/video platform in the industry (TesiraLUX) along with our other great offerings. And a coffee. We always have great coffee.”

Are you making any announcements at the show?

“I don’t want to leak the details but I can assure you we will be exhibiting some exciting new products at the show. I invite everyone to swing by, grab a coffee, and we’ll fill you in.”

Beyond the stand itself, is there anything else you or your company will be doing at ISE?

“We have scheduled demos in the booth throughout the show, along with a couple of speaking presentations – Converged Networks & What It Means to Pro-AV on Tuesday, 6 Feb and Communicating with Your IT Customer on Thursday, 8 Feb. If you can’t make a scheduled event, stop by, we’d love the chance to chat and see how Biamp can help you be successful.”

Where can we find you?

“We are in Hall 3 at booth B120. You can also find us on social media like Twitter and Facebook, and of course at www.biamp.com.”

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