NAB Show still a go

Showrunner says 'overwhelming majority' of exhibitors looking forward to Las Vegas event while registrations continue on pace with normal patterns amid ongoing concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

March 4, 2020

2 Min Read
NAB Show still a go

The NAB Show, set for April 18-22, is "proceeding as planned," the National Association of Broadcasters announced Wednesday in a posting on a website dedicated to event-related updates concerning the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

"We are moving forward responsibly with the show," the NAB said. "We continue to take our direction from global, federal, and local health officials, like the WHO and CDC, which do not have travel notices or restrictions on public gatherings for the continental US."

NAB said it's hearing that the "overwhelming majority" of show exhibitors are looking forward to attending the event in Las Vegas and that attendee registrations continue to pace with normal patterns seen year-over-year. Last year's event drew 92,912 attendees, including 24,096 international attendees.

The Las Vegas Convention Center plans to implement a number of enhanced protocols during NAB 2020, including more frequent wiping and disinfecting of "touch points" such as door handles, elevator buttons, sinks and handrails, the deployment of additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility and an increase in the outside air intake/air change rates during occupied show hours.

Despite these precautions, NAB said it understands that some exhibitors and participants might back out of the show.

On Monday, AJA Video Systems, a Grass Valley, California-based maker of video cables, optical fibers and streaming products, announced its withdrawal from NAB 2020 citing risks from COVID-19.

"The health and safety of our show community remains our top priority … We will remain in close contact with health experts to ensure a safe and productive show for all of our exhibitors and attendees alike," an NAB official said in a statement. "Should the guidance from those experts change, we will reevaluate our plans."

Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 have caused the closure of several major events, including MWC Barcelona, the "in-person component" of Facebook's F8 developers conference and Google I/O, as well as smaller events such as the RDK Americas Summit.

Meanwhile, other events are currently slated to proceed, including OFC (March 10-12 in San Diego), the ACA Connects Summit (March 17-19 in Washington, D.C.) and Light Reading's own Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies (March 16-18 in Denver).

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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