Live from New York it’s … NAB? Hot off of the heels of IBC, NAB Show New York came and went with a relative whimper. The sister show to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Vegas shindig, NAB Show New York seems like a footnote to the bigger trade shows held earlier in the year. It is, however, a show worth attending (even if it’s just for a day).
Co-located with the Audio Engineering Society (AES) New York trade show at the Javits Center, NAB Show New York is a two-for-one-deal that gives attendees and exhibitors the best of both worlds in the M&E and pro AV markets. Multiple stages were set up at both shows so that attendees could hear a wide variety of perspectives on the whole gamut of hot-button issues in both industries (particularly of note: the buzz around live sports betting). This alone makes the schlep to the west side of Manhattan worthwhile. Both shows are fairly small — certainly not the sprawling campus of the Las Vegas Convention Center — and attendees can do multiple laps around both floors in the two days that NAB Show New York is open. (AES exhibits were open for three days.) Even with 50+ new exhibitors on the floor at NAB this year, the show seemed very small, and exhibitors’ booths were, more often than not, very utilitarian. But this isn’t a bad thing.
With its proximity to IBC, NAB Show New York exhibitors and attendees may have been experiencing trade show burnout. So maybe, then, a show that gets down to the brass tacks — one that’s more about getting your name and story in front of the right people, as opposed to running demos all day long and scanning badges for leads that can be dead ends — comes in at just the right time. The relative lack of demos in any given exhibitor’s presence on the floor makes sense for a show that is more about chatting with attendees than sitting down in a conference room to sign contracts. Drawing in players from the East Coast and New York City, this is not the show where attendees wonder which exhibitor will have the best happy hour; it’s the show where exhibitors wonder who they’ll get to see and engage with. Major broadcasters, production houses, and all manner of M&E entities send teams to walk the floor, and the show’s location makes it a big draw for those that didn’t send anyone to Amsterdam the month before. This is a networking show, and it gives companies big and small even footing to draw some eyes and get their name on the radar.
Happen to shake hands with just the right people and want to talk shop over some drinks? While the area surrounding the Javits Center used to be sparse on options for dining, the newly opened Hudson Yards offers multiple venues for your power lunch. With the show only lasting two days, it’s the perfect opportunity to kick your feet up, chat with industry pros, and exhale a sigh of relief before 2020 and its monstrous lineup of trade shows roll in.