Centennial Milestone Expecting Show Growth
NAB’s Brown expects more attendees this year as event celebrates 100th anniversary.
By Mark J. Pescatore, System Contractor News
As the National Association of Broadcasters celebrates the show’s 100th anniversary, it is hoping to build on last year’s momentum with nearly 1,200 exhibitors on the show floor. Chris Brown, executive vice president and managing director of NAB Global Connections and Events, shared his thoughts on last year’s return and what attendees can expect next week.
SCN: NAB Show’s 100th anniversary is quite the milestone. How will you celebrate at the show?
Chris Brown: As we commemorate 100 years since the first NAB Show in 1923, we are offering opportunities for attendees, exhibitors and other stakeholders to share their memories, engage online and onsite, and connect via a range of networking opportunities.
We launched a website that provides an interactive journey through NAB’s history with a timeline detailing landmark achievements, moments in broadcasting and at NAB Show, along with image galleries, broadcasters’ stories and a digital NAB Hall of Fame detailing radio and television legends inducted throughout the years.
We also kicked off “Share Your Story,” a community campaign, encouraging individuals to share special memories, serendipitous moments, or remarkable stories about broadcasting and NAB Show. Additionally, we are planning registration incentives, contests, special events and activations, and recognitions of exceptional past NAB Show participation.
Above all, we are focused on creating a vibrant marketplace as well as programs and services that deliver substantial direct value to our community. This centennial year more than ever, we are striving to create meaningful connections that educate, spur innovation, facilitate partnerships and drive growth for the industry.
SCN: Like last year, the exhibit hall will open on a Sunday. What has been the reaction from attendees regarding the weekend start?
CB: Last year, we opened the show on Sunday for the first time, versus the traditional Monday opening, and we closed on Wednesday instead of Thursday. This was implemented to make participation easier for those involved in live and other studio production projects, as well as those who may find it difficult to get away during the week or want to minimize time away from work. The feedback we received on this new schedule was overwhelmingly positive, and we think it will continue to help boost attendance and maximize exhibitors’ time with customers.
SCN: Every NAB Show has its own buzz. What do you expect to be the hot topics on the show floor this year?
CB: There are some unique developments impacting the media and entertainment business. On the broadcast side, for example, NextGen TV in the U.S. (ATSC 3.0) is steadily advancing as there are more stations, more receivers, more viewers and more new opportunities around better picture, sound and interactivity to drive engagement.
5G production techniques, particularly around live events, is another growth area, and when combined with cloud workflows, it borders on revolutionary in terms of how broadcasters can source, produce and publish their content.
And there is no doubt, streaming media — whether it be audio or video, ad supported or subscription, live or on-demand, via handheld remote or voice controlled — is an exciting and growing way broadcasters and media companies are reaching consumers.
On the production and post-production side, virtualization and remote production tools continue to drive new dynamics, as do advances in VFX technology via game engine technology and exciting tools like “volume” screens. Another growing trend is the way that tools, traditionally leveraged exclusively for high-end cinema production, are now finding adoption with content creators across broadcast, enterprise, and more creative communities; this is a focus of our new CineCentral area on the show floor
There is a lot of buzz around generative AI, the Metaverse, Web3, AI, and data-driven personalization. Generative Ai appears to be a game-changer and the media space is likely to be one of the industries where it has the greatest impact.
And we certainly see data as a critical driver for the future. Data allows content creators to produce content that the consumer wants, and to serve it up when the consumer wants it. It allows broadcasters and other media players to target and contextualize advertising, so advertising becomes a more seamless part of the content experience. It is powering more efficient production and post-production workflows. Understanding the power of data and how it can be put to use now and in the future is what the Intelligent Content area at NAB Show is all about.