- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The 2021 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show has been canceled.
The trade show, which had been scheduled to be held Oct. 9-13 in Las Vegas, will not be moving forward, with the trade group saying in a statement Wednesday that “unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community.
“As we have always kept the best interest and safety of the industry as our priority, it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person,” the statement continued.
The annual confab, which in 2019 reported attendance of roughly 91,000, is one of the largest events on the calendar for broadcasters and their technology providers. The 2020 edition of the show went virtual due to the pandemic, with the NAB planning for a lighter in-person show for October. However many major exhibitors had already pulled out, including Sony and Canon, which withdrew last week due to concerns about COVID-19.
In fiscal 2018 and 2019, the NAB Show contributed $47 million and $46 million in revenue to the Washington-based broadcasters trade association and lobbying group. The NAB hasn’t filed its full fiscal 2020 forms yet, but preliminary numbers are consistent with the prior two years, meaning that two years without an NAB show could potentially be a nearly $100 million financial hit, with the caveat that it isn’t known what was generated by the 2020 virtual event.
As the show was a few weeks away, exhibitors that planned to attend would have already designed and manufactured their booths. One industry vet who has worked NAB as an exhibitor pointed out that larger exhibitors may have also already prepped and packed their exhibit gear. The Audio Engineering Society was among the organizations that planned to co-locate its annual conference with NAB.
NAB said it plans to offer “certain elements” of the 2021 show virtually, though it will not be doing a full virtual event. Instead, the organization said it is shifting focus to the 2022 NAB live event, which is slated to be held April 23-27 in Las Vegas.
The trade show is the latest staple of the media and entertainment calendar to reevaluate its plans in the wake of the delta variant of COVID-19. Vaccination requirements and rapid testing have become commonplace for live events, and while the NAB Show had previously told attendees that proof of vaccination would be required to attend, the precautions weren’t enough to keep the show going, with business travel once again slowing down.
Carolyn Giardina contributed to this report.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day