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Sony and Canon to withdraw from NAB 2021 show – The Hollywood Reporter

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The uncertainty surrounding the 2021 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, currently scheduled for October 9-13 in Las Vegas, continues to grow. Sony Electronics – traditionally one of the biggest exhibitors at the event – said on Tuesday it had made the decision to pull out, followed by another big exhibitor, Canon, which announced its withdrawal on Friday.

The annual conference, which in 2019 registered an attendance of around 91,000 (including 24,000 international delegates) includes a large technology exhibition as well as a conference. The event typically takes place in Las Vegas in April, and in 2020 it was canceled and replaced with an online program due to the coronavirus. An expected lighter 2021 event has been moved to October, with NAB 2022 currently slated to return to Las Vegas next April.

The NAB has provided the following statement to THR Friday: “The NAB Show is an economic engine for our industry, and we look forward to providing you with a productive in-person experience. We have taken significant steps to make the safety of our community a top priority and are delighted to have the many exhibiting companies ready to meet buyers and get back to work in Las Vegas.

Responding to concerns about the Delta variant, earlier this month, the NAB announced that proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination would be required by attendees, exhibitors and staff, while further guidance would be established taking into account the current CDC recommendations.

Announcing their plans this week, Canon and Sony also said they were pulling out of Infocomm, which is scheduled for October 23-29 in Orlando, Florida. Theresa Alesso, president of Sony’s pro division, said in a statement on Tuesday: “Sony Electronics has been following developments closely with the COVID-19 Delta variant. With October on the horizon, we took into account the unprecedented circumstances and made the difficult decision not to attend next month’s NAB Show or InfoComm in person. While these events are an important forum for reaching our customers and showcasing new products, it is a choice we have made to ensure that we put the health and well-being of our employees and partners first. . She added that Sony “will continue to communicate and engage with our customers … to securely deliver exciting product news and updates.” He has scheduled a press conference on October 10 on the NAB virtual platform.

Canon said in a statement on Friday: “The communities that NAB and InfoComm represent are something we will be sorely missed this year, but the health and safety of our team members, customers and potential show guests is our priority. number one. Canon will continue its plans to communicate exciting new products and innovations in virtual and remote environments, and our teams around the world will share our news and updates in the coming weeks. We are constantly monitoring the situation and look forward to seeing events in the future. “

Avid, Adobe and Blackmagic Design are among the major postproduction operators who had already withdrawn from the show. Avid, in fact, made the decision last spring, with Avid CEO Jeff Rosica saying Hollywood journalist in an interview in June that a rushed return to trade shows was “a bad idea”. He said, “I think we’re a little premature as an industry to rush to trade shows. … I made the decision not to go to big shows this year.

In a recent video address, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith called this year’s NAB Show “a flagship … Exhibitor partners and attendees had to make some very difficult decisions about who to attend. at this year’s show, especially our international partners. We respect their decisions as valued partners and look forward to seeing them again, if not next month, then at the NAB Show 2022 in April. “

For weeks now, uncertainty has grown in the Hollywood community that typically attends this annual conference, with many exhibitors reaching out to customers who typically attend the show, asking if they are considering attending. NAB promotes “over 600” exhibitors, where in 2019 it announced 1,600.

“I’m throwing in the towel on NAB,” said Hollywood-area postproduction vet THR this week, adding, “I spoke with a lot of vendors that I had planned to see, and they are pulling out. From what I hear, not many people from Los Angeles go there.

Some also question the rationale for holding the show when NAB 2022 is expected to return to its regular schedule just six months later (April 23-27), or with IBC (International Broadcasting Convention), which is attracting an audience. similar, currently scheduled to be held December 3-6 in Amsterdam.

In addition to the exhibit, the NAB has set up a lighter-than-usual conference; featured speakers include Nick Cannon and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee Lester Holt. Co-located events include the Audio Engineering Society Show.

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