ISE Taking a Risk

This is our last issue for two weeks – the next issue will be on 27th July as we have our ‘summer break’. We will still be publishing online during the break, but will not create the pdf next week. Just as we finalised the production, we got a report on the QD 2018 conference, so if that is your topic, watch out for it online in the next few days as we go through the production process.

In LDM, we lead with the news that ISE will move to Barcelona. By chance, I caught up with staff from the organisers at the ProLight and Sound event and they explained that they were looking at alternatives to the RAI in Amsterdam. One of the locations that came up was Barcelona (I think I mentioned it, as I had recently been to MWC in the city). However, analysts during the press event run by Digital Projection at Infocomm who claimed to be ‘in the know’ told me that Barcelona had been ruled out because visitors from the Nordics would not be prepared to travel that far. It seems that this barrier was overcome.

Barcelona is a good destination – it is said to be the most popular ‘city break’ destination in Europe. It has lots of hotels and reasonable public transport, while the exhibition space is very big, especially if you take into account the old fair grounds (used in part during MWC) as well as the new centre. I have seen snow in February in Barcelona, during MWC, but it didn’t last long – usually the weather is a bit better than Amsterdam at that time of year.

For ISE, there is a danger. The show has been incredibly successful over a lot of years. We have reported it since the earliest event in Geneva in 2004 and I have attended them all since the Brussels event in 2005. The first event was quite small, and replaced Infocomm Europe. Pete visited the Geneva event and was able to get around the whole show floor in a single day. These days, we need at least two reporters over the full four days.

However, there is something of a risk for ISE. Nearly all shows seem to have a natural ‘arc’ of growth and decline. I’m thinking here of events such as CeBIT and Comdex which dominated, but then fell back (although CeBIT survives as a substantial German corporate software event). At the moment, CES and IFA seem to have avoided this problem, mainly, it seems to me, by diversifying. IFA has embraced household appliances and CES is almost a motor show, these days.

For ISE to risk a move is courageous. It must be coming towards a peak in scale and size, so risking the move for what may be a limited growth opportunity is certainly brave. On the other hand, Mike Blackburn and his team have seen the event through two previous venue changes with success, so the event should be in safe hands. We would expect the event to continue to develop in Spain.


Rochefort en terre procIn line with my custom, here is the view out of my ‘office’ window this week. Image:Meko