LAS VEGAS—Driven by change but anchored by tradition—it’s a tricky line to walk, no doubt. But it’s one that the annual NAB Show is attempting to tackle again this year: honor your broadcasting roots while nudging outside the boundaries of what it means to be a member of the professional video industry.
At the 2016 show, there will be plenty to see that illustrates this evolving arc. But one thing that has not changed: there’s literally a lot of ground to cover. The more than 100,000 attendees who will descend on Las Vegas, April 16-21, will find more than a million square feet of exhibit floor space, more than 750 sessions, several new conferences with dozens of first-time keynote speakers and several new in-the-field workshops.
A VIRTUAL DIVE
TV stations and networks interested in wider implementation of virtual reality and augmented reality can expect to see new possibilities at this year’s show. The Virtual & Augmented Reality Pavilion in the North Hall will include VR and AR content producers and tech companies such as Experience 360, Kodak PIXPRO Digital Cameras and Voke VR. Alongside this pavilion is the new Kaleidoscope VR Showcase, a theater-experience area that will feature a series of VR films and immersive experiences. “With the rapid evolution of media and entertainment, it’s clear that virtual reality will play a prominent role in the future of film and broadcasting,” said Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president of Conventions and Business Operations, when the Kaleidoscope announcement was made. NAB is also highlighting VR with a Virtual Reality Production Summit, a half-day conference that will review lessons learned regarding VR production and offer real-world advice on the technical and business aspects of producing content.
The Drone Pavilion will return to the Central Hall of the LVCC.ADVERTISING ADVANTAGE
This year the NAB is giving heightened emphasis to advertising and monetization issues with the Advanced Advertising Theater. Found in the North Hall, this cross-screen advertising theater will highlight technologies and companies developing solutions designed to allow broadcasters, digital publishers, radio stations and multi-platform content creators to better monetize content and optimize an ad campaign.
A handful of new conferences will highlight issues from cultural inclusivity to satellite connectivity. A new one-day “Multicultural TV and Video Conference” will look at television and video programming that is intended to appeal to a variety of culturally specific, as well as culturally inclusive audience segments. The conference examine how programming is changing in response to the shifting demographics of viewing audiences and how that is in turn impacting investment in new production, targeted programmatic advertising and promotional marketing.
Likewise, the NAB’s newly named PILOT program, which is designed to help foster broadcast technology innovation, will host a new one-day Digital Futures Exchange, a conference that will include analysis from research organizations like Pew Research and BIA Kelsey. The conference will take a hard look at digital trends, strategies and examples that local market may want to consider. In addition, a new Satellite Industry Forum will look at the role that the satellite industry plays in broadcasting and the new opportunities available.
Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney ABC Television Group, will keynote the 2016 NAB Show Opening on Monday morning.BACK FOR ROUND TWO
Following the success it had last year, the NAB Show will bring back the Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, which will again see drones flying in a fully enclosed flying cage. Also returning is the Online Video Conference for a second year. This two-day conference will look at the issues facing subscriber-based providers of original content, as well as those who looking to monetize video across multiple platforms. The conference will touch on the best ways to reach millennial audiences, what kind of content owners should consider when plotting out an OTT strategy and a look at broadcast television’s role in the online video era. The NAB will also bring back its SPROCKIT program, which attempts to pair new entrepreneurial companies with traditional media firms. The show’s “Media Management in the Cloud” conference has been rebranded the “Cloud Innovation Conference,” and will take place in Rm. 219 at the LVCC on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Television producer Chuck Lorre will be honored at the Television Luncheon on Monday, April 18.NEW TECHNOLOGY INFLUX
This year’s NAB show will not disappoint when it comes to new product offerings. Big broadcast muscle from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Grass Valley and Canon will show new 4K offerings. A new ATSC 3.0 Consumer Experience, which will showcase the consumer benefits of this new broadcast platform, will be located just outside the upper level entrance to the South Hall, giving a colorful glimpse of the new interactive advertising, audio and 4K offerings possible with the new standard. And as before, the NAB exhibit floor will serve as a debut pavilion for thousands of new products in the areas of audio, IP, the cloud, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, weather graphics and OTT.
COME AND HAVE A LISTEN
There’s good reason why often tough to find a seat at an NAB keynote. This year the NAB is courting veterans from television, radio and Hollywood, including the producer Chuck Lorre, who will be honored at the Television Luncheon; and radio broadcasters Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, who will be feted at the Radio Luncheon. Key speakers for 2016 include filmmaker Ang Lee, who will speak at the Future of Cinema Conference; Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney|ABC Television Group, who will offer the show’s Opening Keynote; and radio host Kim Komando, who will preside at the NAB Show Radio Luncheon.
And on a special note, don’t forget to attend “4K, UHD, HDR and More-The Future of Video,” moderated by TV Technology Executive Editor Deborah McAdams, Tuesday afternoon, 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Rm. S222 in the LVCC.