The first major European trade show of the year is upon us, as Integrated Systems Europe opens its doors to crowds in Amsterdam on February 6-9. Traditionally an installation expo, the event is now drawing in more pro audio brands than ever before. PSNEurope asked some of the top audio exhibitors at ISE to explain the show’s relevance to today’s market.
Sami Mäkinen, business manager of AV installation at Genelec, gave us his view.
Can you explain the growth of ISE in recent years?
ISE is successful because it represents all of the various professional AV business sectors and because professional AV is probably the fastest growing industry market sector at the moment. Exhibitors are satisfied because of the huge range of visitors; the show attracts everyone from small restaurant owners to managers of huge commercial installations and everything in between. Visitors are satisfied because they can see the latest technology from industry giants such as Panasonic and Mitsubishi to more specialised manufacturers such as ourselves.
Also, AV technology is developing fast – we’re seeing new digital solutions and IP solutions being presented every day, and ISE reflects this. Visitors and exhibitors alike are constantly looking for new ideas and new technology. We all understand that our knowledge and experience have to keep pace with new developments to be able to run healthy and competitive businesses. ISE runs a comprehensive educational program in addition to what can be seen on the show floor, making it a very attractive proposition for anyone looking to increase knowledge in AV.
Taking a specific example, the integration of audio and video has become a hot topic with the advent of new technologies. At Genelec, we believe that Audio-over-IP networking, using systems that are fully compatible with open and global standards, is the way forward to address the future needs of the audio market, offering reliability, scalability, and interoperability.
Why is ISE so important these days for the pro audio market?
The world’s pro audio trade shows are shrinking, or at least they are struggling to attract new visitors. Traditional pro audio exhibitions are, in my opinion, becoming less and less relevant because they are now only addressing an increasingly small sector of the market.
Business possibilities between the pro audio and AV industry are increasingly overlapping nowadays. Information technology (IT) is routinely included in projects of all kinds, not just AV. Basically, today’s most successful pro audio companies or integrators have realised that there is a vast potential for them to develop in AV, and if they want to tap into this potential, they will need to cast their nets wider than the boundaries of traditional pro audio markets. This means making new contacts, and having the vision to see how their products can be used in a different context, and even exploring ways in which their existing ranges can be adapted to make them more attractive to new markets. ISE is an ideal forum in which to make inroads into the AV market and develop the contacts necessary for this expansion.
For Genelec, the business segment currently seeing the most growth is AV. In projects where the audio quality and the value of the investment are important, it is easy to find well-matched solutions from our AV speaker range. This is why ISE is now one of the most important fixtures on our trade show calendar.