News, Video Interviews

Mike Blackman Explains Why ISE 2021 Is Moving Forward In Barcelona

ISE 2021, Mike Blackman, Integrated Systems Events

The commercial AV industry is still abuzz in the wake of Integrated Systems Events’ decision, announced on March 1, to press forward with an in-person ISE 2021 event in Barcelona, Spain, from June 1 to 4. To get additional details on the decision-making process, Sound & Communications’ Editor, Dan Ferrisi, spoke to Integrated Systems Events’ Managing Director, Mike Blackman, on March 3.

In the interview, conducted via Zoom, Blackman details the extensive consultative process that ISE undertook, consulting with stakeholders and assessing the viability of an in-person show. Blackman emphasizes the rapidly decreasing number of newly diagnosed cases on the European continent generally—and in Spain individually—as well as the successful rollout of several highly efficacious vaccines.

Taking Extensive Safety Precautions For ISE 2021

Blackman also underscores the fact that, with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic not having been overcome just yet, show organizers will be taking extensive precautions to keep people safe. Those include not only social distancing and temperature checks but also putting UV filters into the ventilation system. What’s more, those descending on the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via will have to present a recent negative COVID-19 test or be tested onsite.

Blackman speaks about the logistical challenges that the pandemic has introduced, not least travel restrictions that, for example, will prevent those from Australia from taking part. But he also underscores the robust virtual/hybrid program that show organizers hope to integrate with the in-person festivities in Barcelona. And he stresses that ISE has tried to be exhibitor-friendly by waiving any financial penalties for ISE participants who chose to cancel their participation in the few days immediately following the organizers’ decision to press forward.

Check out the full 20-minute interview to gain further insights into Blackman’s decision-making process, as well as to learn what ISE showgoers can expect to experience when the industry’s largest exposition makes its Barcelona debut:

To see more exclusive interviews from Sound & Communications, click here.

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