NAB Attendance Estimated at 105,000+; International Attendance at New High
April 23, 2008
NAB said 105,259 people attended the convention last week; association officials expressed satisfaction with the number during a time of economic uncertainty.
Of those, 28,310 attendees came from outside of the United States, which is a record for international attendance at the show.
Last year drew about 108,000; NAB2006 drew about 105,000.
"You build a city, you invite 100,000 of your close personal friends, you welcome them," said NAB Executive Vice President for Communications Dennis Wharton. "And host them for a week, and do it all over again the next year."
Mobile video was one strong theme in a show that did seem to lack any really big news or product launches. Some said it was a 'strategy' show more than a 'product launch' or 'acquisition' show.
The breakfast session with the Open Mobile Video Coalition attracted a standing-room-only crowd. "Five years from now we'll look back at the 2008 show as the show where the idea of live mobile TV really got its jumpstart," an NAB spokesman said.
The overall traffic on the floor was generally seen as good, if not quite as crowded as in years past. An informal survey of 30 or more video manufacturers found that almost all were quite happy with booth traffic, and most were also pleased with the way Q1 2008 was going as well.
The radio exhibit floors (North Hall) overall did not feel as crowded, though manufacturers with notable new products stayed busy, and several told TV Technology Europe sister publication Radio World they saw a good number of important visitors. Some attributed the steady flow in part to a stronger international presence; India, China and the Middle East are areas that are hot for manufacturers right now.
The convention also had more of a Hollywood feel this year, with appearances by Tim Robbins and Barry Sonnenfeld, and a greater emphasis on "content."
"The writer's strike screwed things up royally, so it's going to take a while to get back into the groove, but I would argue that this is the golden era to a certain degree for high-quality television shows," NAB's Dennis Wharton said.
See below for more specific news on what was launched at the show.