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Exhibitors, Attendees React to NAB Show Cancellation

(Image credit: NAB)

Reaction to this week’s cancellation of the 2021 NAB Show reflected exhibitors’ and attendees’ understanding of the changing landscape impacted by COVID-19 mixed with optimism for  the event’s return in the spring of 2022. 

For Pete Sockett, director of engineering and operations at Capitol Broadcasting, owner of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., the cancellation reminded him of the importance of in-person meetings, adding that the station had planned on doing a lot of business at the show. Among other technology upgrades, WRAL was going to the show to do research on replacing several dozen ENG cameras. Without the show, vendors will have to send gear to the station for evaluation, which will have an impact on costs and timeliness, he added. 

“I am sure it was a hard decision for NAB. Not having NAB reminds you just how important personal relationships are,” he said. “Humans need humans.

Responses on Twitter reflected the disappointment:

While the cancellation of the #nabshow is indeed a big bummer for so many of us, it underscores the reality of #remoteproduction and #collaboration across distance more than ever.  Yes, it's the new normal, but what's more - it is the #future.”
Dennis Radeke

For a lot of media people, Sept 2021 would have been the longest they’ve stayed away from Las Vegas. By Apr 2022, I think there may be very few people in the halls who’ve missed 2 NABs in a row before these 2.
Neil Sadwelkar

Well as disappointing as the cancellation of another #NABSHOW2021 is, though it is clearly the right call, here is hoping we can all get together next spring. I am really needing my #NABShow fix!
Calgary FCPUG

TV Tech reached out to exhibitors to gauge their reactions to the cancellation. Here’s what they had to say:

“Grass Valley was 100% 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.

"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.”

Neil Maycock, Chief Marketing Officer & General Manager Playout, Grass Valley

“Whilst we are saddened not to be able to connect with many of our customers, partners and friends in person at NAB, we fully support the difficult decision made by the organisers. Instead of connecting in Las Vegas our local teams in the US and around the world, for NewTek, NDI and Vizrt, stand ready to support our customers.”

Steve Wind-Mozley, CMO of Vizrt Group 

“What is our reaction to NAB being cancelled?  Well, it’s mixed.   We were looking forward to seeing our friends, colleagues and customers.  But as the virus continues to be a thing, and customers and companies continue to state they weren’t going to attend, it makes sense to cancel the show.  Now, NAB 2022 is only 7 months away!”

Scott Murray, SVP Marketing at Telestream

“Evertz was looking forward to this year’s event to reconnect with our customers and partners in person. It’s been far too long.  However, we understand and support NAB’s decision to cancel this year’s event given the current pandemic and a surge in the Delta variant.  The health and safety for all participants (attendees, exhibitors, and other support staff) is paramount.  We will continue to engage our customers and partners in other ways, and look forward to next year’s NAB in April 2022.”

Mo Goyal Sr. Director, Evertz

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Technology (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.