Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on another ISE, I’m realizing that, despite the history of the show, this year seemed to be an entirely new show, for a few reasons.  As you probably read, “a 17% increase in attendance figures has seen Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) achieve the strongest performance of its nine-year history, with 40,869 visitors in total.”  This new record was reflected in a new energy and an abundance of new products and discussions. Only one month into the new year, and already halls and halls of new innovations to showcase.

You may have also seen that there have been some new changes here at Biamp. So this year, I spent much of my time fulfilling my new role within the company.  It meant that I didn’t get the chance to go to many of my usual meetings, but I still got a chance to meet with some of our existing partners, as well as potential partners.

All of this gave ISE 2012 a very fresh look and feel for me. It gave me the opportunity to get away from the booth more and see the products on display, of which there was no shortage. It wasn’t easy – we had our biggest ISE booth ever  this year and the Tesira demonstrations we hosted each day kept the booth traffic steady. This year we actually hosted a demo in German and another in Polish, and both were filled to capacity.  Finding my way out of the booth without bumping in to someone I knew was something of a feat.

Once I did, I found a significant amount of new products at the show and a number of new innovations that seem to indicate the direction in which our industry is heading.  There was a lot of talk about AVB at this show. While  I didn’t see a lot of new product launches that included AVB, I did hear a lot of people talking about future projects that will employ AVB.  Our friends at DSP4You were showing some interesting developments at their booth during the show – certainly a ‘watch this space’ company and technology.

Obviously we continue to see convergence wherever we look.  The ISE keynote by Gerhard Schulz of Ingram Micro, a company we do business with in India, set the tone for the week.  Gerhard alluded to the fact that convergence is really happening, and many consultants we spoke with agree – convergence is becoming a part of every day business now. The integrators who are embracing it are ahead of the game. Regardless of whether you’re welcoming it, or resisting it – convergence is happening.

Some other trends:

  • I saw quite a few products running HDbaseT protocol for audio, video and data transport.  To me, it’s obvious that companies are going capitalize on technologies that will enable them to do more with less.
  • I came across a technology from – a wireless collaboration system connected to a computer by a USB dongle that essentially replaces the conferencing system, enabling participants to share meeting agendas and other materials in real-time, all aimed at creating a better, more collaborative environment.
  • Aseem Gupta at Arrive Corporation was showing his company’s line of EdgelessMedia products focused on the educational markets.  The industry seems to have grown to such a point that companies can now create vertical market specific products, rather than products that can go across all categories.
  • Finally, there was the underlying tension of the economy.  People are concerned and while not everyone is feeling the effects, one company I spoke with said their Western European business was down 40 percent last year.

Overall, ISE has established itself as the AV show for the European market. ISE has continued to grow and evolve to cater to the needs of the market and the diversity of offerings, discussion and education at the show, is now unmatched in Europe.  The education pavilion, digital signage pavilion, keynotes from leaders in the IT market – ISE seems to be tracking changes every year, and that is refreshing.

What was your take on ISE 2012?