U.S. National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President and CEO, Gordon Smith (pictured), has announced that the 2021 NAB Show, previously scheduled for April 11–14 is now scheduled for October 9–13, 2021 in Las Vegas.
In a statement, Smith said, “As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, our top priority is to deliver a successful NAB Show. We recognise the vital role NAB Show plays as a driver of innovation and an economic engine for the global media and entertainment industry. With that in mind, it is critical we act on your behalf and in a way that will best serve the long-term interests of the industry. We have worked diligently over the last few weeks and months monitoring a range of variables, including health and safety concerns, economic indicators, industry developments and travel restrictions, to gain an understanding of overall trends and future conditions for holding a major event in 2021.”
The organisation has also extensively surveyed its “show community” to collect feedback on its digital initiatives, ascertain how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on exhibitor and delegate attendance plans, and canvas alternative dates for the event.
“Through all of this we have witnessed growing concern and uncertainty over what the next six months will bring,” says Smith, “enough that there appears to be a good deal of reluctance around participating in large events in the first half of next year. The pandemic remains a significant threat and the evidence suggests it will be well into next year before it could be under control in the U.S. We also have our own concerns around being able to deliver the type of event in April that will not only drive results, but one that can be produced safely for all involved and without significant limitations on the experience.
“Taking all of this into account and in the interest of supporting the business, health and safety concerns of our show community we have decided to move the 2021 NAB Show, previously scheduled for April 11–14, to October 9–13, 2021 in Las Vegas.
“With any difficult decision, there are trade-offs. Moving NAB Show to October means we are considering alternative 2021 dates for NAB Show New York, held annually in October. On the plus side, the 2021 Radio Show will co-locate with NAB Show in Las Vegas as will NAB’s Sales and Management Television Exchange; and there is opportunity to add additional partner events. Beyond this, we have done our best to avoid direct conflicts with other domestic and international events, and have reached out to allied organisations and partners to both share our thinking in advance and to offer to work collaboratively toward turning this into an opportunity for all.”
In the immediate term, NAB will continue with its online events planned for next month – the Radio Show (October 5–9), NAB’s Sales and Management Television Exchange (October 14–15), and its virtual NAB Show New York (October 19–29). It will also concentrate on NAB Amplify, it new year-round digital platform focusing on networking, discovery and education.
“Since the early stages of the current global crisis, we have done our best to balance our decision-making with the long-term interest of NAB members and the wider media and entertainment industry,” says Gordon Smith. “We have not made this decision lightly and have relied on a great deal of feedback from the NAB Show community. We are grateful to our stakeholders and partners for engaging with us and supporting our decision. Amidst all of this, we have been reminded of what a great industry we serve. As always, we look forward to working with you to provide vital events and services to support these efforts, and to invigorate and propel the industry forward.”