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NAB Expands Show Floor, Conference Opportunities

The biggest video technology show of the year is getting even bigger.

NAB2007, which runs April 14-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, boasts an expanded exhibit floor that encompasses all the halls of the LVCC, including two additional areas in the North Hall that add extra square footage. NAB2007 has also reorganized its exhibits to more smoothly flow with the creation and delivery of electronic content.

“We’re excited about the all-new layout of the convention floor, which we believe will help our attendees navigate more easily,” said NAB spokesperson Dennis Wharton. “When you’re building a 900,000-square-foot city—population 100,000 plus—the challenge is to make the destination as convenient as possible for your visitors. We think our reorganized floor plan will do just that, while bringing increased traffic for our more than 1,400 exhibitors.”

The exhibit hall will be open April 16-19. Some of this year’s major sponsors include Sony, Panasonic and JVC.

With attendance expected to top 100,000 this year, there will be plenty of new attractions on the show floor. “Our convention floor will be teeming with companies showing off their latest devices and gadgets,” said Wharton.

New content distribution tools are certainly generating a buzz, but according to John Marino, NAB vice president of science and technology, “The big interest is still with HD from both the broadcast and production perspectives. Costs are dropping for HD cameras and for digital storage and editing platforms.”

As the exhibit floor continues to expand, so do the educational program offerings. A new conference, Telecom@NAB2007, is aimed at telecom professionals and network operators. Co-produced by Lightbulb Communications, Telecom@NAB2007 is being held April 16-18 and is for anyone interested in next generation video networks.

NAB2007 has also teamed with New York-based Sports Video Group to present the first Sports Technology Forum on Monday, April 16. “Many prospective NAB attendees are involved in sports production,” said Marino. “We have the experts in digital video production ready to educate interested attendees with tips and tricks developed by top pros.”

The one-day event will offer panels moderated by key sports professionals, with topics ranging from “How To Deliver Knock-Out Sports HD Images” to “Winning Ways To Wow The Sports Broadcast Viewer.” Each panel will feature a 10-minute master class presentation by a leading expert in the field on a specific approach to the panel topic.

Podcasting continues to be another popular area in broadcast. On April 13, attendees can participate in the Podcasting Boot Camp as part of this year’s Podcasting Summit. Two days of training will follow the Boot Camp. Topics will include production techniques, encoding and the business aspects of podcasting.

With the analog shut-off date less than two years away, broadcasters don’t have much time left. According to Wharton, more than 1,600 TV stations have already made the transition to digital. But for those who haven’t, the 61st annual Broadcast Engineering Conference will cover important technical issues that engineers face as they prepare to shut off their analog transmitters in 2009. The conference is being held from April 14-19 and will discuss cost-saving ideas and revenue opportunities, and feature a keynote address from Tom Rogers, president and CEO of TiVo.

Another popular NAB staple, the Broadcast Hall of Fame Awards, recognizes an outstanding achiever in the categories of radio and television. This year’s radio recipient is Rick Dees, who hosts the internationally syndicated radio show Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. This year’s television inductee is NBC’s Meet The Press, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Anchor Tim Russert will be on hand to accept the award.