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NAB 2020 will be replaced by online event called 'NAB Show Express'

Concluding that it's impossible for NAB 2020 to be rescheduled later this year, the National Association of Broadcasters announced Friday it is pushing ahead with a new online event called NAB Show Express to be held next month.

That decision arrives a little over a week after the organization announced that NAB 2020, originally set for April 18-22 in Las Vegas, would be postponed due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and that NAB would instead review alternatives.

"In light of the current circumstances, it is impossible to hold a rescheduled 2020 NAB Show this year," NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith explained in a letter distributed Friday, noting that national authorities "are imploring Americans to telework wherever possible."

Under the updated plan, the digitally focused NAB Show Express will launch sometime in April, with more details to be forthcoming.

"This digital experience will provide a conduit for our exhibitors to share product information, announcements and demos, as well as deliver educational content from the original selection of programming slated for the live show in Las Vegas, and create opportunities for the community to interact virtually – all of which adds up to something that brings the NAB Show community together in a new way," Smith said.

NAB, he added, also plans to offer an enhanced and expanded version of NAB Show New York this fall.

"We will have more to say about these efforts in the coming weeks," Smith added.

Following the NAB's decision to postpone this year's show in Las Vegas, Light Reading is also going digital with a session focused on next-gen streaming video that was originally set to run during NAB 2020. That 90-minute virtual event, "Taking Streaming Video the Next Level," is set to start at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, April 20.

As it prepares its own digital event, NAB has also introduced a new public service announcement campaign for radio and TV that provides information about how consumers can protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19, along with a toolkit with best practices for broadcast stations to combat coronavirus misinformation.

NAB 2021 is currently scheduled to take place April 11-14, 2021, in Las Vegas.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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