Smart Buildings Magazine met with Mike Blackman, managing director of Integrated Systems Europe.

How did ISE begin?

Randy Lemke of InfoComm (later AVIXA) had the initial idea to create a show for the AV industry. They'd done an InfoComm show in Germany for a couple of years, together with the Photokina show, but it didn't really fit anymore. When they started, they had exhibitors like Kodak and people used multiple slide projectors and things like that for presentations; but the industry had changed. Also, the audience for Photokina was more on the photographic side rather than the AV side.

So, Randy decided that it made sense for InfoComm to go out on their own and do a standalone exhibition, and he had discussions with Billilynne Keller from CEDIA and Chuck Wilson from NSCA and they jumped in and said yes lets make it happen. They then approached me through a headhunter. After discussions and me looking at this and thinking, “This could be good, this could be fun, this is going somewhere,” I said, “Yeah, I want to do this.” And the rest is history, we’ve really grown over the last 20 years, and I am so looking forward to this anniversary edition.

Why did ISE start a smart buildings conference?

Early in our experience of creating Conferences for ISE, it was clear that the issue of designing, building and using smart buildings was a huge growth area for the AV industry. Most new buildings have smart elements - from smart offices to motion sensor lighting to indoor air quality monitors to the access control system. ISE is the ideal platform for a conference addressing issues and hence, the Smart Building Conference has been one of the most popular conferences in our history.

Who is speaking at the conference this year?

Now in its 10th year, the Smart Building Conference returns on Tuesday 30 January as part of our comprehensive conference programme, curated by the hugely experienced Bob Snyder. For all buildings, old as well as new, there’s untold ROI that comes from investing in smart technology. Yet what really makes a building smart is the ability to apply these technologies in meaningful (smart) ways. The 2024 Smart Building Conference will share the latest in-building tech and show, if applied correctly, how smart buildings, homes and offices can yield big returns.

With smart building case studies and presentations from leaders of the latest technology solutions for inside smart buildings, smart homes and smart offices. Our speakers this year include Emmanuel Daniel, CEO and Founder, Alosanar, highlighting progress over the last 10 years in making buildings smarter. Emmanuel is Recipient of America's “2023 Smart Building Leadership Award” and we are lucky to have him. We also have Franz Kammerl, President, KNX Association International and Dan Drogman, CEO & Founder, Smart Spaces as well as many more – the full details are on the ISE website, so check out the Smart Building Conference page.

What else is happening at ISE?

Well, there is a great deal happening this year, especially as we celebrate our 20th anniversary!

We have three amazing keynote speakers:

Our opening keynote will be delivered on Tuesday 30 January at 17:15 by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, a distinguished cinema director and the recipient of two Academy Awards and seven Emmy Awards. Ms. Obaid Chinoy is set to make history as the first woman to direct the new Star Wars movie. She will also grace the stage at DAVOS this current week. At ISE, Ms. Obaid Chinoy will share her experience in applying AV technology to elevate the art of storytelling, aligning with the show’s professional commitment to highlighting expertise and excellence in this field. Her keynote is titled ‘Seeing through the Eyes of Others: Redefining the Art of Storytelling’.

For our Wednesday keynote, we will welcome Jeroen van der Most, a Dutch AI artist. Besides his keynote at 17.15 Jeroen will mesmerise audiences at ISE 2024 with two live performances broadcast on the newly unveiled South Access Screen; an impressive 193m2 invisible LED display at the entrance to the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue. In this visually stimulating exhibition, titled ‘Bee Barcelona’, Jeroen will construct an AI-based replica of his creative mind, taking the audience on an immersive journey through his thoughts. We welcome everyone to join us and Jeroen for an outstanding virtual experience.

On Thursday we are delighted to welcome Sofia Crespo, a pioneering visual artist exploring organic life and its evolution through artificial intelligence. Sofia is the chosen artist for the upcoming projection mapping on the facade of Casa Batlló. ISE is honoured to be supporting another iconic Casa Batlló projection mapping installation. If you want to learn more about the technology behind this stunning project, meet Sofia at ISE. In addition to this, ISE attendees will be able to view Sofia’s digital art in its entirety on the ISE Creative Cube, a 6m x 2m LED four screen monolith, powered by Lang, that will be situated near the ISE Show Floor Stage in Hall 4. The screening will run throughout the duration of ISE 2024.

We have many new and exciting features for ISE 2024. We have seven extended Technology Zones, including, Audio, Content Production & Distribution, Digital Signage and DooH, Education Technology, Lighting & Staging, Multi-Technology, Residential & Smart Building, and Unified Communications.

In addition to great innovation from more than 1340 exhibitors, including more than 80 companies making their debut at ISE 2024, this very special edition of ISE offers a whole range of exciting and inspiring features including:

  • ISE Audio Museum, featuring Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon PA and Pompeii PA by WEM and many other gems of audio history
  • America's Cup Team New Zealand land yacht on the show floor
  • ISE Time Tunnel, marking 20 years of technology developments at ISE
  • Plug and Play Stage, with a series of impactful keynotes, panel discussions and fireside chats and the opportunity for start-ups to showcase their solutions on stage
  • ISE Tech Tours that will take visitors behind the scenes at key Barcelona installations
  • ISE Treasure Hunt to unlock amazing prizes on the show floor

What are the benefits of attending ISE?

ISE as a show has grown substantially over the past two decades and has solidified its role as a key date in the global AV calendar. There is so much for attendees to experience, all week long. ISE serves as a catalyst for innovation, bringing together industry leaders, professionals, and enthusiasts to showcase and explore the latest advancements in audio-visual technology and smart buildings. The show has consistently been a platform for networking and collaboration. It not only reflects the industry's current state but also plays a proactive role in steering its future direction by providing a platform for thought leadership, product launches, and strategic discussions that ultimately shape the trajectory of the global AV landscape.

I’d say it is a must-visit for anyone working in smart buildings, pro AV and systems integration!