NAB Show Update: AJA, Nikon, TVU, AV Design Withdraw; Show Still On as NAB Works With Public Health Officials
Virtual participation is among alternatives for exhibitors opting out
AJA Video Systems, Nikon, TVU Networks, and AV Design Services have pulled out of exhibiting at NAB 2020, citing concerns about the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, NAB said that the show will proceed as planned for April 18-22 in Las Vegas and that the “overwhelming majority” of exhibitors were still booked and attendee registrations were on pace with normal patterns.
However, with the first confirmed coronavirus infection in Las Vegas, NAB said today it has “reached out to local public health officials, the convention center, and other partners on the ground to assess the situation and determine their increased protocols for the health and safety of show guests.”
Stay tuned to sportsvideo.org for continuing coverage of this story.
Updates From NAB
NAB previously said that the show will proceed as planned and that the organization will continue to take direction from global, federal, and local health officials, such as the WHO and CDC, which, as of now, have not issued travel notices or restrictions on public gatherings for the Continental U.S.
NAB will update its Coronavirus Update and Resources page and communicate with all guests and partners as it receives additional details.
“We understand there are exhibitors and participants that may decide not to attend this year’s show and respect everyone’s desire to do what they believe is best,” the organization says on its website. “We are hearing that the overwhelming majority of our exhibitors are looking forward to attending the show, and our attendee registrations continue on pace with the normal patterns we see year-over-year.
“We share in the disappointment of show community members who are affected by travel restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and cannot join us in person this year,” the NAB website continues. “We are in contact with the exhibitors and attendees who are impacted by travel restrictions and working with them on options so they can, where possible, experience some of the benefits of the show and add value to in-person attendees remotely.”
The Las Vegas Convention Center has also taken several steps to ensure increased safety for visitors at NAB 2020 and upcoming events.
Opting for Virtual Instead of Vegas
AJA, Nikon, and TVU said they will not be exhibiting because of concerns about the coronavirus and plan to share news with the industry via web-based virtual events.
AJA released a statement on Monday announcing that it will not exhibit at or attend the Las Vegas expo: “It is with a heavy heart that AJA is withdrawing from the NAB 2020 show in Las Vegas due to the risks from the coronavirus. We have made this decision out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our employees and partners worldwide.
“While we will miss gathering with our friends and colleagues from around the world,” the statement continues, “AJA remains fully committed to transitioning all of our planned NAB events (product announcements and demos, channel-partner meeting, and press conference) to web-based video conferences. We have exciting product news to share, and we look forward to bringing those products to market as planned.
“AJA is a community-based company with a majority of our staff, product development and manufacturing located in Grass Valley, CA, and, in light of the risks presented by COVID-19, having a physical presence at NAB posed too great a risk.”
Nikon followed suit on Thursday: “[Our] first priority is always the health and safety of our employees, partners, and customers. As we continue to closely monitor and gauge the impact of COVID-19, Nikon Inc. and MRMC [Mark Roberts Motion Control], a Nikon Group company, have made the decision not to participate in NAB 2020. We will continue to closely evaluate our travel policies, programmes, and activities to mitigate risk.”
TVU Networks was next to announce that it will not exhibit, citing “concerns over the health and safety of employees, colleagues, and their friends and family in light of the coronavirus outbreak.”
Working with NAB Show organizers, TVU will explore alternatives to physical participation, including using digital technologies to reach customers, partners, and colleagues who may or may not be attending the annual conference in person.
“While we will miss being there in person to meet with our colleagues from all over the world at this key industry event,” said TVU Networks CEO Paul Shen, “we’re prioritizing the well-being of our staff, colleagues, and their families at this very critical time. We did not make this decision lightly and came to this conclusion after considerable and lengthy deliberation. It is one of a series of steps we’re taking as a company on behalf of our staff and colleagues. TVU has been an ardent supporter of the NAB Show, and we will continue to participate in the future. Although we will not physically be in Las Vegas, we are exploring with the NAB alternative ways to share the news and demonstrations we planned for the April show.”
AV Design Services Founder Jim Landy posted on Linkedin that the company “is withdrawing from the NAB 2020 show in Las Vegas due to the risks from the Corona virus, Covid-19. Our decision was made out of caution for the health and safety of our employees. We have exciting new LED product news to share with our clients and our designer friends in the broadcast set design community. AV Design Services has decided that having a physical presence at NAB poses too great of a risk for all involved.”
Streaming Media also has provided more info on which companies are and are not planning to attend NAB here.
SVG will provide continuing updates as this story evolves.