NAB 2021 Cancelled – Why It Was the Right Thing To Do
With major vendors pulling out of the show—Adobe, Blackmagic Design, Canon, Sony, etc.—it was the right time for NAB to cut its losses.
I had a difficult time deciding if I would attend NAB in 2021. The big annual show was cancelled last year during the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditionally held in April, the show moved to October of 2021.
For those unfamiliar, the impact of NAB is massive. It’s the second-largest tradeshow held annually in Las Vegas, only trailing CES in a number of attendees and vendors. It’s the type of show where you meet with so many people and companies, and one where I’ve fortunately been able to continue to grow in my career with the many random in-person meetings and events attended.
With the rise of Covid-19 variants still a major factor in travel, most major companies have already withdrawn from this year’s show. Obviously citing the need to protect their own employees from health risks, both Canon and Sony have recently announced they would not be attending.
This is in addition to other major vendors who withdrew earlier this year, like Adobe, Avid, and Blackmagic Design.
NAB additionally stated to The Hollywood Reporter:
NAB Show is an economic engine for our industry, and we look forward to delivering a productive in-person experience. We have taken important steps to prioritize the safety of our community and are excited to host the many exhibiting companies ready to meet with buyers and get back to business in Las Vegas.
However, just this morning, NAB tweeted the following:
To our Show community, with the best interests of the industry in mind, we are saddened to announced that we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event.
We look forward to seeing you in Las Vega, Nevada, April 23-27, 2022.
Ultimately, it’s the right call. I can’t really see the benefit of attending without several of the biggest vendors. I spent a majority of my time exploring new cameras and gear in these booths, and seeing the latest features in all the software I use, like Adobe CC, Cinema 4D, and Resolve.
To do that from a distance—not being able to touch and use the upcoming gear—just called for the argument to make the event digital or cancel until next year. Likewise, like most attendees probably know, the real action of NAB is in the after-parties and events.
I know shows like this are important for smaller vendors to get their name and product out into the mass market, and I love discovering new tools that I can’t work without. It’s been cool to watch companies like Aputure, SmallHD, and even DJI grow from small tables to bigger and bigger booths and stages.
While I’m fully vaccinated and slightly less anxious overall, very slightly, I’ve attended a few larger events in the past few weeks, but nothing to the scale of NAB. Honestly, I don’t think I’m mentally ready to be fully surrounded by people, even though I’m desperate to see and spend time with those I haven’t seen in years now.
I really do miss attending NAB, and am hoping that April 2022 will be the show’s big return. But, like everyone else in the world, we just have to wait and see the status of travel and large gatherings in the coming months.
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