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Get ready for the big one

Less than one week stands between you and the monster known as NAB 2000. This year' s National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, running April 8-13, promises to be bigger than ever. NAB has added 10,000 net square feet of booth space, primarily in the Sands Expo Center, bringing the total exhibit area to more than 910,000 net square feet.

More than 1,500 exhibitors are expected, compared with 1,427 last year. And 270 of them will be new to NAB, says Director of Media Relations Ann Marie Cumming. And she expects well over 100,000 attendees; last year' s show brought 106,372 through the NAB gates.

The 800-plus exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center will cover more than 585,770 net square feet, with television/video/film exhibits in the North and South Halls, radio/audio exhibits in the North Hall, and outdoor exhibits. Next door, the Las Vegas Hilton will play host to the Television Broadcast Sales Exhibit Hall, featuring 22 exhibits and 2,950 net square feet.

The Sands will house 600-plus exhibits covering over 326,908 net square feet. The television/video/film exhibits will include the new Microsoft Partner Pavilion, and the NAB Multimedia World exhibits will encompass the new Adobe Solution Network Pavilion, an expanded multimedia/Internet area at registration level, and the ETV World Broadcast Demonstration Center (B & C, March 27). The Sands will also house the Internet@NAB2000 exhibits, featuring the Microsoft-sponsored Internet.Theater@NAB2000, and satellite and telecommunications booths.

In addition to the exhibition floors, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 10-12 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 13, NAB 2000' s conference schedule will include more than 150 sessions targeting different aspects of the television industry. The official kickoff to the conference is Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone' s keynote address on Monday morning, April 10, although some of the conferences, such as the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference and the Television Management Conference, will be held over the weekend (April 8-9).

Technology executives will be particularly interested in the April 8 seminar conducted by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Pavilion 9 of the Las Vegas Hilton, will examine the progress made by studios, networks and post-production houses in HDTV production. It will include speakers from Sony Pictures, Laser Pacific, Warner Bros., ABC, CBS, NBC and HBO.

Dale Hatfield, chief of the FCC' s Office of Engineering and Technology, will give the opening address at the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference on April 9, and newly appointed FCC Chief Technologist David Farber will deliver the keynote address at the NAB Technology Luncheon on Wednesday, April 12.

NAB will also award its 2000 Engineering Achievement Awards at the Technology Luncheon. This year, the Radio Engineering Achievement Award goes to Dorrough Electronics founder Michael Dorrough, and the Television Engineering Achievement Award goes to former Capital Cities/ABC Vice President of Broadcast Engineering Max Berry.