Devoncroft Podcast: NAB Show EVP Chris Brown on Moving Exhibition to October 2021, Announcement Timing and Reaction, Future of Tradeshows in Post-Covid World, and Does Tech have a “Voice” in NAB Decision Making

Joe Zaller | September 18, 2020

The announcement that the 2021 NAB Show has been rescheduled for October sent a minor shockwave through the media technology sector.

We’ve written and talked quite a bit about how the Covid-19 pandemic has and will continue to impact media technology conferences and exhibitions (including our own), and we viewed this announcement as the start of the next chapter in the story.

Rather than rushing to judgement, we saw this as an opportunity to hear directly from NAB.

So, we spoke to NAB’s EVP of Convention and Business Operations, Chris Brown, about how and why they decided to reschedule to 2021 NAB Show.

This candid discussion covers a lot of ground. Talking points include:

  • NAB’s reaction to the multitude of comments across industry trade press, social media platforms, etc.
  • what an October 2021 Show might look like (spoiler alert: only half the LVCC will be available)
  • whether NAB considered how this change may impact IBC, SMPTE, and other regional events
  • the timing of the announcement (during the week of IBC’s virtual showcase and just as exhibit space sales for the 2021 IBC Show had begun)
  • potential financial and logistical challenges due to the industry’s two major international trade shows now scheduled just four weeks apart
  • whether suppliers of technology products and services are given adequate “voice” in NAB’s decision-making (given that ~70% of NAB operating revenue comes via the sale of exhibition floor space and conference sessions).


You can listen to this podcast via the player below.


Admittedly, elements of this conversation may be a bit “inside baseball” to those who haven’t had the pleasure of attending the NAB Show for the past 20+ years. Nevertheless, these are serious topics that affect virtually everyone in the media tech ecosystem, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback about these changes to the calendar that drives many of our lives each April and September (and now October).



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