Conventions Lean Toward In-Person Events

The CES 2020 show opening arch.
(Image credit: CES)

With vaccination levels approaching 70% of the adult population, several cable and broadcast conventions are planning on making the 2021 slate at least partly an in-person experience for the first time since 2019.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 66% of U.S. residents aged 18 and older have taken at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 57% are fully vaccinated. 

The National Association of Broadcasters is kicking off its NAB Show Oct. 9-13 in Las Vegas. Actor and comedian Jim Gaffigan is slated to perform live at the NAB Show Sunday Kick Off at 4:15 PST on Oct. 10.

“After a difficult year and unfortunate hiatus for the NAB Show, we look forward to celebrating the opening of the show floor with the ever talented and hilarious Jim Gaffigan,” NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith said in a press release. "His notoriously fun and entertaining performance is ideal for this momentous occasion as we reunite and re-engage in Las Vegas.”

Also as part of the event, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt anchor and award-winning journalist Lester Holt will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Oct. 11.

Like some other organizations, NAB was forced to move the dates for its 2021 confab because of the pandemic. The 2021 event was originally scheduled for April 11-14, but it was decided in September 2020 to move the event to October.

NAB has said it is going ahead still with the NAB Show in 2022 on April 23-27 in Las Vegas.

The Society of Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-TEC Expo will be held Oct. 11-14 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and will be a hybrid in-person/virtual event, according to organizers. Last year’s Cable-TEC Expo broke records with more than 3,000 people attending the Opening General Session of the all-virtual event. 

The SCTE also said it will hold a joint forum linking the Cable-TEC Expo with the NAB Show’s Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology (BEIT) Conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 12. 

According to SCTE, joint sessions will include live, interconnected presentations and audience questions originating from both Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta and the BEIT Conference in Las Vegas, with hosts at each location to field questions and moderate the conversations. The dual-site event will include live panels and interactive discussions that explore timely topics, such as dynamic ad insertion and NextGen TV.

Global marketing organization DPAA said it will hold its Video Everywhere Summit in-person at the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan on Oct. 12.

“Regions are opening up and it’s time for us to all reconnect in-person,” DPAA president and CEO Barry Frey said in a press release “After careful consideration and talking with members, brand and agency leadership we decided to hold this year’s Summit in-person as our community needs to reconnect in person.”

IBC, the big international content and technology convention in Amsterdam, is slated for an in-person gathering Dec. 3-6 at the RAI Amsterdam complex. The theme is Come Together Again.

The 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, which was all-digital in January 2021, is expected to be a hybrid in-person and virtual event, slated for Jan 5-8 in Las Vegas.

“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas – home to CES for more than 40 years – and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro said in a press release in April. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

As was reported earlier, The Cable Center’s induction ceremony for the 2021 class of Cable TV Pioneers will be held  on Oct. 11 in Atlanta, as part of the SCTE-Cable-TEC Expo.

The Cable Center’s 2021 Cable Hall of Fame celebration will be held virtually, on Oct. 20.

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.