ISE 2018: Applying global AV lessons to regional markets
ISE has long been Europe’s biggest trade fair for integrated systems, but the event has become equally important to AV markets throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
There’s no denying the popularity of ISE trade fair across Europe and the huge influence it has on the regional systems integration industry. What is perhaps more surprising is the impact the Amsterdam-based show has on my home markets of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), where it’s now one of the most significant events on the calendar.
Last month’s show provided a great opportunity to speak to many end users and integrators, as well as to introduce our new Market Development team. In recent years, there has been a notable increase in end user visitors at ISE, and the 2018 edition was no different.
To me, this is part of a bigger shift in the industry, as AV end users follow the lead of the IT sector and look to have more control over their environments. As this change has occurred over the past decade, end users have dedicated more time to learning about the solutions available and the impact they can have on their organizations.
Of course, the levels of knowledge differ but the desire to be more informed seems almost universal. I believe this is great for Shure and the AV market as a whole, since it allows us to have direct conversations with the people who are going to be using our products. If there is a feature that would significantly improve a user’s environment, we get to hear about it. This, in turn, means we are ultimately better able to know what the customer actually wants.
Another aspect of the IT world that is influencing the AV sector is the push towards standardization. While opting to standardize IT equipment is the norm for many global organizations, this often hasn’t been the case when it comes to AV, with integrators looking at each space individually and designing a bespoke solution.
However, larger companies are now beginning to see the benefits of investing in standardized audio-video conferencing setups to ensure a consistency of experience no matter where in the world you are. Being able to service and respond to this development while ensuring the customer gets the support they need is something Shure has invested a lot of time and effort in, particularly with its Market Development resource.
A global approach
A recent Shure Market Development Summit in Chicago enabled associates from around the globe to meet, discuss ideas and share success stories. It also laid the groundwork for regular communication between teams from different regions in an effort to provide a more coordinated global approach.
Having said that, the area we cover from the Dubai office is huge and varied. Home to around four billion people, MEASA includes vibrant markets such as India, South Africa and Dubai, places expected to offer opportunity in the near future such as Saudi Arabia, and countries proving popular with multinationals like Nigeria and Kenya.
There is no “one-size fits all” approach to this diverse region – some companies may opt for a centralized approach, others may not. The only way to deal with that is for Shure to coordinate between offices, amongst Market Development associates and to educate, inform and get out into the field as much as possible.
Which brings us back to Amsterdam and ISE. As well as being an opportunity to meet end users and integrators, it’s a great place to discover the latest trends, technologies and topics in AV. Just as importantly, however, it also brings together the Shure team from around the world, enabling us to work more closely together to meet client needs.
This approach is already working extremely well for us in Dubai, as we continue to apply global lessons to our own (rather huge) backyard. See you in Amsterdam next year!