ProVideo Coalition writers talk through what it means for them to make the trek out to Vegas in early April
NAB Show bills itself as the world's largest B2B media & entertainment event, and it's hard to dispute that claim. In recent years they've made a conscious effort to focus on content creation and consumption, but there's no denying that the tools, technology and social aspect of the event take center stage. It's the place to see the people you work with, make some new contacts and find out about the latest developments from the biggest and smallest companies in the industry. It's also a great platform for anyone who wants to learn from true industry professionals. Early April gets circled on the calendar for various reasons, but the fact that so many people mark these days off prove that it continues to have resonance.
A number of PVC writers are set to be at the event, and that's in spite of comments over the last few years that have ranged from "you should have seen the show floor five years ago" to "this is my last NAB". Some exhibitors have scaled back on their presence while potential attendees can check out the biggest news via a number of different sources either before, during or after the show itself. So why do so many people make sure they're in Vegas every year? Why do the folks who are unable to make the trip still hold it in such high regard? Why do so many professionals still view it as an important part of their annual schedule?
2014 will be my 17th NAB in a row, but I actually attended my first one in 1979, when I was a junior at Boston University. I was attending the convention of Alpha Epsilon Rho, a student broadcasting organization, which was simultaneous to NAB. Other than getting to meet the awesome Gordon Jump - who played the general manager on a TV show called "WKRP In Cincinnati" - the highlight for my 20-year-old eyes was actually seeing (but not touching!) all the gear I was dying to get my hands on. Cameras, editors, remote trucks, you name it. I distinctly remember that NEC was demonstrating a voice-operated video switcher - in 1979! - that, probably thankfully, never made it to market. And if you think your desktop NLE is amazing, try controlling six 2" quad tape decks with it, as CMX was demonstrating. (If memory serves, they were re-cutting an episode of "Sonny & Cher" as a demo.) The Las Vegas Convention Center as we know it was still fifteen or more years away from completion. You spent a lot of time on buses shuttling back and forth from the (then) Hilton convention space to the Sands Convention Center, which was demolished when the Wynn hotel was built, I think. read more...