Is the NAB Show Dead?


For nearly 30 years, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has hosted the world’s largest annual trade show for media, entertainment and technology in Las Vegas. Their self-described tagline, “Where Content Comes to Life”, has recently been tested with a declining turnout.

In 2018, the association released numbers showing a 10% decrease in attendance and we’ve heard from people on the ground that 2019’s numbers might be even lower. If it’s not dead yet, it seems to be dying…

While overall attendance has slowly dwindled, there have been increases in both the number of exhibitors and the cost of exhibiting at the event. Currently, exhibit space starts at $31/sq.ft. for the least desirable locations.  With over 1 million square feet of exhibit space at the venue, think of all the Benjamins they’re raking in from the exhibitors. It might begin to feel like a bit of a racket if you’re paying top dollar to expose your brand to a dwindling base.

Could it be that changes in our advertising landscape are contributing to this trend? We’ve seen stakeholders in traditional broadcast advertising compete for diminishing sales while streaming services only continue to grow. So, maybe the internet has something to do with it? As companies get more savvy with new product releases through social media, perhaps the production industry doesn’t need the NAB show as much as it used to?

The truth is, we don’t know for sure, but maybe you think you do.  Please let us know, we’d love to hear your opinion.