NAB Show’s Big Tent Looking to Get Bigger

With INTX cancellation, trade show looks to bring cable into its fold

Two years ago, fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead jammed a session room inside the Las Vegas Convention Center, snapping photos of Steven “Glenn” Yeun (may his character rest in peace); Robert Kirkman, series executive producer and creator of the original Walking Dead comic; and AMC president Charlie Collier. The fans couldn’t get enough.

Where did this happen, you ask? Comic-Con? Or maybe at some cable-industry event? Nope — it happened at the NAB Show.

The decision to end the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s annual INTX convention, which had been scheduled for April 2017 in Washington, D.C., has no doubt created a void for would-be attendees and exhibitors alike. NAB Show, which also happens in April, is well-positioned to fill that void. NAB Show is the largest media and entertainment event in the world, attracting more than 100,000 content business professionals to Las Vegas, and we welcome everyone who wants to come and do business with our attendees.

Even as our event has its roots in broadcasting—and this remains a major focus of the event—today’s NAB Show has evolved well beyond traditional media to also consider alternative platforms and next-generation technologies. In addition to a focus on production, storage and content delivery solutions for OTT and MVPDs, we’ve welcomed top creators, executives and technologists from the worlds of cinema, streaming media, radio, podcasting, and yes, cable and other TV redistribution platforms for many years.

Some in our industry have made the claim that large trade shows are losing relevance in today’s world. We respectfully maintain a different point of view. Certainly, the continued attendance growth of the NAB Show demonstrates that trade shows remain an ideal format to bring together and engage an industry by creating a unique learning forum combined with a marketplace and unparalleled networking opportunities.

As my Walking Dead example points out, the cable industry has been and will continue to be represented at our event, and that engagement is increasing. I’m happy to announce a new partnership between the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), the industry’s marketing organization, and NAB Show for 2017. CTAM members will receive free entry to the NAB Show floor, and also receive a discount off the registration price for various session packs. CTAM is also co-producing a Super Session focused on marketing TV at the center of media transformation, which will feature CTAM CEO Vicki Lins and top-tier executives from leading content and distribution companies.

NAB Show welcomes cable companies to join us in Las Vegas from April 24-27. There is no more efficient selling platform that delivers more than 100,000 possible contacts, from 160 countries in one place over a few days. In total, NAB Show drives more than $2 billion in actual sales activity in a typical year, in sales either closed at the show or tied to contacts made there. For many of the 1,700 NAB Show exhibiting companies, participation has a direct impact on yearly sales results.

We invite cable executives to join thousands of content business professionals and discover all that NAB Show has to offer. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Chris Brown is executive VP of conventions and business operations for the National Association of Broadcasters.