NAB rocks Las Vegas

Last week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas proved to be a palpable hit. Manufacturer participation was up, with just under 1,600 companies on the show floor. According to Chris Brown, NAB executive VP of conventions and business operations, total exhibit space at the Las Vegas Convention Center was also up, with 825,000 net square feet of exhibit space representing an increase of roughly 5 percent over 2011.

While final attendance figures were not available at this writing, it appears that the strong pre-registration previously reported by NAB leveled off. Thus, overall attendance was described as “flat” in comparison to 2011, when roughly 92,700 were there. However, exhibitors in the pro audio sector were generally upbeat regarding show traffic, describing it as brisk and well-qualified, with a strong international component.

“It’s good, consistent traffic,” said Rusty Waite, president of the Stagetec USA division of Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup, makers of the acclaimed Nexus routing system. “You don’t see the huge delegations that some organizations used to send, but the key people are here, and they are shopping for equipment. So, the quality of visitors has been great. We’ve had a lot of international traffic, which is good for us because we’re a worldwide company.”

“We have a great booth location and traffic has been phenomenal,” reported Christopher Lyons, manager of technical and educational communications for Shure. “We’ve had a great balance of U.S. and international visitors, with lots of interest in Axient wireless and our FP field production line. It’s really been a great show for us.”

Karl Winkler, Lectrosonics director of business development, agreed. “The first day of the show was unusually good,” he noted. “The quality of the traffic has been excellent, with people inquiring about specific products. That tells us that they’ve done their homework and are ready to see new products, so we’re happy.”

In the Harman booth, Dave Neal, senior marketing manager in the company’s professional division, summed up the show from a manufacturer’s perspective: “We’ve been very busy and have had some very interesting conversation here. We’ve had great response to our products, especially the new compact Studer Vista 1 console, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing the long-term results of those discussions.”

The Vista 1 is a self-contained version of the popular Vista 5, with all DSP, I/O and power conveniently on board, making it perfect for OB trucks.

Overall, positive show reports and an optimistic outlook on the future seemed to be the order of the day at NAB 2012, portending a string year ahead in broadcast audio.