After much speculation, NAB has announced that the 2021 NAB Show has been cancelled. The in-person event was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas between 9 and 13 October.
The announcement comes after a number of its largest exhibitors, including Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Ross Video, as well as European company Rohde & Schwarz, announced that they were pulling out of the show within days of each other, citing concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19. The association said it plans to offer select virtual sessions through its Amplify portal.
NAB executive vice president and managing director of global connections, Chris Brown, released the following statement:
“For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. 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. NAB Show is the premiere destination for the media and entertainment industry and we will not move forward with a show that delivers anything less than the excellence our community has come to expect and deserves from us.
“While we are disappointed that we will not be together again in person next month, we look forward to converging at the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27, 2022, to reignite our passion for our business and focus on a bright future ahead.
“Stay tuned for details regarding virtual options for accessing select 2021 NAB Show content through NAB Amplify.”
Reaction to the announcement has already begun, with Grass Valley’s CMO and general manager, playout, Neil Maycock, saying: “Grass Valley was 100 per cent behind NAB Show and we were all looking forward to being back in Las Vegas again. We firmly believe in NAB’s focus and ability to deliver a safe and valuable event. However, given the dwindling industry support we totally understand that NAB has no option but to make the decision to cancel the October show,” he said in a statement.
“NAB is always an effective way for us to meet lots of customers and partners, and to share our latest thinking and innovations. To bridge this gap, we will be shifting to a series of online customer and industry events, as we did during 2020 and the first half of 2021. We continue to see live trade shows as a key part of our industry engagement and are looking forward to NAB Show in April 2022.”