The National Association of Broadcasters announced on Wednesday the preliminary attendance of 52,468 visitors to the NAB Show 2022, the world's largest annual convention for broadcasters and the media and entertainment industry. An event which a member of Netalkole Media had the opportunity to attend.
“We are thrilled that our exhibitors, attendees and partners from around the world came out in force this week in Las Vegas. The enthusiasm and engagement on the show floor, in sessions and throughout the event was inspiring,” said President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt.
He added, "We thank the NAB Show community for making this year's convention an incredible experience as we begin to do business in person again."
Of the total number of registered participants, there were 11,542 international participants, representing 155 countries.
International attendance figures are included in the total number of registrations. All figures are based on pre-show and on-site registration and are subject to ongoing audit.
NAB also announced that the next NAB Show, on the 100th anniversary of the first NAB Show, will take place April 15-19, 2023 in Las Vegas.
Recall that the NAB Show was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, although the organization tried to go ahead with the event both years.
While many companies are slowly returning to their offices, there are still many choosing to restrict travel due to health and budget concerns, which likely contributed to the drop in attendance.
The NAB required all attendees to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, but opted to make only "recommended" face masks.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, some big names in the industry had dropped out of the show after having prominent appearances for years.
While many companies and organizations across many industries hold large conventions and trade shows, attendance figures had declined for many before the pandemic as businesses tightened spending.
While in-person networking is always touted as a big benefit of trade shows, product demos and announcements are also important – but it's likely that many companies have turned to remote demos and presentations during the pandemic. and may remain so for the foreseeable future, particularly as the economy begins to slow.
Many exhibitors in the 2022 edition have opted for eye-catching stands with demos, particularly in the areas of augmented reality and virtual sets. Large LED installations were also widely used to attract visitors' attention.
Meanwhile, NAB has announced plans for its 100th anniversary show April 15-19, 2023 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the same location as the 2022 event.
The first NAB Show was held in 1923 in New York, the same year the organization was founded, although it was known at the time as the National Association of Radio Broadcasters.
Like most trade shows, NAB will likely focus on restoring attendance in the coming years and may find it useful to leverage the centennial celebration as a marketing hook. However, it remains to be seen whether the numbers will ever return to pre-pandemic numbers.