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NAB and AVIXA Respond to Sony’s Withdrawal from Fall 2021 Trade Shows

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Update: In a statement posted Sept. 15, 2021, the National Association of Broadcasters announced it has cancelled the 2021 NAB Show, which had been scheduled for Oct. 9–13, 2021, in Las Vegas. This story has been updated throughout to reflect NAB Show's cancellation. 


From Oct. 27 to 29, InfoComm, produced by AVIXA, will open the show floor to attendees in Orlando, FL. NAB Show, produced by the National Association of Broadcasters, was rescheduled in 2021 from its usual April timeframe to October, then cancelled entirely on Sept. 15.

NAB Show and InfoComm were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than two years since the last shows, the industry is clamoring to reconnect in person. InfoComm (opens in new tab) has put together aggressive safety measures to help keep everyone safe and healthy. 

Sony Electronics Withdraws from NAB Show and InfoComm

Theresa Alesso, Pro Division President at Sony Electronics

Theresa Alesso, Pro Division President, Sony Electronics (Image credit: Sony Electronics)

On Sept. 7, the following statement was released by Theresa Alesso (opens in new tab)Pro Division president at Sony Electronics (opens in new tab). We reached out to the NAB and AVIXA for comment. 

“Sony Electronics has been closely monitoring the evolving situation of the COVID-19 Delta variant. With October on the horizon, we’ve considered the unprecedented circumstances and made the difficult decision that we will not be participating in person at next month’s NAB Show or InfoComm. While these events are an important forum to reach our customers and introduce new products, this is a choice we made to ensure we’re putting our employees’ and our partners’ health and well-being first. As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic and businesses adopt digital alternatives and online opportunities to prevent the spread of the virus, Sony Electronics will continue to communicate and engage with our customers and partners in interactive, accessible ways that allow us to safely deliver exciting product news and updates to a wide online audience. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and look forward to participating at industry events in-person at some point in the future,” said Theresa Alesso, Pro Division President at Sony Electronics.

“Additionally, we’re excited to announce that Sony will be hosting a press conference at NAB Show, in conjunction with the NAB, prior to the show’s opening. Please join our online event on Sunday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET at (opens in new tab)/Live and (opens in new tab), where we’ll unveil and showcase Sony’s latest professional innovations” Alesso concluded.

NAB Responds

Ann Marie Cumming, senior vice president of Communications at NAB

Ann Marie Cumming, Senior Vice President of Communications at NAB (Image credit: NAB)

“Sony is a valued partner, and we respect this difficult decision. We look forward to continuing to work with them to reach the NAB Show audience both in person and virtually,” said Ann Marie Cumming (opens in new tab), senior vice president of communications at NAB. “Recognizing that NAB Show is an economic engine for our industry, we are committed to delivering a productive in-person experience and have taken important steps to prioritize the safety of our community, including requiring proof of vaccination. We are excited to host more than 600 exhibiting companies, ready to meet with buyers and get back to business in Las Vegas.”

In a video address on Sept. 7, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith (opens in new tab) was upbeat about the upcoming show. Following are excerpts from Smith’s address. “We have learned that there is simply no substitute for being together in-person. We have heard from countless members of our NAB Show community that you are ready to return, re-engage and reconnect. It is important not only for our industry, but for our country, that we move forward and continue to energize our economy.

Following this reaction to Sony's departure from the show, Chris Brown, executive vice president and managing director of global connections and events at the National Association of Broadcasters, announced the cancellation of NAB Show 2021.

Gordon Smith, President and CEO of NAB

Gordon Smith, President and CEO, NAB (Image credit: NAB)

This year’s NAB Show attendees will be those at the center of the industry—the decision-makers focused on doing business, making deals and investing in new technologies to propel the industry forward. We can’t wait to see you. And co-locating our signature industry events, such as the Radio Show and the Sales and Management Television Exchange, allows attendees to personalize the event to their needs, delivering even more value. 

This event has always been an economic engine of our industry, and we are excited to welcome over 600 exhibitors who are ready to meet with buyers and move this business forward.

Now, we know that many of our exhibiting partners and attendees have had to make very difficult decisions about whether to participate in this year’s Show—particularly our international partners. We respect their decisions as valued partners and look forward to seeing them again, if not next month, then at the 2022 NAB Show in April. 

But we are thrilled to have hundreds of people registering for the Show each day and thousands already registered to attend. We hope that you will be among them.”

You can watch Smith’s full video address here (opens in new tab)

AVIXA Responds

Joé Lloyd, senior director, Communications at AVIXA

Joé Lloyd, Senior Director, Communications, at AVIXA (Image credit: AVIXA)

It is AVIXA’s position not to comment on Sony’s withdrawal from InfoComm 2021 or about any specific exhibitor. However, Joé Lloyd (opens in new tab), senior director, communications, at AVIXA, said, “While some exhibitors are reconfirming their commitment to InfoComm, there are some companies that have chosen to adjust their type of presence at the show. Additionally, some exhibitors have canceled their contract and will not be exhibiting at this year’s show.

InfoComm remains an opportunity for the industry to reengage and reconnect. We are ready to provide the most exciting event in North America, serving the pro AV industry where you can see the latest technologies, learn new skills, and forge new opportunities. We will take every care to safeguard those in attendance with practical health and safety protocols. 

If 2021 is not your year, we understand—and we respect it. We cannot wait to see you again in the near future!”

In full transparency, AVIXA is updating the exhibit floor map in real time here (opens in new tab).

Cindy Davis
Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 20 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. From 2000 to 2008, Davis was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Electronic House. From 2009 to present, as the principal of CustomMedia.Co, Davis developed content plans and delivered content for associations such as IEEE Standards Association and AVIXA, content marketing for Future Plc, and numerous AV/IT companies. Davis was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.