WASHINGTON—The NAB says the 2020 NAB Show is still on, as of Tuesday, March 10.
A spokesperson told TV Technology that “the show is moving forward as planned.” The association updated its coronavirus update page on Tuesday, announcing that it is “continuing to evaluate the national and international situation carefully.”
The NAB says it is taking its direction from global, federal and local health officials, like the WHO and CDC, which at this time have put no travel notices or restrictions on public gatherings for the U.S.
Concerns over the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on large gatherings has prompted a number of cancellations, including SXSW, which was expected to attract several hundred thousands to Austin, Texas, this month. PBS TechCon, which holds its annual gathering in Las Vegas just prior to the NAB Show, also cancelled its event last Friday.
Several high profile exhibitors backed out of the show on Monday, including Ross and Adobe. NAB says that 96% of its exhibitors are still planning to attend, and of the 4% no longer attending, the association claims more than 80% would be coming from China, which has implemented travel restrictions.
“Ross has been at every NAB since 1974 and this has not been an easy decision to take, but we have a clear duty to our employees, our customers and families,” the company announced, adding that is was looking for alternative “virtual” ways to get its NAB Show news out to its customers and attendees.
Adobe said in a blog post: “Over the past few weeks, we have been closely monitoring and evaluating the situation around COVID-19 and have made the difficult but important decision to cancel our presence at the show this year.” Adobe had previously cancelled its summit that was also scheduled to be held in Las Vegas.
NAB is working on ways to both minimize the risk of transmission on the show floor—including implementing a "no handshake" policy—and to add value to in-person attendees remotely.
Tom Butts has been the editor in chief of TV Technology since 2001. He started out in this industry reporting for member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995. He is also former editor of DTV Business for Phillips Publishing (now Access Intelligence) and launched digitalbroadcasting.com for VerticalNet in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Maine.
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