The National Association of Broadcasters announced Wednesday it would be canceling its upcoming trade show, which was expected to draw at least 90,000 attendees and over 1,600 exhibitors.
The industry event was expected to take place April 18-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority ranks the NAB Show 2020 as the fourth largest convention this year based on attendance with No. 3 being this week’s ConExpo-Con/Ag, also being held at the convention center.
The NAB show’s estimated economic impact last year in Las Vegas was $153.3 million, according to the LVCVA.
NAB President and Chief Executive Gordon Smith issued a letter saying it has been “monitoring coronavirus developments both domestically and globally over the past few weeks.”
“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,” Smith said. “We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community.”
The LVCVA declined to comment.
NAB said it’s considering hosting the event later this year, but is waiting to see how severe the coronavirus becomes in the U.S.
Attendees are being offered a full-refund on their registration fees or can use the credit towards next year’s show. It’s unclear if exhibitors were also able to receive a refund.
A NAB spokesperson said the association “will take a financial hit as a result of today’s decision” but declined to offer more details.
Nevada has six presumptive positive cases, and one case in Washoe County that has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The World Health Organization declared Wednesday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic with WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying it has been “deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction” by countries.
The decision to cancel next month’s NAB Show comes after a string of cancellation announcements this week by major exhibitors.
Media technology firm Avid said Tuesday it would not be participating this year out of concern for the safety of its employees and the public. It also canceled their Avid Connect 2020 conference at Wynn Las Vegas on April 17-18.
Software firm Adobe also withdrew from NAB citing coronavirus concerns — joining AJA Video Systems, Nikon Group’s subsidiaries Nikon Inc. and MRMC, Zaxcom Inc., TVU Networks, Imagine Products Inc. and Ross Video.
At the time of Avid’s announcement Tuesday, NAB indicated on its website the show would continue and it was working with local public health officials, the convention center and other partners to ensure increased safety protocols such as increasing cleaning efforts and installing additional hand sanitizing stations. It also implemented a “no handshake policy…to help reduce the unnecessary spread of germs.”