Good, Superbad and the Ugly as we witness history at a bustling Barcelona

6 February 2024

As the magic dust settles on another year, we take a brief reflection on a very, very successful ISE – the biggest pro-AV show ever staged.

For the Bees, it wasn’t just busy, it was our busiest by far – echoing the record-breaking bustle that was evident on the show floor. More appointments than ever before, more press meetings and numerous new client discussions that had reached out to us before the show. Watch this space!

Many post-show reports mirror our own thoughts and we will not cover ground already written but, in a nutshell, a staggeringly successful show for us, our clients, and all that we have spoken to. Displays and Audio have never looked / sounded so good and methods of distribution, control and management are now moving at a pace. We’re still not convinced that AI in AV is not just complicated programming (at the moment), but the future is exciting indeed.

Biggest ‘wow’ surprise at the Fira was the collection of vintage audio hardware in the corridor between Halls 7 & 8. Here at Bees HQ, we have an office full of AV equipment from yesteryear, along with a large vinyl collection and record player, so imagine our joy when we stumbled across treasures such as Pink Floyd’s amplifier set-up for their Pompei concert, or Hendrix’s speaker rig, or Neil Young’s microphone, or The Who’s speakers… and so on and so on. It was a mesmerizing collection that was not only steeped in nostalgia and history, but also was an acute lesson in how far Audio technology has progressed in the past 40 or so years.

Barcelona certainly gets our vote for best show venue. Navigation is excellent (if you stick to the margins) and facilities are, on the whole, terrific. We’ve said it before, but huge kudos to stand builders, event managers, caterers, cleaners and all that make the magic happen.

But there’s always a pain point, and it was desperately sad to hear of friends and former colleagues being victims of Barcelona’s crime culture and this is something that is essential to address for 2025 and beyond.

Thank you to each and every one that spent time with the Bees in Barcelona. For us, meeting familiar faces and making new friends is the real highlight of any large trade show.

Until next time, adios amigos.

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