Record pre-registration opens ISE 2015
WORLD: Integrated Systems Europe 2015 has opened at Amsterdam’s RAI Exhibitions Centre, boasting a record pre-registration of 54,684 people from 145 different countries. Additionally, this year’s event boasts 241 new exhibitors, bringing the total number to 1,056. Marking the 10th anniversary of ISE at the RAI, the event was described by ISE managing director Mike Blackman as having ‘virtually sold out – we’ve got 200 sq-m in total that we didn’t sell, from 40,000 sq-m’.
The opening numbers were revealed during a pre-show press briefing during which Mr Blackman was affectionately named the mayor of Amsterdam for the duration of the exhibition. Afterwards, he reflected on his expectations for this year’s show. ‘We have a much bigger attendance,’ he said. ‘We also have 241 new exhibitors, a highlight being Microsoft, who will really make Hall 8 work for us.’
This year also marks the last time that ISE will be a three day event, with Mr Blackman having previously announced that a fourth day will be added in 2016. Exhibitors on the show floor, where a multitude of product launches could be found, offered mixed reactions to the news. Matthias Holz of beyerdynamic was unsure of whether the fourth day was required for audio exhibitors. ‘Our experience is that the first two days rock here at ISE but the third day is more about exchanging ideas and experiences with our industry colleagues,’ he explained. Nevertheless, he was delighted with the first day of this year’s show, having held a distributor meeting prior to the show’s opening. ‘It means our distributors know which new products are here and they come in early to see them,’ he continued. The key products included the Orbis individual conference systems, a vertical Revoluto microphone array and a handheld Quinta transmitter. ‘It’s up to the user whether they use it as a multi-channel mic or a conference mic,’ Mr Holz enthused.
Elsewhere, Ali Ullah Sabri of TOA’s UAE office believed that growing international enthusiasm for ISE more than justified the additional fourth day. ‘People talk about this exhibition in the Middle East, and when I was coming here the flight was almost full with members of the regional industry,’ he explained. ‘I think it has huge potential.’ The manufacturer was showing its new HX7 medium format line array system.
Both Remi-Brice Magne and Herman Geerinck of Televic were busy with three key launches which were drawing crowds to their booth. ‘We have the new interpreter desk, which already won an IF Design Award,’ said Mr Magne. ‘We also have the new flush-mount panel, the Confidea F, which is Plixus compliant, and we have the new table-top Confidea, which is also Plixus compliant.’ Regarding the fourth day, Mr Geerinck added that while the 2015 show was already a success, ‘we’re not entirely sure that the move towards four days next year will add extra value for us’.
On the DiGiCo booth, MD James Gordon was demonstrating networking over Optocore and Broaman. ‘We’ve got the full range of SD consoles here and for the first time at ISE we’ve got the whole booth networked over a Broaman and Optocore system, with our consoles linked up with Allen & Heath consoles. Everything on our booth is communicating on a shared network. We’ve also got the DiGiGrid here.’ Whilst praising ISE as a growing and increasingly international show, he said of the extra day: ‘It’s been a good three day show and I’m not sure if the fourth day is required. They haven’t made any mistakes yet, it’s been a good show from the beginning, and a change like that is significant’.
Conversely, Francesco Fannichi of Powersoft, launching the Ottocanali DSP+D amplifier, was excited by the news. ‘I think it’s a good thing. It’s a good sign and it shows that the show is growing quickly and that the market is changing quite a lot. There’s a lot of business to be done in the integration sector’. He described the Ottocanali DSP+D as ‘an advanced version of the former model with DSP and redundant Dante networking – it’s perfect for ISE’.
More new products could be found throughout the show, as well as glimpses at products to come and innovative demonstrations to draw in visitors. On a packed Meyer Sound booth, the US manufacturer offered attendees a strong hint of the future with a special ‘Leopard’ area. ‘We’re teasing our new secret product…’ grinned an enigmatic Jodi Hughes. The company also presented a special demonstration throughout the show called Countdown, designed by former Cirque du Soleil insider Jason Rauhoff. ‘It’s a 22 channel, four sub immersive experience to show off the dynamic range of the Meyer speakers while also showing off the D’Mitri digital system,’ he explained. ‘I want to show people something unique that they can take away from here.’
On the Christie booth, meanwhile, it was all about the visuals. ‘We’ve come here with some really big stories to tell particularly for our event staging and high brightness customers,’ said Brant Eckett. ‘We have the world’s brightest single lamp projector in the Roadie 4K45. In addition we have the Boxer Series, which is also 4K native resolution and really something to behold. Finally for customers who want something on a smaller scale we have our new H Series, and of course we’re speaking about the acquisition of Coolux.’ He added that he was delighted with the addition of a fourth day. ‘We’re very happy. Obviously it’s a very serious investment to come here and do four days but we have a lot of customers here and we struggle with having to meet everyone who comes through. I know that the ISE team is doing a lot to encourage more people to come towards the end of the show and stay on in Amsterdam over the weekend. I think it’s a very good idea.’
In Hall 1, Core Brands introduced the Furman BB-RS232. ‘It brings our BlueBolt compatibility to our Furman Contractor Series of conditioners and sequencers,’ explained Bill Hensley. ‘So far we’re getting great response for it - the show is awesome.’ Exhibiting on its own booth for the first time at ISE, XTA was busy showing its new APA Adaptive Processing Amplifier, and Waring Hayes described the traffic at the show as ‘pretty constant – ISE is becoming more important for us’. On the QSC booth, Patrick Heyn and David Fuller were promising a systems-based approach in the year to come. ‘The whole booth is themed around QSC Systems and the idea is that we’re not just an audio company, we’re getting into video transport and control,’ said Mr Heyn. Also in Hall 7, d&b audiotechnik presented a colourful yellow version of the Yi8 line array. In Hall 5, meanwhile, TC Group debuted Tannoy’s Q-Flex life safety products, the VX8M, and the THL tunnel horn.
Finally, one of the most eye-catching products in Hall 7 was The Owl, from K-Array. ‘It’s a completely new kind of product – the first moving head speaker with a camera on board so you can see where you are aiming your sound,’ explained Andrea Torelli.
Regarding the show’s remarkable growth over a decade at the RAI, Mr Blackman concluded, ‘The RAI really works for us. We’re pleased with that growth and it’s been strategic as well. We haven’t just grown with attendees and exhibitors, we’ve focused on the sort of attendees that we’re aiming for. We work closely with our advisory committee who are made up of exhibitors of different sorts – some are audio, some are display, some are residential, and we talk with them about target groups and how we should be aiming. We work with them to create the campaigns and that’s how we’ve increased our attendance.’
ISE 2015 continues at Amsterdam’s RAI until Thursday February 12th.