NAB - the mother of all domestic trade shows in our industry. Like so many ventures, NAB's post 9/11 numbers took a hit, but they have been steadily rebounding over the last couple of years.
2004 numbers were an impressive 97,544, and 2005 brought attendance back over the six-figure mark with 104,427. And what about 2006? Well, we will know shortly, but hopes are high for continuing growth.
One likely reason for the groundswell is the additions that NAB has made to its convention offerings. Beyond the show?s expansive exhibit floors, the NAB has teamed up again this year with Future Media Concepts to bring back the NAB Post|Production World Conference, which starts the Friday before the main convention begins. (See Marc Loftus's news story in this issue.)
In addition, NAB has also teamed with SMPTE and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC on the annual two-day Digital Cinema Summit that takes place the Saturday and Sunday before the exhibits open. (See Nick Dager's news story in this issue.)
All these components to NAB are important to our industry, but for many attendees NAB is about new products and technology. And manufacturers realize this is their chance to get in front of their users and prospective users.
"For us, NAB remains the premier US trade show to showcase new products to the broadcast and professional video market," says Phil Ritti, VP/GM for Quantum Storage Media. "In fact, this year we have a 20 x 20 booth to showcase our new SDLT 600A, [a] data tape drive enhanced for professional video and today's file-based workflows. We see our commitment to NAB strongly underscoring our commitment to this market."
Industry vet and partner in Creative Bridge Dan Lion also knows well the promise of this year's NAB. "NAB 2006 will mark the advent of true tapeless 4:4:4 digital filmmaking. Many of the new technologies introduced in previous years have made the leap from prototype to actual working products. Cameras like Thomson's Viper and Panavision's Genesis have graduated to feature film roles, and S.two has proven reliable as a data acquisition format for feature and commercial work. Creative Bridge will show these technologies in our new Mobile Digital Lab and Theater, a true RGB 4:4:4 'pre-post' mobile lab for data cloning, archiving and editorial prep. There seems to be more buzz than usual about new products this year, and I'm looking forward to seeing new 4K and data products from the usual suspects as well as companies new to the industry."
See you there?