During October, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) commissioned research, targeting AV professionals to evaluate visitor appetites for conferences and events following COVID-19. The research, completed before news of a COVID-19 vaccine, was carried out by Fusion-Insight to gauge interest in face-to-face, digital and hybrid event formats. The results show that 98 percent of the audience missed attending in-person AV industry events.
ISE was forced to postpone its Barcelona debut in February 2021 due to the global pandemic. In the absence of in-person events, there has been a sharp rise in digital events to fulfill education, networking and profiling agendas. Virtual events are useful for lead generation, deepening customer relationships and building brand profile, but live experiences such as touching, seeing and hearing AV products have yet to be replicated.
Through its research, ISE wanted to explore the general feeling toward face-to-face events in 2021. The research consisted of a web-based survey sent to ISE’s database and a collection of in-depth interviews with ISE exhibitors. Over 700 (711 completed responses analysed and used within the research by Fusion Insight and Strategy) people from 96 countries (71 percent of respondents were based in Europe, 13 percent in North America, 8 percent in Asia, 5 percent in the Middle-East, 1 percent in Central and South America, 1 percent in Australia and New Zealand, and 1 percent in Africa) responded to the survey, with 95 percent having attended ISE before (60 percent in February 2020).
The research and the results overwhelmingly endorse a return to in-person as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. Findings show that 98 percent of the research audience missed attending events, with 42 percent of these missing meeting and networking with people the most, 32 percent missing the live experience of products, and 21 percent missing the direct exchange with suppliers and customers.
Almost 70 percent of the audience is ready to attend in-person trade shows, and 57 percent would be ready to visit international ones. Given that this research was conducted before news of a vaccine, it shows a desire to get back out to physical events again.
“We felt it very important to listen to our industry in shaping our offering for 2021 and so we commissioned independent market research specialists to conduct this intelligence project for us,” Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events explained. “The results clearly demonstrate that, for an industry at the cutting edge of immersive technologies, there is no substitute to the touch-see-hear experiences that are at the heart of the AV industry and shows such as ISE. We are working very hard towards the goal of ISE2021 in Barcelona in June next year and it is reassuring to confirm that strong demand is there too.”
Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2021 is currently slated to take place at the Fira de Barcelona, Gran Vía in Barcelona, Spain from June 1-4.
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