NAB Attendance Expected to Be Up, But Still Below Peaks of Prior Years

23 Apr

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NAB 2012 show organizers initially indicated 85,000 people would attend this year’s convention — the third-largest convention in Vegas this year and the world’s largest electronic media show. The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that NAB expects final numbers to be at the 100,000 mark.
Over 92,000 people registered for NAB 2011. The 2010 NAB Show attendance was 88,044, with 2009 NAB Show final attendance at a dismal 82,650. These numbers in contrast to the NAB attendance for ’08 (105,250) and ’07 (105,259 attendees)
An improving economy and the election year appear to be responsible for the surprising increase in 2012 show attendance.
Chris Meyer, vice president of sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the election year has brought a number of legislative issues to the forefront.
“I think between the improving economy and the election year, everybody in the broadcast industry wants to be educated and are coming to this show,” he said.
It could be late approvals of budgets and last-minute decisions, but we’ve seen a lot of shows that see a flood of registrations in the last 30 to 45 days,” Meyer said.
Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president for conventions and business operations, said improvements in the economic outlook also helped drive growth in attendance. Brown said broadcast companies have benefited from a rebound in the advertising business, and are expecting ad revenue to remain strong through the year because of the Summer Olympics and the election.
“While the recovery has been somewhat anemic, there has been at least enough stability to keep the momentum positive,” he said in an email. “As a result, companies are spending again or are looking to spend again. There was likely some pent-up demand as companies sat on major capital expenditures during and immediately after the recession.”

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