Even as the NAB exhibition gets busier and busier each year, there’s been one corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center that’s remained quiet for the last few shows.
This year, though, the North Hall promises to be hopping, with new exhibitors filling the entire hall for the first time in several years, and new attractions not only for the radio broadcasters who’ve traditionally called the North Hall home, but for all NAB attendees.
“The goal of that is to make it easier to get around, and trying to really shape it in communities,” said David Dziedzic, NAB senior vice president for business development.
As the demand for exhibit space has increased, Dziedzic says the show has grown from just over 800,000 square feet last year to about 900,000 square feet of exhibits this year. That extra space is coming from two segments of the North Hall — “N1” and “N2” — that were walled off and empty in previous years.
This year, the expanded North Hall will house big vendors such as Dolby, Grass Valley and Evertz, who fall under the “community” categories of “Acquisition and Production,” “Pro Audio” and “Management and Systems.”
Even so, radio folks at NAB will still find themselves congregating in the North Hall for most of their needs, too.
“The focus [for radio] clearly is the North Hall, and all the exhibitors you would expect to find are there,” Dziedzic said.
“It’s going to be hopping this year, especially with the push for HD Radio,” Dziedzic said. “It seems like every exhibitor’s got an HD product this year.”
The focus on HD Radio will include a “Radio and Audio Stage,” presented by NAB in partnership with Radio World newspaper and Pro Audio Review and Audio Media magazines. Vendors will present the latest in HD Radio and digital audio technology. Dziedzic also expects Beasley Broadcasting Group to return with its mobile HD Radio demonstration van, a popular outdoor attraction at NAB2006.
A relatively new major exhibitor in the radio area at NAB2007 will be Google, which has become an important player in the radio-advertising arena with its push to consolidate and sell excess ad inventory on a national basis.
“They’re obviously attracting a lot of attention,” Dziedzic said.
The North Hall is a good place to be for anyone wanting attention this year, Dziedzic says. The former registration area in the Central Hall will be used for exhibit space and registration will move to the North Hall.
“The first stop for attendees will be in the North Hall this year,” Dziedzic said.
NAB is also moving its National Campaigns Booth from the Grand Lobby (between the North and Central Halls) into the North Hall.
“It’s the central point to meet the various non-profit partners NAB has, and to pick up PSAs and information,” Dziedzic said.
Even with the increased traffic, the crowds of people passing through the North Hall on the way to and from events and the RTNDA@NAB exhibit hall at the adjacent Las Vegas Hilton, Dziedzic said there’s one more addition to the floor this year. The new Cyber Café will offer wireless Internet access, a feature that’s been on the top of the “most wanted” list for NAB attendees for several years.
If you’re disoriented by all the changes, Dziedzic said there’s an easy solution: use that wireless Internet access and check out the “My NAB” feature at www.nabshow.com, which provides a customized list of vendors and locations to help navigate the new layout even more easily.