The 16th edition of ISE and the last of the Dutch chapter, opened yesterday with the usual ribbon cutting after the press conference at the start of the fair, presented by Mike Blackman who was accompanied by many of his staff.
But it was not an inauguration like any other: as for the other editions, for most of us this is the most important of the sector’s appointments throughout year and so the expectation was high, yet this was not the only reason.
Indeed, trepidation was high regarding the flow of incoming visitors: in the days immediately before the fair, various events followed one another that could have influenced the actual arrival at the fair, despite a number of pre-registrations, as Blackman showed in the dedicated graphics during the press conference, which although in the same period, showed higher than last year.
On the one hand we had the news about Coronavirus, ISE itself has disseminated continuous information on the topic, reassuring visitors that the fair would have respected the decisions and recommendations of the health authorities. This news was followed by some illustrious defections, the most talked about by LG, accompanied by a further fifty Chinese exhibitors, an obvious consequence of the restrictions on air flights from China. In addition to this, there was the arrival of Storm Ciara, which from Sunday has been sweeping violently throughout Northern Europe with winds up to and in some cases beyond, 100km an hour, which affected the arrival of many planes (perhaps causing a fear more intense than that of our health as many who arrived in Amsterdam did so with quite a bumpy and lively landing.)
However, although we have had the impression that the Italians have reacted with particular anxiety to the news of the Coronavirus, we can say that the opening of the fair this year was just like all the others- this being a good thing! Apart from those who prefer to greet each other with a tap on the elbow rather than with hugs and handshakes, and with bottles of hand cleaner on some counters, it seemed to us that both the general climate and the quality of the stands present (and also the quantity, which in any case exceeded the few hundred of 2019), the number of visitors has been absolutely excellent and has been growing steadily for 16 years, to which ISE has become accustomed over the years. And on this side, actually, ISE has accustomed us very well!
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