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Inavation Awards and 40 under 40Celebrating and promoting our industry

Two ISE-supported initiatives from Inavate will be discussed on the Main Stage at ISE Live & Online in London at 15:40 BST on Wednesday 23 June.

Powered by Inavate and ISE, the Inavation Awards 2021 take place online at 15:00 CET (14:00 BST) on Tuesday 22 June. (To watch the event, register at inavationwards.com.) Inavate Director and Founder Dan Jago promises a “TV show-style” event, hosted on a virtual stage, running for around 35 minutes. While the look is different from the traditional dinner-based setting, the basic structure is unchanged, with award categories spanning Projects, Technology, Business and People.

“This year we’ve had an amazing amount of project entries,” he reveals, “with an increase in projects from Asia-Pacific” – something he attributes to how the timing of the impact of the pandemic on business activity varied across the world.

When Inavate first exhibited at ISE in 2006, “the AV systems integration market was starting to simmer”. The Inavation Awards were founded the next year to promote excellence across EMEA, initially concentrating on technology and a small number of project categories. Since then, says Dan, “we haven’t looked back. Mike Blackman backed us from the word go, and the Awards have grown steadily alongside ISE.”

Over the years, the Awards have grown in scope and geographical reach. “These days, we’re still very much focused on project work as well as technology and the business side of getting product to market,” he says. “Integrators and Consultants – our core readership – love the Inavation Awards and bring their clients to give them a taste of the industry.” Typically around 60% of attendees are integrators, consultants or clients, he adds.

A more recent addition to the Inavate portfolio is the ‘40 under 40’ programme, which began with the ‘class of 2019’. “We’re delighted that ISE has joined us as a sponsor to help us to keep growing this initiative,” says Dan. He sees 40 under 40 as complementary to the Inavation Awards in celebrating the industry and raising its profile externally. He explains: “We’ve always promoted excellence within the industry, and the industry to the wider world. We want to highlight the next generation of AV professionals – and also encourage people to join us. Every sector is going to be facing skills shortages.”

Alongside Inavate EMEA Editor Paul Milligan, Dan will be taking part in a Main Stage session at ISE Live & Online in London at 15:40 BST on Wednesday 23 June. Entitled ‘Rewarding and promoting excellence in the AV industry’, the session will explore the role of initiatives such as the Inavation Awards and 40 under 40 in raising awareness of the work of the AV industry both internally and externally. “It’s not just about our awards – all awards schemes are important,” he comments. “And the key thing to say about all of them is: get involved more!”

The 2021 Inavation Awards may be looming, but Dan has half an eye on next year: “Mike Blackman always says that ISE isn’t just about what happens at the show – the networking that takes place outside show hours is just as important. The Inavation Awards are a treasured networking event during ISE week. We can’t wait till we can bring them back as a face-to-face event in Barcelona during ISE 2022.”

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