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Spring Show Promises a Fresh Feel

Expect some changes to familiar routines at the NAB Show coming up in April

NAB Show conferences and events will have a fresh feel this spring; and some traditional schedules, keynotes and locations will be different.

Headline events like the NAB Show Opening — here with association President/CEO Gordon Smith in 2017 — will be held at a new Mainstage in the LVCC’s North Hall instead of a ballroom at the neighboring Westgate hotel

The organizers’ strategies include shorter presentations, fewer competing conference tracks, an expanded number of less-formal “engagement” sessions, a revamped plan for awards, and the addition of a 1,000-seat new Mainstage area of the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center for major events like the opening keynote, instead of having these in the hotel next door.

Radio World will tell you more about the spring show in our annual preview issue. But I wanted to share this info now for the many readers who attend and may be making travel plans.

Some specifics:

All NAB Show conferences will now use identical session schedule formatting, in four “blocks” daily of 80 minutes each — two blocks in the morning, two in the afternoon.

That’s not something you might notice or care about; but it should help reduce conflicts for people who attend more than one conference, and make it easier to plan.

More obvious to us attendees is that conferences also will make expanded use of engagement or e-poster sessions — under the name “ENGAGE!” — with which NAB experimented last year. At each session, four or five speakers, all on a given theme, are scheduled at once in a large room equipped with individual stations equipped with a laptop and 55-inch monitor. Attendees can hop from one to another speaker or stick with just one.

The speakers are encouraged to have about 20 minutes of material and will then either repeat it or can dig deeper depending on attendee interest. Presentations may include some equipment demos. As you might guess, the experience is less formal, more energetic and more interactive.

Also new will be two events highlighting industry achievements; these replace the Television, Radio and Technology Luncheons.

The NAB Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner will be held Monday evening April 9 at the Encore Las Vegas. It’s a ticketed event with networking reception and dinner, and it includes presentation of the NAB Radio and Television Hall of Fame Awards and NAB Digital Leadership Award.

Then on Tuesday April 11, the “NAB: We Are Broadcasters Celebration” will be held at 3 p.m. It’s open to all attendees and will be held in that big new Mainstage at the west end of the North Hall (a location that’s also likely to help with North Hall traffic).

The Tuesday event includes presentation of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards and the NAB Crystal Heritage Award, in addition to the Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards and the Television Chairman’s Award. A networking reception follows.

Changes at Radio and Radio World

Effective this month, our sister publication Radio magazine will no longer be published as a standalone print publication. While select Radio magazine content will appear in Radio World moving forward, the bulk of the excellent brand of coverage that Radio is known for will be delivered exclusively via its new turbo-charged website, three times per week via the Radio Magazine Today e-newsletter and daily through its branded social feeds.

Radio magazine was first published in 1994 as a spinoff to Broadcast Engineering magazine called BE Radio; it has been an industry staple for more than three decades under the editorial leadership at various times of Skip Pizzi, Chriss Scherer, Shane Toven and Doug Irwin. I’m proud of the work it has published since NewBay acquired it seven years ago and I look forward to working on its reinvention as a digital-only brand.

Doug Irwin will continue to be involved as a contributor and trusted advisor to both Radio World and to Radio. He has done a great job since taking on leadership of Radio magazine’s content and has his own long relationship with its readership and writers, which we value.

Thanks for reading both (or either) Radio World and Radio. Your input and your voice are valued here as both brands continue to report on digital trends, new technology and the changing radio media landscape — albeit with different lenses. Write to me anytime at [email protected]. Your ideas will be welcomed.

As always, Radio World will be on site for news coverage of the keynotes, conferences and new product displays.

I peeked at the agenda for the Broadcast Engineering & Information Technology Conference, which is always strong and received 400 proposed presentations this year. Topics will include mobile field strength measurements, AES67, FM boosters, audio processing, connected car trends, IP network timing issues, crypto- and cyber-threats, implications of the TV repack, ATSC 3.0 implementation, “big data” in media, advanced newsgathering in the post-ISDN era, and several sessions on the implications for media of artificial intelligence.

By the way, if you are interested in technical content but plan to arrive late Sunday or early Monday, you’re missing a lot of great stuff. Tech activities start Saturday morning and run through Sunday; and there will be more of them. They include the “Digital Strategies Exchange [DFX]” targeting broadcasting’s online leaders, the Global UHD Conference, a joint U.S.-Korea daylong presentation on Ultra HDTV status and prospects, the SBE Ennes workshop on “Tomorrow’s Media Toolkit — Today” and an IEEE BTS Symposium. So consider arriving earlier this year.

Watch for the full conference program at, and for RW’s detailed preview coverage in late March.