The news has now cleared customs, we all know that in order to experience and comment on the first Spanish edition of ISE we will have to wait until June 2021.
In addition to the obvious “pandemic” reasons for the postponement – the fair will be held from 1st to the 4th June), we also wanted to investigate the news that this entails directly with Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Events. All, in a particularly challenging historical moment also for the event itself, called to settle in the new spaces of the Fira de Barcelona.
Connessioni: Can you give us more details about local events and the digital offering?
MB – We’re committed to extending ISE 2021 to remote participants by means of a digital offering. It’s important that the platform enables interactivity rather than just passive viewing. We will have more details about this in the next few weeks. We will have a full conference programme again, with 13 conferences taking place over five days.
New events include the Digital Learning Summit, the Workplace Evolution Summit and the Superyacht Technology Conference. And we have our exciting new collaboration with The Next Web, which will see four days of presentations and panels exploring different aspects of business growth and the role of start-ups on our Main Stage, under its Growth Quarters brand.
C – ISE will now take place in June, one week before Infocomm: how do you plan to deal with the potential ‘overlap’ of exhibitors’ participation?
MB – We made the decision to move to June in consultation with, and with the full support of AVIXA, who organise the InfoComm show. From the attendee perspective, we expect that both shows will have a more limited geographical reach than in normal times, and that attendees will choose the show based in their territory. From the exhibitor point of view, we appreciate that the short time between ISE and InfoComm is a potential source of difficulty for some companies that are exhibiting at both shows. We are talking to our customers and looking at how we can help them, particularly in the area of logistics.
C – Which is the most difficult aspect of postponing a big show like ISE?
MB – It’s mainly the sheer overall complexity. It’s like an intricate mechanism with many moving parts, most of which affect, or are affected by, something else. When we decided we wanted to change the date, we couldn’t just push a button and make it happen – it involved conversations with the venue, with accommodation providers, with key partners and other stakeholders.
It’s also difficult because we know how important the show is for the industry – exhibitors and attendees alike. It’s a key element of the industry’s annual rhythm – it has come to herald the start of the year by providing a platform to kick off business. At the start of the pandemic, we were hopeful that by February 2021, things would, more or less, be back to normal. Now, we believe that June is a more suitable date – one that balances the desire to hold the show as soon as possible with the industry’s ability to come together and take part in it.
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