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Just because there were tumble weeds doesn’t mean it was a ghost town

To be honest, the last day of the NAB Show was creepy. Product and marketing managers seemed to be milling around, anxiously waiting for anyone to stop by. The halls were much quieter, and I was even able to take my time stopping by my last few booths because I didn’t have to wade through crowds of people.

The NAB released the numbers, approximately 83,000 people registered, but representatives from many companies were still happy about the show. I asked many people the same question: how has the drop in attendance affected your experience? And the answers were often the same. It’s an issue of quality over quantity. Just because not as many people made it to the show doesn’t mean that there weren’t some serious buyers there. And because the booths weren’t as congested with casual onlookers, those serious buyers were able to get more quality time with company reps. In that sense, the show was very much a success for many. Although, some smaller, less established companies that were there simply to generate interest were likely hit harder, because I’m sure those serious buyers went to the show knowing exactly what they wanted to see and who they wanted to talk to.

Regarding my buzzwords prediction, IP and 3G were very much in force at the show, but they weren’t technically buzzwords because people weren’t talking about them. Let me explain. In today’s broadcast infrastructures, IP control, connectivity and networkability are in such demand that the capability is inherent is almost every product a broadcaster could want. And because broadcasters expect it, people weren’t really talking about it. When it came to 3G capabilities, some companies were louder than others about it, emphasizing the point, when, in fact, many companies’ products were 3G capable. But these companies had added the capability just for future proofing. I heard from quite a few company reps that few broadcasters are actually operating on 3G, and, in fact, many were still looking to upgrade from SD to HD or to improve on their existing HD operations. This isn’t to say that 3G isn’t the future (proven by the fact that savvy companies are including 3G in their products today), but some companies were making a mountain out of a mole hill.