Didya notice that the exhibit floor closes two hours earlier on Thursday at the NAB Show this year?
I can’t say I’m surprised; if anything, I expected this change sooner. At least in our world on the radio floor end of the North Hall, Thursday afternoons have been quiet-quiet-quiet in recent years, mostly vendors talking to each other, reinforcing for me the conviction that, if this were a radio-only convention, it sure would be a heck of a lot shorter.
Vendor behavior tells a lot about how companies view the productivity of their show schedules; and many top exhibitor managers leave Vegas a day or even two days early each year, apparently having met the key customers on Day 1 or Day 2, feeling they can afford to leave the rest of the show to others on their staffs, who by Thursday afternoon are chafing to “knock down and go.” This is unfortunate, given how much time and cost are involved on the vendor side in having a booth presence for four days, and how badly everyone involved in organizing the show wants attendees to come, stay and shop, to keep the convention and the marketplace healthy.
But I doubt that anyone, at least in radio, will care that exhibit hours are shaved by two hours this year. No exhibitor has complained to me about the change (and when exhibitors are unhappy, I usually hear from them about it).
More-telling questions for me this year are “How many people will even come to NAB and the radio floor, given the economy” and then “how early will exhibitor CEOs decide they can afford to head home this year”?