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. We asked some of the top audio exhibitors at ISE to explain the show’s relevance to today’s market.
John McMahon, vice president of solutions and strategy at Meyer Sound, shared his thoughts exclusively with PSNEurope.
ISE is the fastest growing trade show in the industry – why do you think that is?
The growth really has been phenomenal. They have done an excellent job of filling a void as the wider market was not being well served by other trade shows in Europe. It seems there is now a genuine excitement building up to ISE. People look forward to going.
ISE is similar to Infocomm in that it draws together multiple disciplines, and I think that’s what makes it attractive to a wider group of people. For us, the number of new people we saw at ISE was completely different than what we were seeing at other shows in Europe.
One thing I’ve noticed in recent years is that I see more people from creative production companies, those people who work in themed entertainment, experience design and multimedia production. Out of all the trade shows I attend, I think I’m now seeing more of them now at ISE, but you still get the technical people from the integrator side of the business, the nuts-and-bolts crowd. So, you get that breadth, from the conceptual creators through the people who design, engineer and install the systems.
Another factor might be the timing. It’s the first major trade event of the year, and people like to kick off with a fresh beginning, to get a head start on projects planned for later in the year. The education program is also first rate. There’s a lot for people to learn now with the advancements in technology in audio. That’s certainly an element that was well served by the European trade shows until ISE matured into what it is today.
Why is ISE so important these days for the pro audio market?
I think this is due in large part to the nature of the way the business is moving, with convergence of audio, video and IT. If you’re doing an immersive video experience, you are going to need sound to go with it, and if pro audio is not well represented the designers of that experience may not be aware of all the possibilities. So, it’s really important that all the capabilities across the pro audio market are fully represented. It just makes more sense, with the economies of scale. You have a duopoly of the winter and summer shows that balance out the year, and with those two investments you can reach nearly all your customers worldwide. It’s a very attractive package.