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SCTE, NAB shows will clash in 2021

Annual shows hosted by the SCTE/ISBE and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) are on a collision course in 2021 after the NAB announced it would shift its annual spring confab to next fall.

Citing continued health, safety and economic issues tied to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith said the organization's 2021 annual event, originally scheduled for April 11-14 in Las Vegas, is being moved to October 9-13, but will remain in Sin City.

"Through all of this we have witnessed growing concern and uncertainty over what the next six months will bring; enough that there appears to be a good deal of reluctance around participating in large events in the first half of next year," Smith explained.

That change means NAB 2021 will overlap a bit with next year's SCTE/ISBE's Cable-Tec Expo, which is presently set to run from October 11-14 in Atlanta.

SCTE/ISBE, which has teamed with NAB to stage a virtual form of Cable-Tec Expo slated to take place next month, made it clear that it has no intentions to alter its plans to host its annual show next October.

"Through our BEIT [broadcast engineering IT] partnership, NAB is contributing technical panels to the Cable-Tec Expo 2020 Virtual Experience," SCTE/ISBE said in a statement. "We look forward to their participation again Oct. 11-14 of next year when Cable-Tec Expo returns to Atlanta."

The overlapping dates between two major trade shows is yet another example of how the pandemic has wreaked havoc on industry events in general. In 2020, several events – both large and small – have either pivoted to a virtual, online format or have been canceled altogether.

Ongoing uncertainty has also forced organizations other than the NAB to tweak major industry events set for the first half of 2021. The Consumer Technology Association, for example, has already announced that the 2021 CES, an annual event usually held in January in Las Vegas, will be an "all-digital experience."

The NAB Show's move to next fall also threatens to crowd other big industry events. After scuttling its live, on-site event for 2020, IBC currently plans to hold its 2021 event September 10-13 in Amsterdam.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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