PITTSBURGH and LENEXA, Kan.—Faced with rising concern about the spike in COVID-19 caseloads around the country, the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) and ACA Connects (ACAC) have decided that the Independent Show, originally planned for October 5 to 6 in Minneapolis, will be held online.
"After thoughtful discussion, ACA Connects and NCTC decided to take the Independent Show online next month because of difficult planning issues despite strong enthusiasm for such an important industry event to take place in Minneapolis. It's the correct decision, with broad support from both ACAC and NCTC members," said Patricia Jo Boyers, ACA Connects chairman and president of BOYCOM Vision in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
NCTC Chairman Brad Mefferd and chief administrative officer of Buckeye Broadband in Northwood, Ohio, added that “now that this decision is behind us, I'm pleased that we can now look forward to putting on a great Independent Show that is exclusively online. I'm certain it will have high production values that ACAC and NCTC Members expect and deserve and will also have solid engagement opportunities for our industry's valued vendor community. I'm quite confident that everyone will benefit from the online experience that we have in store."
The event always included a streaming registration option as a convenience for ACAC and NCTC Members who were unable to attend in person.
The decision to host the 2021 Independent Show will not alter the meeting dates, the groups said. The online show will occur Oct. 5-6, and the event will keep all the great content previously announced by NCTC and ACAC show planners.
"COVID-19 and the Delta variant have been a moving target. While our plan was to finally meet in-person, it has become more and more clear that it was not the responsible thing to do," NCTC CEO Lou Borrelli said. "Nevertheless, the online show to me is a can't-miss program, and I greatly look forward to seeing friends and members on the big screen."
ACAC president and CEO Matt Polka joined NCTC's Borrelli in endorsing the move to an online show given the current health environment.
"We felt that transitioning the entire event to virtual was the best option and in the best interest of our members and vendor partners," CEO Polka said. "But let's look at the bright side: We are going to keep all the great content we had planned as well as offer a few fun surprises for those who are registered for the virtual conference."
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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