The National Association of Broadcasters has canceled its annual April conference in Las Vegas, amid the global public health concerns over coronavirus, or COVID-19. The organization is “considering a number of potential alternatives” to the event.
NAB president Gordon Smith said, in an open letter posted to NAB’s site, that it was “not an easy decision,” but after consulting with its media partners, the organization will not be hosting its upcoming convention. But Smith did indicate that NAB is looking to reschedule the event to a later time as they “weigh the best potential path forward.”
Here is the full memo from NAB president Gordon Smith:
March 11, 2020
Dear NAB Show community,
As you know, we have been carefully monitoring coronavirus developments both domestically and globally over the past few weeks.
In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community.
This was not an easy decision. Fortunately, we did not have to make this decision alone, and are grateful to our NAB Show community for engaging with us as we grappled with the rapidly-evolving situation. This Show is as much yours as it is ours, and it is important to us that we move forward together.
For nearly 100 years, NAB Show has provided superior value and the best possible experience for exhibitors and attendees. We knew that if we could not deliver on those expectations, we would not move forward. More importantly, keeping the community safe and healthy is NAB’s highest priority; therefore, we are deferring to the developing consensus from public health authorities on the challenges posed by coronavirus.
We are still weighing the best potential path forward, and we ask you for your patience as we do so. We are committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting where the industry can engage with the latest technology, hear from industry thought leaders and make the game-changing connections that drive our industry forward.
I want to stress that despite our disappointment at how this year’s Show has been impacted by global public health concerns, we are more excited than ever about the future of NAB Show and our relationship with you.
We are grateful for each and every member of our Show community. It is your passion for the industry that makes NAB Show a success year after year, and it is that same passion that will drive us into the future as we look ahead to new possibilities later this year and beyond.
Gordon H. Smith
President and CEO