Some radio vendors
at the NAB Show are not happy that booth locations will be changed
The location and
orientation of radio/audio exhibits next year is indicated by the
dotted red line, at bottom left and the lower portion of the map.
(Click to Enlarge)
More radio and pro
audio exhibitors in the Central Hall are being clustered, and those
that had been closest to the so-called grand lobby entrance —
between the North and Central Halls of the Las Vegas Convention
Center — will move farther from that Central Hall door. The new
radio/audio layout will overlap the footprint of the old one, but the
traffic flow and orientation of the “front of the radio hall” are
likely to change.
The C2 entrance is
across from the monorail exit, connected to the South Hall meeting
room complex and adjacent to a shuttle bus drop-off.
The change comes as
the NAB Show has grown considerably over the last few years. The
trade group said exhibit space was up about 7 percent from the
previous year, with 945,000 net square feet of exhibit space, and
that there were 1,746 companies exhibiting.
“We are looking
for ways to accommodate that growth and to organize the show floor in
logical ways by product categories,” a spokeswoman told RW. She
said the increase required the organization to reassess the overall
organization of the floor in several areas.
NAB is moving radio
and pro audio to accommodate growing exhibit needs of its Acquisition
and Production category, which consists mostly of video-related
companies. That space in particular has sold out the last couple of
years, according to the trade lobby.
Radio exhibits last
moved in 2010, from the North to the Central Hall.
The shift affects
the entire radio and pro audio categories, and vendors could be
affected by varying degrees, depending on how far their booth is
Radio is one of
eight product categories at the show. There were some 100 exhibitors
in the radio and 185 in the pro audio categories this year, according
to the NAB Show website. Companies self-define their categories, and
some fall into both. A list of companies categorized as radio this
year can be found at http://tinyurl.com/lw4u6s9.
For NAB Show exhibit
purposes, “radio” consists of analog, digital and streaming
technologies, HD Radio, antennas, transmitters, towers, automation,
master control, news and weather services, advertising/media sales
solutions, encoding, microwave/RF accessories, scheduling software,
signal management, IT/network infrastructure and security, Web,
mobile and video applications.
vendors spoke to RW off the record about the issue. For some the move
was a surprise; they learned about it when they selected exhibit
space for next year. Others said they’d found out a couple of weeks
before the show.
happy, questioning how customers would find them. Some seemed
resigned to the change.
“It’s a less
attractive location,” said a vendor about his company’s new
Another told RW: “It
seems like radio is being pushed to the back of the bus,” near the
“doors that go out to the food truck.”
“This is our big
show of the year, and to be pushed back is disappointing,” said a
Another said that
grouping all of the radio exhibitors is a good idea but he didn’t
like how the changes came about. His company chose a larger booth
next year to be able to remain relatively near its current space, but
he said spending on other show events may need to be constrained as a
and pro audio booths will be clustered near the outside C2 entrance
next year. Photo by Jim Peck
A fifth vendor said
the new layout “will be fine” but didn’t like learning about it
so close to the show when many other exhibit-related items demanded
Radio will remain an
important part of the spring show, the NAB spokeswoman stressed. The
organization plans to create special signage around the Central Hall
2 entrance, branding it as a radio and pro audio entrance. “The
area is at the crossroads for traffic moving between South and
Central Halls — the bridge crossover drops people right at the
entrance to C2,” she said.
At least one vendor,
GatesAir — part of what used to be called Harris Broadcast —
plans to relocate from the North to Central Hall, in the acquisition
and production category. “We are moving by choice,” a spokesman
told RW. The company, which makes both radio and TV equipment, is
moving into a space near the front of the Central Hall by the grand
NAB has an Exhibitor
Advisory Committee that companies can contact to voice concerns.
While declining comment on the changes, Diana Stokey, chair of the
EAC, said, “I encourage any exhibitor who has feedback on the
change to the 2015 floor plan contact your Exhibitor Advisory
Committee Representative. The EAC is your direct voice to NAB’s
show management team. NAB strongly encourages this dialogue.”