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NAB Show International Attendance Figures Hit New High

The National Association of Broadcasters released its figures for the 2008 NAB Trade Show in Las Vegas this week. Registrations totaled more than 105,000. Of that, more than 28,000 represented a record number of people from overseas.

Several exhibitors at the show observed how the weak U.S. dollar was contributing to an uptick in international business. The Euro is particularly strong against the dollar. Many noticed the propensity of international traffic before the NAB’s numbers were released.

The figure for total registrations doesn’t necessarily reflect boots on the ground. Veteran trade show trekkers note that registrations can be duplicated for the show floor and concurrent sessions. The NAB itself pointed out that the number is based on pre-show and onsite registration. Final registration numbers are made available after the show.

The exhibitor metric is generally one of intuition, i.e., whether or not the floor “feels busy.” Assessments have been mixed. Monday in some areas of Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center resembled Thursday, the last day of the show when a majority of the throng has departed. On the same day, the South Hall was hopping.

Using another device--the Monorail metric--boarding a train bound for LVCC on Tuesday morning required the type of skills acquired riding the subway in New York or Tokyo during rush hour, at least on the last stop before the convention center.

The final registration figure released by the NAB was for news media, at 1,296. No international break-out was made available, but at least one reporter at the opening day keynote session exhibited behaviors that suggested he was not from around here.

“Is that Tim Robbins?” the reporter asked during the opening address of NAB chief David Rehr, who is most often associated by the domestic media pool with movie actor Matt Damon.