Future trade shows may be hybrid affairs combining physical and virtual displays and attendance.
NAB and SCTE are planning a joint forum that will connect the NAB Show in Las Vegas with the latter’s SCTE·ISBE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta on October 12, 2021.
This will be the first live, bi-coastal collaboration between SCTE, a subsidiary of CableLabs, and NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), organizer of the annual NAB Show, although the two have previously partnered over content.
This particular collaboration is likely to be a one off, taking advantage of postponement of the NAB Show from its normal April slot because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. But it could also herald a new era of partnerships for events in the broadcasting field, as well as in other industry sectors, as a result of declining appetite for long distance travel in the aftermath of the pandemic.
It might offer the best of both worlds by combining the appetite for some face to face meetings with the ability to participate remotely in more distant events. It might signal the morphing of mega events such as the annual NAB Show and IBC in Amsterdam into smaller regional events that could be staged at times allowing for global events and participation with the help of technologies developed or enhanced during the pandemic.
The dual-site event from NAB and SCTE will feature live panels, discussions and a fireside chat between NAB CTO Sam Matheny and SCTE CTO Chris Bastian, who will jointly open proceedings. The two organizations claim this conferencing approach will offer a unique educational opportunity, and create dialog between broadcast and telecommunications professionals.
“We are excited to offer this groundbreaking feature during the 75th BEIT Conference at NAB Show,” said Matheny. “We are thankful to SCTE for this collaboration and to be able to provide attendees at our respective events a truly innovative experience with expanded programming.”
Bastian added, “Our concurrent events present a unique opportunity to collaborate on this session which we believe will bring great value to both audiences,” says Bastian. “After the success of our virtual Cable-Tec Expo show in 2020, we know this type of interactive, virtual session has great potential to bring together new audiences and ideas.”
The program will conclude with networking receptions in both Atlanta and Las Vegas.
IBC is also considering various hybrid options for its events, with the immediate priority being its annual show scheduled for 10th – 13th September 2021. Being later in the year than the NAB Show, IBC still hoped to stage a live event at the scheduled time, having revealed plans for a hybrid event, physical and digital, but with the option of falling back to early December 2021.
“While we are optimistic about the return of a live show this year, we are also realistic about the hurdles we need to overcome and are closely tracking the macro factors that will impact people's ability and willingness to return to mass gatherings,” stated Michael Crimp, Chief Executive of IBC.
IBC has set out different scenarios and agreed with the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre and its own stakeholders to move the show to 3rd – 6th December 2021 if needed. A decision on whether the show will take place in September or move to December will be announced between the end of May and the beginning of June 2021.
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