I spent three days on the show floor of the 2022 NAB Show. Here are a few observations from an NAB veteran.
Attendance was fine.
With an official number of 52,468 registered attendees, I’d say the post-pandemic crowds were at acceptable levels. I don’t think anyone expected record numbers, and the show certainly didn’t achieve them.
That said, there was healthy foot traffic during the first three days. Every time I walked by big-booth companies—like Adobe and Blackmagic Design in the North Hall, as well as Grass Valley and Panasonic in the Central Hall—they were packed. I’ve never attended a show where every exhibitor was happy, but most I talked to were pleased.
Monday appeared to be the busiest day of the show. I’d say the jury is still out on the Sunday start; considering the three-year layoff, it’s difficult to truly gauge if it was a draw.
The focus was on quality not quantity.
Despite the lower numbers, more than one exhibitor told me they were pleased with the quality of attendees. Essentially, the “tire kickers” were the ones who stayed home.
[The Nine 2022: Meet 9 Pro AV Superstars]
There was lots of new.
New products, new companies, new innovations. Regular visitors to avnetwork.com have been seeing our stories reporting the latest product introductions. Trust me, there was even more to see.
There were also new companies like BEAM, which offers a technology management platform. I expect they will be making their presence known in the Pro AV market in the near future. And StageConnect showed off its two-way, real-time live streaming platform that could very quickly become a game changer for live events.
Oh yes, there was hugging.
Reports of the death of live trade shows have been greatly exaggerated. After three years, people were happy to be back on the show floor and reconnect. I don’t think I’ve ever been hugged as much as I was hugged at NAB 2022. Videoconferencing has been an essential tool for doing business over the last few years, and it will continue to be an effective way to keep those connections alive. However, if NAB 2022 is any indication, nothing beats being face-to-face for conducting business in our industry.