06.02.20

LG pulls out of ISE show

ISE
The show floor at ISE 2019: 81,268 attended the show last year.

LG has pulled out of the forthcoming ISE show in Amsterdam amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, while visitor registration is up on 2019 figures.

The decision comes hot on the heels of the Korean technology company’s announcement that it would cancel participation in Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress show at the end of the month. 

Speaking to Inavate this morning, Mike Blackman, managing director of ISE, remained upbeat about the show and said he respected the LG’s decision to avoid major gatherings at the moment. “ISE will still go ahead, we still have the support of the majority of customers. Outside of our top 400 exhibitors this is the only cancellation we have received,” he confirmed.

“Obviously we regret that LG is not there, and we look forward to welcoming them back in the future.”

Blackman confirmed that the LG stand had started to be dismantled in Hall 12 of the RAI. ISE will now work with the RAI to ensure the space is filled, with plans to reduce pressure on catering underway. 

Blackman said: “We have several ideas working with other exhibitors and the RAI to deal with the space. It won’t be empty. One of the ideas is to use the space to create additional restaurant space and additional features.”

Despite the cancellation, ISE co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA remain positive about the show, with the virus so far having a very limited effect on exhibitor participation. Chinese companies will be the most affected but currently less than 20% of Chinese exhibitor’s booths have been cancelled.

“We have lost some Chinese customers because of the situation,” said Blackman. “That’s now over 40 companies from China affected due to restrictions or cancellations of their travel possibilities. 

“But we’re hearing that quite a lot of Chinese companies - and also international companies from Korea who are staying - are working with their European and international staff to man the booths. Certainly, a lot of the major Chinese companies do have offices, distribution and personnel in Europe and elsewhere. The information we’re receiving is they’re using those people to man their booths and take care of their presence at ISE.”

ISE organisers note that the show is proceeding with consideration to current guidelines provided by public health authorities including that of the World Health Organization (WHO). 

In a statement to the press ISE co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA said: “We understand and support that our exhibiting partners will make decisions based on the best course of action for their employees and customers and that this situation requires all of us to make informed decisions with the most up-to-date information possible. With that in mind, we will continue to share information as it is available.”

Despite the disruption, registration is up on last year’s figures taken at the same point. Organisers concede this won’t necessarily translate into attendees, but a recent registration spike does indicate that visitor disruption will be limited. 
 
Show organisers advised exhibitors and attendees to continue to: “refer to the ISE website for regular updates regarding ISE's, the RAI's and the world's health community's recommendations regarding specifics about the virus and health recommendations.”