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NAB Offers Exhibitors a Partial Refund or Rollover Options

Plan includes an enticement to commitment for future shows

A conversation at the AEQ booth during last year’s NAB Show. Photo by Jim Peck

This story has been update to reflect a response from the NAB.

Companies that had paid to exhibit at this year’s spring NAB Show are hearing this week from the association about refunds and rollover options.

Several radio floor exhibitors confirmed that they’ve received an email from NAB, each containing the same offer: The exhibitor can choose a 66% refund now — an amount it said was “calculated after covering NAB’s expenses incurred up to the time of cancellation to plan and produce NAB Show” — or apply the full amount toward booths at the next three spring shows, with 66% applied to the 2021 convention and the balance over the next two years.

[Related: “Decision to Abort Makes for ‘Poignant Moment’ for NAB”]

The email said “additional options” are available for companies exhibiting at NAB Show New York, without giving details.

“Thank you for your patience as we worked to finalize the best possible refund options for you,” the association wrote in the email. “We remain committed to doing right by you, our industry, and all of our partners and stakeholders, especially under the current challenging circumstances. Nothing is more important or rewarding for our team than working with you to create a vibrant marketplace for the global media and entertainment industry.”

NAB officials declined comment for this story. The association recently announced plans for a virtual event, NAB Show Express, in May.

The annual convention is huge, with an estimated 1,600 companies last year. Reports in other trade press have estimated annual spring show revenue at $46 million to $48 million, based on tax documents. An NAB spokesman speaking with RW earlier this year declined to estimate the potential cost of cancelling the2020 show or to discuss any insurance arrangements, other than saying at the time that “It’s obviously a financial hit.”