In amidst Amsterdam’s inevitable darkness and drizzle at this time of year, ISE (literally) shone bright with all of its AV attractions and audio innovations. The 16th edition of the show was the biggest, widest-reaching and most exciting yet, as confirmed by exhibitors, and asserting it as the international destination of choice for AV professionals.
With the largest ever ISE show floor hosting 1,301 exhibitors – 17 per cent of which were companies exhibiting there for the first time – the show closed with 92 per cent of the available floor space at ISE 2020 having already been sold. Indeed, a key theme of the show was how AV technology enables creative imaginations to produce rich experiences, which was explored in its array of sessions and seen across the show floor.
Mike Blackman, managing director of ISE, summed up this year’s event: “As an exhibition, an unbeatable source of education and professional development, and a destination for a global industry to come together and do business, ISE 2019 has delivered.”
PSNEurope spoke with top pro audio exhibitors to find out their perspectives on this year's show, and the response was certainly positive…
John McMahon, SVP of marketing, Meyer Sound, reported on the brand’s experience of the event: “Meyer Sound launched three new products at ISE this year, creating a platform for one of our most successful trade shows ever. New products included the ULTRA-X40 point source loudspeaker, the UPQ-D3 ultra-wide coverage loudspeaker, and the MPS-482HP power supply. Within a week of the show, we already sold over 2,400 units of the ULTRA-X40, which also earned itself the Best of Show Award from PSNEurope.
“The preview demos of our latest in spatial mixing systems, Spacemap LIVE, already has the market anticipating its launch later this year. ISE was also the first trade show debut of M-Noise, a new test signal that promotes standardised measurement of a loudspeaker system’s maximum linear output.”
James King, director of marketing at Martin Audio, commented: “ISE 2019 continued its strong year on year performance. The show seemed busier with record numbers into our audio demonstration room and a consistent flow of traffic to the Martin Audio stand.
"Importantly, we received a lot of visitors that were new to the brand. Partly, this was due to the success of the show and partly, because the momentum around the brand has increased exponentially in the last year."
Genelec’s marketing director, Howard Jones, also illustrated the impressiveness of this year’s show: “We felt that ISE 2019 ranked as the busiest ISE we’ve ever experienced. One of the things that we appreciate so much about ISE is that it is a truly international event. Many other long-standing shows that have served the pro audio market for years, although international in name, in reality are becoming more and more regional. That’s not the case for ISE. We see customers from all over the world – it’s probably the only show that has such an extended reach, and is an absolutely essential element in our continued global expansion into the AV space.”
OutBoard TiMax, director, Dave Haydon, said: "Feedback from new visitors and existing associates confirmed to us that our evolutionary TiMax developments continue to lead the way in spatial reinforcement, immersive audio processes and in ensuring smooth workflow."
Johan Gunsing, international sales manager, Northern Europe, Adam Hall Group, illustrated the company’s experience: “We are pleased to look back on a successful ISE 2019, where we announced a series of new product innovations as well as a new technology partnership with Xilica, the Canadian DSP developer. As part of this cooperation, the Adam Hall Group is expanding its installation portfolio within its pro audio brand, LD Systems, including the introduction of the new IMA and IPA amp series, in order to provide AV planners, integrators, installation service providers and end users with a wide range of integrated solutions for fixed installation.”
Chris Merrick, director of global marketing, Integrated Systems at Shure, expressed: “ISE was an important event for Shure, not least because it was the first showcase of the company’s refreshed identity outside of North America. This new positioning now aligns the divisions within the company, to present Shure as one organisation. Importantly, this is a progressive move on our part as both Systems and Pro have many common challenges and solutions across both markets – and the rebrand will now allow us to showcase our solutions in one ‘common’ environment.
“The increased numbers of end users visiting the show was positive, especially as many of those attending were from world leading enterprises looking for partners that they can work with throughout the value chain. The diversity of visitors to ISE this year was a real bonus, too, particularly with an increase in Pro end users interested in our Axient Digital offering, while we also enjoyed great conversations regarding the availability of MicroFlex Complete wireless for all types of government and international events.
"We were also honoured to be named ‘Best Stand Design’ in the large category award for the second year running.”
Adrian Hogg, European sales manager of Focusrite, stated: “One of the great things about shows like this is the sheer variety of technology that you can get stuck into. Members from many of our technology partners were also at the show, such as Audinate, the Media Networking Alliance, and the OCA Alliance. Having all those brains together makes for an interesting time, and it’s great to be up to date on the latest developments.
“It’s a busy, busy show. Had I not been on our booth the whole time I still doubt that I would have found time to see everything. Some parts of the hall were solid with people, which is both a good and bad thing depending on how you look at it! ‘There’s no new expansion planned for next year, which isn’t surprising considering that the RAI was at full capacity this year and is guaranteed to be next year. I’m expecting a similar show next year with the really big change coming in 2021 when the show relocates to Barcelona, allowing it to expand and hopefully reach its full potential.”