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NAB Will Shift Exhibit Schedule in 2020

Association changes a big part of its show structure for the first time in decades

In 2020, the National Association of Broadcasters will change the basic schedule pattern of its annual spring show. The exhibit floor will be open Sunday through Wednesday, with booths opening at noon on the first day. The final show date is Wednesday.

The schedule of this year’s show is not affected.

It is a tweak likely to create a lot of buzz among the attendee and exhibitor community at next month’s show. It’s a big operational change, the first modification in the show’s basic weekly structure in decades, and will have impact both on show planners and on those who attend.

Attendance has been in the range of 90,000 to 100,000 in recent years, and there are many thousands of people more who build staff plans, travel costs, meetings, shipping arrangements and other major decisions on assumptions about a basic Monday to Thursday format.

As the show has evolved, observers say, the weekend prior has become a much more popular time to hold both official and non-official affiliated events. A number of technical and other sessions take place over the weekend, for instance; and a few non-NAB events (for instance, in radio, the Public Radio Engineering Conference) are held as early as the prior week. Meanwhile, the final Thursday of the show was slower in booths and sessions than the earlier days.

On the session side, the only current Thursday programming is in the Broadcast Engineering and IT Conference. Plans for the BEITC schedule next year have not been finalized, an official said.

NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown said the decision was based on feedback from the NAB Show “community at large.”

“As the industry continues to undergo enormous change and disruption, we remain committed to evolving along with it to deliver the best value for exhibitors, attendees and partners,” he stated in an announcement. He said the change provides people an opportunity to attend outside of the work week, and aligns exhibits with the show’s existing education programs.


  • Sunday, April 19: 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
  • Monday, April 20: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 21 : 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 22: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

The show will still be in its longtime home in the Las Vegas Convention Center in 2020.

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