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NAB Changes Guest Pass Policy for Fall Show

NAB Changes Guest Pass Policy for Fall Show

If you plan to attend the fall NAB Radio Show and are accustomed to getting a free floor pass from your favorite supplier, you might want to ask for it a bit earlier this year.
The NAB has tweaked some exhibit policies for the upcoming show in Philadelphia in October. Among them: it will no longer supply unlimited free exhibits-only passes for suppliers to hand out.
Instead, each exhibitor will be offered 20 “VIP Day Passes” for favored customers. These passes are good for one day each.
One exhibitor unhappy with the change is Radio Systems. President Dan Braverman said his company has used free passes in the past to help attract visitors to the convention.
Braverman said free, unlimited floor access for guests “is very important to vendors. It’s been the policy on all recent shows.” He complained that the change was not made clear until after exhibitors had signed up; and said attendance will suffer at a time when it is already low. One-day passes would not be helpful for attendees who fly in for the show, he said.
NAB spokeswoman Stacy Perrus said two or three suppliers have complained and that NAB is working with them.
“It’s not that the policy has changed; it’s the Radio Show itself that has changed,” she said, noting that exhibitors have asked NAB to help attract “quality attendees” from the sessions onto the show floor; so this year, eight show sessions will take place on two stages on the exhibit floor.
“The VIP Day Pass gives those attendees access not only to the booths but also those sessions,” she said.
Perrus also said only 650 booth-only passes were used last year, and that the new policy would allow up to 1,400. The policy change does not affect the spring convention, she said.
A spokeswoman for Broadcast Electronics, another exhibitor, said “It’s anybody’s guess at this point” whether this change will be helpful or not.
“I suppose as it gets a little closer to the show, I’ll have a better feel for how this will affect us, if at all.”