Catalonia’s first trade show since the pandemic, ISE, kicks off

World’s largest professional audiovisual fair hopes to host larger edition in 2022

Some of the stands exhibiting at the trade show Integrated Systems Europe in June 2021 (by Marta Casado Pla)
Some of the stands exhibiting at the trade show Integrated Systems Europe in June 2021 (by Marta Casado Pla) / Cillian Shields and Scarlett Reiners

Cillian Shields and Scarlett Reiners | Barcelona

June 1, 2021 09:11 PM

Integrated Systems Europe, or ISE, the world’s largest audiovisual trade show, has come to Barcelona for the first time for its 2021 edition. Quite a lot different from usual, the event this year is much smaller and there are many coronavirus regulations in place.

Taking place at the Fira Gran Via congress hall in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, the ISE is a gathering for professionals working in the audiovisual systems industry.

The event features exhibitions from major players in the sector, such as Panasonic, Jabra, and Alfalite, as well as conferences and speeches from industry leaders.

There are also lots of chairs and tables around the hall to facilitate networking opportunities. 

Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, who attended the two-day event on June 1, said that the digital and audiovisual sector is “strategic” for the city, considering that a lot of industry talent is “rooted” in Barcelona. She said that this all suggests “great potential for the coming years” for the city’s technological sector. 

She added that “We are convinced that the digital sector will be the most useful in helping us get out of the crisis as quickly as possible”. The ISE also comes just before another world-renowned digital congress comes to Barcelona at the end of June - the Mobile World Congress, expecting to welcome between 30,000 and 50,000 visitors to their event focussed on the vital role that mobile technology has played over the past year, keeping the world connected in a year marked by the pandemic.

Catalan Innovation Zone

Also present at this year’s event is the Catalan Innovation Zone, sponsored by Catalonia’s Trade and Investment body, ACCIÓ, showcasing some of the leading companies and technologies from here. 

The space organised by the Catalan government body will be 200 square meters and will host 20 Catalan companies, helping them search for investors, partners, and customers, as well as gain visibility and open new international markets.

The Catalan companies present are Amate, OnionLab, OPTIMUS, Arthur Holm,, EZ Acoustics, ebantic, the RIS3CAT Media Community, iDISC, ADTEL, the university design center BAU, Sono, IZI, MitisWorld, Waapiti, Percon, Watchity, Albadalejo, Lavinia Services, and Window Sight.

They focus on developing hardware, software, and services in the audio and video sector, as well as other areas such as virtual reality, content management platforms, 3D mapping, equipment management and audiovisual production.

Covid-19 measures

The event at the Fira congress hall in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, is one of the first large scale congresses taking place since the pandemic. However, this of course comes with plenty of preventative measures designed to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19.

On arrival, all attendees have to take a rapid antigen test before being allowed entry. The process is quite time-consuming, as there is a prior registration step, followed by a queue to receive the test and then another 20-minute waiting time to be notified with the results.

Facemasks, provided at the entrance, are also compulsory at all times unless eating, drinking or smoking. Hand-gel is available at many different points and maintaining a distance of 1.5 meters between each person is also recommended. 

In order to prevent large agglomerations of people, the ISE this year is much smaller than normal - the director of the congress, Mike Blackman, suggesting that it may even be “50 times” smaller than normal, with the event only taking place in one out of the 8 available halls at the Fira. 

The ISE is taking place on June 1st and 2nd in Barcelona’s Fira Gran Vía, and plans to be back with a much larger edition next February.