Two decades of innovation at ISE - part 7: ISE shapes and reflects the global industry
Since 2004 it has served to inspire those working in the fledgling business to tap international opportunities and experiment with new technology.
“In its early years ISE gave the industry an identity by helping people realise that they could broaden their skillsets and use different kinds of technology,” says Dan Goldstein, Chief Marketing Officer, AVIXA.
The market was also “intensely national” rather than international, recalls Lloyd. “The UK and Germany were the biggest single markets outside North America, but visitors to German AV trade shows often found that exhibitors didn’t want to know them unless they came from Germany or Eastern Europe. Breaking through that national dominance was a core reason for establishing ISE in more neutral territories.”
The union of CEDIA and InfoComm (later AVIXA) at ISE enabled residential and commercial communities to “envisage a cross pollination of product,” says Kris Hogg, Head of Commercial Partnerships, Samsung and former board director at CEDIA.
“Back in the day there were three main territories for residential AV: Australia, the US and Europe – and Europe pretty much meant the UK,” he says. “What ISE has done is has put Europe on the map. It’s no accident there is a global market in Europe now.”
“ISE has probably created more creative thinking and understanding of the scope of opportunity for everybody connected with the AV industry, but in a way nobody quite understands”
Kris Hogg, Head of Commercial Partnerships, Samsung
It’s worth recalling the genesis of ISE as an integrated systems show, even if the event and the industry has evolved out of this core.
“Integration in 2004 was a big deal,” says Goldstein. “It required a lot of hard work to do technically. As digitisation gathered pace, the industry and by extension ISE, was more about solutions to business problems. Now AV is more about ideas and ISE reflects that. It’s a very creative event, one that forces you to challenge assumptions about where tech is going.”
Since the pandemic, it has never been more important for a trade event to offer value beyond product presentation. To that extent ISE’s education programme, its conference strand and networking among professionals from diverse industries ensures its relevance.
“I’m not even sure it’s a conscious effort but ISE has helped to feed the melting point of what the AV industry has become,” says Bob Snyder, industry consultant. “ISE has embraced light and sound and smart buildings and live events. Almost no industry is off limits.”
“ISE brings the global community together to provide a further stimulus for growth,” says Wendy Griffiths, SVP Membership & Global Development, CEDIA. “The educational content that CEDIA delivers is just one aspect. As important is the opportunity for peer groups to network and learn. ISE has made the whole industry smaller in terms of accessibility.”
The industry has been through waves of digital signage, IoT and collaboration and ISE has charted those waters without becoming becalmed. Despite, or perhaps because of, a fragmented approach to audio and video networking standardisation, the industry’s biggest strength has been absorbing tech trends. ISE helps curate them with an AV mindset.
As Hogg astutely observes, “ISE has probably created more creative thinking and understanding of the scope of opportunity for everybody connected with the AV industry, but in a way nobody quite understands.”
With broadcast essentially another distribution path for streaming video the traditional content creation industry is turning to ISE. Esports are being systems integrated using off-the-shelf AV-over-IP components. In-car infotainment is ripe for development. Experiential AV has barely begun. Futuresource highlights the increasing role that data and AI will play in future control and analytics.
The challenge going forward, says Goldstein, is choosing which path to pursue.