As US Election Wraps Up, NAB Show New York Takes Over Javits Center

November 11, 2016

By Elizabeth Johnson

If you watched the U.S. Presidential Election coverage on Tuesday night, you likely saw a crowd of people gathered under the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center’s glass ceiling in New York. What you didn’t see was hidden underneath that crowd - NAB Show New York was set up and ready to open just hours later, early on Wednesday morning Nov. 9.   

Despite some unique operational challenges not faced by many show organizers—think Secret Service level security during move-in—the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) team put together a strong, successful event.

This is the show’s third year since NAB bought it, which is now fully branded as NAB Show New York. 

The exhibition featured 362 companies spanning 63,011 net square feet of exhibit space, a 15 percent increase, compared with 2015. Preliminary attendance also was 15, 404. 

Organizers have built NAB Show New York to bere intentionally different from its bigger sibling in Las Vegas. 

“NAB New York won’t cover everything that is covered in Las Vegas,” explained Chris Brown, executive vice president, Conventions and Business Operations at NAB. “Distribution infrastructure - wired networks to broadband - is not the focus here. New York is where we focus more on production, film and advertising communities.”

It reflects the community it serves, focusing its content on the advertising community, news community and live events community in New York. Well-known New York figures including Solidad O’Brien and Al Roker keynoted.

NAB Show New York caters to all distribution media, including broadcast, cable, satellite, digital and live production. It’s also working to expand its offerings to into another New York industry, finance, an appropriate way that would link it to the broadcast industry.

NAB is embracing the challenge faced by many show organizers affected by the rapid evolution of technology and its impact on their industries of staying relevant by constantly reimagining and tweaking the show experience. It works hard to understand where the industry is headed and who the players are, and tries to partner with them in interesting ways.

This year, it blended the educational experience with the exhibit floor. It took sessions out of classrooms and placed education theaters on the show floor, labeling them Inspiration Stages. It also planned a program that ties to the things attendees will see on the show floor to show how it interrelates.

“We challenged speakers to think differently about the educational experience,” Brown said. “We shortened the sessions and pushed speakers to make their sessions interactive.”

Walking the exhibit hall floor, it was clear attendees were taking advantage of the educational content available as seats in the various Stages were nearly filled.

New this year was a Live Streaming Conference prepared in partnership with Digital Media Wire. Together, they built a program that reaches new media and focused programming. NAB sees it as an opportunity to traditional media to digital and learn from each other. This area is something they will look to expand further in the future.

NAB is looking forward to the 2017 show. It will move upstairs in the Javits Center, move the show dates to mid-October, and co-locate with Audio Engineering Society (AES) which will create an event that attracts about 25,000 people. Partnering with AES allows NAB Show New York to offers its audience a category not currently covered—audio. The two shows will have separate, linked exhibit halls and work together on an education program and marketing campaign. NAB sees it as a first step to creating a full Digital Media Week.

On Wednesday, Brown said he walked the show floor imagining “what would a different show floor look like?” While he doesn’t yet have the answer, he is sure they need to think like a tech-centric show, learn to sell differently and work to create custom experiences for exhibitors.

“Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith more than having all the research and data and just test something,” he explained. “We can take more chances with this type of event, be a little riskier—it takes a little time to get where we want to be.”

And if a Presidential Election Night party can’t them knock them off course; they are well on their way to getting there.

NAB Show New York will be held at the Javits Center on Oct. 18-19 next year.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.