Virus outbreak postpones National Association of Broadcasters convention in April

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The National Association of Broadcasters convention scheduled for April in Las Vegas has been postponed.
The National Association of Broadcasters convention scheduled for April in Las Vegas has been postponed.
Photo: Brad Gibson / Cult of Mac

The COVID-19 coronavirus claimed another planned convention Wednesday with the postponement of the National Association of Broadcasters convention, scheduled for late April in Las Vegas.

Dozens of the show’s exhibitors create a variety of products that work with Apple equipment, including Blackmagic Designs, Avid, Adobe, Padcaster, Microsoft, Boris FX, Panasonic, Canon, and Sony.

In a statement released Wednesday, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith said the convention is not canceled completely for 2020, but that it will “consider” other options to re-schedule for later this year…

“In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community. This was not an easy decision.”

More than 91,400 professionals attended the event attending last year and over 1,600 exhibitors had planned to show their products on the show floor next month, according to the NAB. The show was scheduled for April 18 to 22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The NAB show is the fourth-largest convention held in Las Vegas, based on 2020 estimated attendance figures from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The NAB convention has become over the years a major spot to release Apple-related products for the video industry. In 2019, a number of important Final Cut tools and their hardware integration solutions have debuted at the show.

Tough decisions for NAB exhibitors

A number of exhibitors had announced in the past two weeks they would not be attending the event as an abundance of caution. As of early last week, the NAB said about 95% of planned exhibitors were still committed to attending.

Two exhibitors, who spoke to Cult of Mac and asked not to be identified, said a variety of issues lead to their decision to cancel before the NAB postponed the show on Wednesday. Among them included the health risks to exhibitor staff as well as attendees, the concern that many attendees would back out of attending as the coronavirus situation worsened, and having to make decisions now on shipping equipment and materials to Las Vegas in time for the show.

The cancelation of the NAB show comes as the World Health Organization officially declared Wednesday the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. Worldwide, there are over 123,600 confirmed cases with more than 4,500 deaths. In the U.S., there are over 1,000 confirmed cases and 31 deaths.