A new convention model awaits NAB Show attendees.
By Terry Scutt
The excitement is evident as the NAB Show community plans to come together in-person for the first time in three years. Despite the worldwide pandemic, the industry continues to evolve through advances in technology and by embracing new business models.
NAB Show is a catalyst for the evolution of broadcasting and the broader media and entertainment industry, and show organizers are hard at work to ensure this year’s event is a unique and valuable experience for all.
“It is apparent that the challenges of the last several years have accelerated trends that had been building for some time, including the push to remote or decentralized production, the growth of streaming and the focus on personalized and unique forms of content,” said Chris Brown, executive vice president and managing director of Global Connections and Events for the NAB.
NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt — who will mark his first NAB Show as leader of the organization — noted that the hiatus and technological advances have given NAB the chance to introduce a new convention model that he says will help those involved in modern media create closer connections to people and solutions. Rather than separate creation for broadcast or podcast or streaming, for example, the show will demonstrate that broadened content creation is the way of the future.
“Recognizing it is imperative that our show reflect the dynamics of our industry, we have reimagined and redesigned the show to align with how our industry works,” LeGeyt said. “This will maximize the experience and ROI for our exhibitors and attendees, while creating a forum that is conducive for commerce, innovation and making valuable connections.”
NAB Show will define the exhibit floor around three key themes — Create, Connect and Capitalize — with an additional focus on Intelligent Content.
The reimagined NAB Show experience accounts for the fact that we live and work in a cross-platform world. High-end professional products and technologies previously within reach only for larger companies have become more accessible to smaller businesses, and those tools are no longer confined to different silos within the industry.
The old model with a radio hall, broadcast hall and post-production hall no longer fits today’s media ecosystem, the NAB said. Instead, exhibitors will be located in the areas they best represent, all still a part of the renewed content lifecycle.
Content creators who want to elevate the art of their storytelling will find the latest tools in the North and Central Halls. From acquisition, pre-production and post, to audio, video, radio and animation, attendees can learn about more compact, more affordable cameras, virtual production and the advance of remote and distributed workflows for telecollaboration. Blackmagic Design, Ross Video, Rohde & Schwarz and Wheatstone can be found in the North Hall. The Central Hall is home to Canon, Ikegami and Sony, among many others.
The Connect area is the next step for content. With consumers receiving their content anywhere at any time, cloud computing, media infrastructure, streaming, distribution and remote transmission are pushing the boundaries of content delivery. Attendees looking for new ways to connect and deliver content to consumers will find what they need in the West Hall. Anchor exhibitors include Verizon, Sencore, Dielectric, Nautel, Interra Systems and Worldcast Connect.
Attendees who want to learn more about leveraging content to drive revenue will want to spend time on the exhibit floor in the North Hall. Serving up technical solutions and a deeper knowledge of business models, exhibitors here will enable attendees to maximize the value of their content. Exhibitors include Evertz, IHSE, ENCO, Planar, WideOrbit and BackBlaze.
INTELLIGENT CONTENT SHOWCASE
The showcase, taking up residence in the West Hall, will highlight content personalization and the role that data, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence play in media workflows. AWS, Microsoft, MediaKind and Veritone are anchor participants in this area.
Throughout the halls are Experiential Zones designed to provide a unique take on the trends and technologies that sit at the center of each of the show themes. See page 12 for information on these zones — Implementation, Inspiration and Innovation.
NAB has taken a fresh approach to design the show with both attendees and exhibitors in mind and to allow more efficient exploration across the content workflow. For the first time in many years, the South Upper and Lower Halls will not be part of the NAB Show experience.
“First and foremost, I hope our attendees are excited to get back to doing business face-to-face; and to just having the opportunity to reconnect with old friends from across the industry,” said Brown. “This is the side of the show that drives so much of its value, both emotionally and practically.
“There has been a lot made of how businesses have been able to adapt to doing business remotely, and while it is true to a degree, there is nothing that can deliver the same impact as in-person interaction. At a large event like NAB Show there is an energy, excitement and shared connection that simply can’t be replicated.”
Susan Ashworth contributed to this article.