Sign-ups are indeed lagging last year’s pace, but the National Assn. of Television Program Executives conference will go on as planned in January.
That was the determined message put forth Tuesday by NATPE org prexy-CEO Rick Feldman, who not only has had the challenging task in recent years of building a trade event around a TV industry convulsing amid the digital revolution, but also must do it amid severe global recession.
“We always tend to break late (in terms of sign-ups),” Feldman said. “Fifty percent of our attendance comes after January, and this year everything is breaking later. … Hopefully, we start getting into January, people will start feeling better about the new year.”
Feldman declined to disclose how far confirmed attendance is off pace for the confab, which is skedded Jan. 26-29 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. He did say the org is working with the resort to lower rates in order to spur on fence-sitters.
“We have been on the phone with the hotel every single day for the last week,” he said. “And the hotel has been very good at trying to work those things out.”
Feldman said around 300 exhibitors have been signed on, and the show floor configuration should be similar to this year’s confab. More than 400 program buyers from around 50 countries have also committed to attend.
“We’re going to put on a great show, hope for the best, then on Feb. 1, we’ll see what we have,” he added.