For the second time in as many years, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of The NAB Show. The National Association of Broadcasters announced today (Sept. 15) that it has pulled the plug on its biggest conference along with co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, all scheduled to take place next month in Las Vegas.
The announcement from Chris Brown, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Global Connections and Events at NAB, cited “unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community” from the COVID-19 pandemic and surge of the Delta variant.
Originally planned for April 11-14, the 2021 NAB Show was rescheduled to Oct. 9-13. The spring 2020 show was cancelled in March 2020 on the same day world health officials declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.
“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,” Brown said. That will mark the first time in three years the NAB Show will be held in person.
It isn’t yet clear whether the Radio Show will be co-located with the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April 2022 or return to a standalone conference in the fall. “We have been focused on this year’s Radio Show and will now be exploring various options for 2022,” NAB spokesperson Ann Marie Cumming told Inside Radio. “We’ll share more information soon.”
The compact two-day Radio Show conference was set to take place October 13-14 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, a short walk to the adjacent Las Vegas Convention Center where the NAB Show was to have taken place.
NAB says it plans to announce virtual options for accessing select 2021 NAB Show content through NAB Amplify as it did in April of this year.
The announcement comes after the NAB spent the last year working to bring the industry together safely in person. Last month the trade group said it would require all participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. A new update in early September outlined the steps attendees, exhibitors and presenters would have taken to validate that they have been vaccinated.