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GV’s Louis Hernandez on Trade Shows: ‘You Have to Support the Communities That Support Us’

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(Image credit: Black Dragon Capital)

AMSTERDAM—As industry trade shows return to the scene after two years of pandemic lockdowns, one of the industry’s largest broadcast tech vendors thinks the events are more vital than ever.

Louis Hernandez, CEO and founder of Black Dragon Capital, owner of Grass Valley, emphasized how important it is that the vendors continue to support the organizations behind major shows like the NAB Show and IBC that use the revenues from the events to promote the future of media and entertainment technology. 

(The NAB Show is hosted by the U.S. broadcast industry's largest lobbying organization while the IBC Show is owned by SMPTE, IABM, IEEE, RTS, SCTE and SMPTE, industry associations that support and promote the media industry through education, research and standards development.)

“You have to support the communities that supported us. These associations aren't just about making money from vendors and customers, it's really about the lobbying efforts,” Hernandez said during Grass Valley’s press conference ahead of the opening of the 2022 IBC Show. “It's about fighting for the rights of an industry that we all care about.”

“That's why we never diminished our efforts and will continue to support these organizations, they're supporting us, we need to support them.”

Hernandez added that the M&E tech industry thrives when organizations go to bat for the issues that impact how media companies produce and distribute content.    

“For example, NAB is fighting for IP rights and has spent a lot of money on an issue that’s very important to our clients,” he said. “And if we don’t support them and they don’t have the income stream to fight for these issues, our industry is going to be in trouble.”

Hernandez also noted the impact the pandemic of the past two years has had on how vendors interact with their customers and how that affects the future of trade shows as well. 

“When we're talking to those leaders, we're saying, ‘listen, we have to recognize that engagement with our partners is going to change over time, and you need to change with it… but we're going to be there for you,’ because we need to play a broader role for the ecosystem and we can't abandon our friends. And we think it was wrong for anybody to use cost savings as a reason for pulling out of some of these events when this is the time they need us most, even though we're all going through this transition.”

Read more about GV’s IBC news here

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 digitalbroadcasting.com 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 Tech (www.tvtech.com), 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.