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NAB Show Canceled Amid Concerns About Coronavirus

Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas Convention Center (Michael Gray/Wikimedia Commons) (Image credit: By Michael Gray - https://www.flickr.com/photos/kathika/2895710897/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47253148)

The National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB Show 2021, has been canceled with concerns about the coronavirus pandemic leading to key exhibitors pulling out of the live event.

NAB Show 2021 was slated for Oct. 9-13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The 2020 convention went virtual amid the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

"For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community," the NAB said.

Last week Sony Electronics said it was withdrawing from in-person gatherings in October. In addition to the NAB Show, Sony withdrew from InfoComm.

Ross Video followed Sony in pulling out from the NAB Show, as did Panasonic and Canon.

COVID has had a huge impact on the trade show business despite efforts this year to go back to live gatherings. Last week the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers converted its October convention, the Cable-Tec Expo, to an online gathering because of travel and health concerns.

CES, the huge consumer electronics event scheduled for Las Vegas in January, has said it is moving forward as a live event with vaccination proof required. The Consumer Technology Association this week sent emails opening the registration process.

Future, which owns B+CNext TV and TV Tech, is an NAB Partner and produces the NAB Show Daily.

NAB posted this statement on its website today:

To Our NAB Show Community: 

For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community. As we have always kept the best interest and safety of the industry as our priority, it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person. 

NAB Show is the premiere destination for the media and entertainment industry and we will not move forward with a show that delivers anything less than the excellence our community has come to expect and deserves from us. 

While we are disappointed that we will not be together again in person next month, we look forward to converging at the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27, 2022, to reignite our passion for our business and focus on a bright future ahead. Stay tuned for details regarding virtual options for accessing select 2021 NAB Show content through NAB Amplify.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting + Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.