Tips for Attending ISE 2019

As Integrated Systems Europe continues to grow to record heights, each year there are more first timers to visit the show and/or Amsterdam.  Last year was my first time, so I thought I’d share some useful observations and tips.

The first thing to know is that this show is larger than the largest InfoComm show.  Not only is it a large space with many more manufacturers spanning commercial and residential markets, the layout is unique and can be a bit challenging if you don’t expect it.  Comparing the RAI to Las Vegas or Orlando Convention centers that house InfoComm shows, rather than one large contiguous hall or two large adjacent halls, the ISE layout is broken up into 15 smaller halls spread throughout a non-contiguous space.

Another significant difference is that the ceiling in the hall is much lower than the Las Vegas and Orlando convention centers, limiting the height of stands and the ability to hang visible signage high in the air.  Finding a stand is not as easy as pointing yourself in the right direction and looking for the overhead signs to guide you to the manufacturer you are seeking.

With that said, getting to and from appointments can involve a significant time investment depending on where they are located and the volume of attendees.

Here are some tips for both first timers and returning attendees:

  • Plan your day strategically ensuring that you can get from one location to another in enough time.  I like to leave 30 minutes in between appointments.
  • Walk the floor with a plan for each day.  Rather than spending too much time roaming from one hall to another across the convention center.  Target a group of halls and stop at all the stands in that area.  I try to budget at least half of day in the important areas for my business.
  • If you scheduled appointments before traveling, make sure they are in the local time zone.  When you arrive your calendar will not need any adjustment.
  • Find the social events and be sure to attend to take advantage of the networking opportunities and to see some familiar faces.  One that I’ll sure to be at is the AVNation Tweetup on Wednesday 4 PM – 6 PM in the HDBaseT stand Hall 5 S-100.
  • Download the ISE mobile app to help with navigation.  I also carry around a paper map to avoid getting lost.  (I’m not kidding.)
  • An important thing to know is that the facility has multiple floors, but the floor map does not clearly identify and indicate the different levels.  Be aware that some halls are on different levels than others.
  • Make plans in advance for evening meals.  It can be hard to find your crowd once the show ends.
  • Bring international power converters and ensure that they are ones that protect your electronics rather than just adapt the connection type.
  • Dress warm.  Amsterdam in February can be quite cold.  Bring gloves, scarf, hat, warm jacket, and good walking shoes.
  • Bring multiple pairs of comfortable shoes.  There will be a lot of walking.
  • Bring snacks and/or energy bars for makeshift lunches.  The food lines can be long and time consuming.

Each year, ISE sees more traffic from US attendees.  I look forward to seeing the familiar faces and catching up.

I’ll be on the show floor on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  If you want to get together, reach out via email steveg@controlconcepts.net, and we’ll make a plan to meet.