By David Kitchener, Event Director, EI Live! and EI Live! Europe
Given the regular conversation – on social media primarily – regarding ISE and European shows in general, I wanted to outline the reasoning for the launch of our new European show, EI Live! Europe, which takes place in Amsterdam on 14-15 June 2023.
EI Live! UK began life as a one day show some 14 years ago in Manchester, in the north of the UK. At that time, there was a CEDIA UK event taking place at Excel, so we kept EI Live! as a one day show at the other end of the country, which suited the industry. However, when CEDIA decided to cancel their show altogether, it was a no brainer to bring the EI Live! business model to the south of the UK to fill the void left by the CEDIA cancellation. The first southern show was a one-day show, but it went down so well that the following year it became a two-day event. The UK show has grown through a couple of venues but now resides at Farnborough International exhibition centre and is the only dedicated AV and smart home exhibition in the UK.
EI Live! Europe – a brand extension
I have been asked many times to take the UK EI Live! into Europe, but the timing has never been right for various reasons – mainly due to ISE taking place in Amsterdam for many years, and the growth of that show.
Things have changed now, and the CI industry is changing all the time – most notably that ISE has moved to Barcelona for the foreseeable future.
By making the move to Barcelona, my belief is that it has opened the door in several areas. Firstly, the void this has left for northern Europeans and a trade show. But more importantly, the fact that ISE seems to be moving more to the commercial side of the AV industry, with the promotion of itself quite prominently as ‘The Pro AV show’ and the consensus that the percentage split is around 90%+ in favour of commercial AV, leaving some 10% or less for the residential AV sector.
This has clearly left the need for a dedicated residential European smart home exhibition that will fill the needs not only of the northern Europeans, but will also showcase and present the residential AV sector.
The first EI Live! Europe is taking place in Amsterdam, with the Passenger Terminal in the centre of Amsterdam as the venue. The Passenger Terminal is a high-tech venue that suits the AV and smart home industry very well. We have secured a major partner for the event for the next three years in the shape of KNX Europe, together with top UK and European companies already signed up to exhibit at this year’s event.