Coronavirus and NAB Show 2020, what we know now

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UPDATE: NAB Show 2020 in Las Vegas has been canceled

With the 2020 NAB Show less than 45 days away and the first cases of the coronavirus impacting the United States, many broadcast industry employees and vendors are quickly having to decide what to do.

ConnectechAsia, a broadcast convention and show in Singapore, has already postponed its June show in favor of a September date. 

In addition, Promax has postponed its European conference and awards.

The NAB Show, however, has continued to note that this year’s event is not canceled or postponed and will proceed as planned. 

Later on March 7, after confirmed cases surfaced in Nevada, a revised update was posted saying the show organizers are in contact with federal, state and local officials about the show and its impact.

NAB notes that there are now continental U.S. travel bans, though since the show does attract international attendees, some attendees from countries with travel bans or restrictions may be unable to attend.

The post also announces a “no handshake” policy at this year’s show.

“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. 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,” notes the show in a release. 

Exhibitors including AJA Video Systems, TVU Networks, Nikon, Ross Video, Avid, BitCentral, Western Digital, Imagine Products, Nanlite, Zaxcom and AV Design Services, have already pulled out of the show with others likely to follow.

“While we will miss being there in person to meet with our colleagues from all over the world at this key industry event, we’re prioritizing the well-being of our staff, colleagues and their families at this very critical time,” said Paul Shen, CEO of TVU Networks. “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.”

Sources tell NewscastStudio one of the vendors with the largest footprint at the annual gathering of media professionals will decide in the next seven to 10 days about its presence at the show, noting the logistics involved with overseas shipments and staff movement to the United States.

The Las Vegas Convention Center and NAB have issued guidelines and resources to help prepare those planning to attend the show. They’ve also noted “increased cleaning protocols.”