NAB said about 105,000 people attended the convention this week; association officials expressed satisfaction with the number during a time of economic uncertainty.
Last year drew about 108,000, the year before about 105,000.
“You build a city, you invite 100,000 of your close personal friends, you welcome them,” said NAB Executive Vice President for Communications Dennis Wharton. “And host them for a week, and do it all over again the next year.”
The radio exhibit floors overall did not feel crowded, though manufacturers with notable new products stayed busy, and several told Radio World they saw a good number of important visitors — this despite the absence of most Clear Channel and CBS engineers. Some attributed the steady flow in part to a stronger international presence; India, China and the Middle East are areas that are hot for manufacturers right now.
Meanwhile, according to TV Technology magazine, the breakfast session with the Open Mobile Video Coalition attracted a standing-room-only crowd. “Five years from now we’ll look back at the 2008 show as the show where the idea of mobile live mobile TV really got its jumpstart,” an NAB spokesman said.
The convention also had more of a Hollywood feel this year, with appearances by Tim Robbins and Barry Sonnenfeld, and a greater emphasis on “content.”
“The writer’s strike screwed things up royally, so it’s going to take a while to get back into the groove, but I would argue that this is the golden era to a certain degree for high-quality television shows,” NAB’s Dennis Wharton said.