NAB Show 2020: nope.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

The NAB in 2013.

If you work in or around television (or movies, visual effects, radio…) you know the NAB as the huge trade show that is literally too big to be held anywhere else (before 1991, it would take over places like Chicago, Dallas, or even Atlanta, but since, it’s all Vegas, baby.) Hall after hall packed with cameras, switchers, lights, helicopters, microphones, all the toys.

And packed with humans, humans, humans from around the world, eagerly, well, getting their hands on the gear. Selling, dealmaking, absorbing. And outside the halls, drinking, eating, carousing, and sweating.

I used to go every couple of years, then, every half-decade or so, then…well, it’s been a while. It was, after all, a good excuse to see a lot of tech and get a good In n Out Burger.

But in the past couple of weeks, tweeted cancellation notices from big companies like Adobe, Ross Video, and AJA seemed to indicate that ol’ ‘abundance of caution’ was reaching critical mass.

And today, we get a release from NAB President and CEO Gordon H. Smith (the former Oregon senator with whom my brother-in-law shares some of a name.)

In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community.

As of this moment, the best possible experience is not to (literally) rub shoulders with masses of colleagues from around the world. The other big worldwide annual TV stuff show is the IBC held in mid-September in Amsterdam. It’ll be interesting to see if the world has changed (again) by then.