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Smart Workplace Summit: Content Chair interview

It’s another exciting year for the smart workplace and ISE will present its third edition of the Smart Workplace Summit on Tuesday 2 February at the Fira Barcelona. We chatted with Content Chair, Bob Snyder, about what delegates can expect from the 2023 summit.

Bob, what will be the theme of this edition of the Smart Workplace Summit?

This year we want to concentrate on the 'New Priorities for the Workplace'. New ideas, technological innovation and new generations of workforce continue to upend traditional approaches to work - so we are seeing new strategies and technologies which companies will use to create post-pandemic smarter workplaces.

It's a new world of work, a world where you’ll hear 'hybrid' as a description of how companies will try to cope with a workforce that demands choices.

One thing is clear: each company will find its own solutions. So much depends upon the type of industry, the job category, the size of the company – and even the attitude of the top management.

Each company will struggle to find its own formula, its own strategic priorities for building a smarter workplace.


Who will be speaking at this year’s Summit?

Of course, we have back many of the leading brands for smart offices and smart meeting rooms. It’s the time when our delegates can hear in person from important companies and high level executives from Google, Zoom, Microsoft and others,

I am pleased we also have some industry leaders that can talk about what’s beyond the usual messages out there about hybrid workplaces. We have workplace consultant and author Philip Ross talk about 'unworking', unlearning old habits and rituals established for an outdated office and creating new strategies, ones fit for an age of digital technology, design innovation, and diverse workforces.

We’ll have expert talks on the challenges of the UC-agnostic enterprise, AV as a service, why smart workplaces might fail and other topics that really guide any technology decisions.

Keypoint Intelligence will be with us to discuss their research: 5 Must-Have Qualities of the Future Workplace.

Of course, we’ll address personal safety and health as a major employee issue.


What’s new in technologies that you’ll address?

There’s a battle of brands to dominate the meeting rooms, creating a front line of innovation as manufacturers finetune their product ranges. All four key human interfaces (displays, cameras, microphones, speakers) have been re-thought and re-engineered for the new office conditions.

At least one major AV company is arguing AV professionals should upgrade how they think about (and use) desktop productivity. The cost of old technology suggests AV integrators could use their expertise to design better desktop solutions which increase both productivity and worker satisfaction.

One new technology, IoT, brings numerous opportunities to use sensors to improve office life – not only by measuring variables but also by allowing post-measurement personalization in some cases.

IoT does not stand alone: new solutions with Artificial Intelligence and Digital Twin can enhance what IoT brings to the office.

While makers of AV and IT reimagine their devices to fit the new marketplace, others want to reimagine the entire work experience and disrupt the incumbents. Both metaverse and holography industries covet the smart workplace and rising venture capital serves to enable their innovations.

Even humble audio (oddly the quietest of technologies in a world where technologies all seem to shout) understands their products need to adapt to the shift in the workplace.

And we’ll talk about the 'visual workplace' as well the audio.


What would you say to industry people thinking about registering?

If the workplace and smart office is your bailiwick, then spending a few hours with us at ISE 2023 will help you with the focus you’ll need to succeed. We work really hard in this AV industry and sometimes we forget to take step back and look at the wider picture. To open ourselves up to new ideas and new thought leaders

Personally, I think we are moving beyond pandemic-related uncertainty and the Summit brings together thought leaders and product leaders to now chart specific courses of direction for companies, their integrators, and their vendors.