LAS VEGAS — It’s full speed ahead for the National Association of Broadcasters and the 2022 NAB Show in late April, scheduled to be the second big conference in a city battered by COVID-19 still suffering from CES 2022 cancellations and lighter-than-anticipated attendance.
That’s the official word from NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt, who was in attendance at an invitation-only Radio Reception on Thursday evening at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino co-presented by RBR+TVBR and Radio Ink.
“We’ve got great feedback from our core exhibitors that they’re anxious to be back in person,” LeGeyt said in an exclusive interview with Streamline Publishing’s RBR+TVBR and Radio Ink. “People really lamented the timing with what happened with the October show. Listening to all the latest health and safety information, there’s a lot of optimism around April. There’s pent-up demand. We are pacing extremely well in terms of the exhibitor interest in our show. I think we will knock it out of the park in April. The biggest takeaway from here is a reduced attendance does not mean a diminished value for the exhibitors who rely so much on these shows. If you can get the right attendees, it’s quality over quantity. That’s our emphasis between now and April.”
Speaking with RBR+TVBR and Radio Ink at the reception, LeGeyt shared that he was taking notes and observing how the Consumer Technology Association made adjustments across CES 2022 to adapt to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. More importantly, LeGeyt was in attendance to converse in person with radio executives attending the event in his first official in-person role since succeeding the NAB’s top leadership position from now-retired former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith.
“The biggest takeaway from here is a reduced attendance does not mean a diminished value for the exhibitors who rely so much on these shows. If you can get the right attendees, it’s quality over quantity.” — NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt
Speaking to those in attendance at the Radio Reception, LeGeyt shared his pleasure in seeing key broadcast industry leaders — including newly appointed Salem Media Group CEO Dave Santrella and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley — in Las Vegas for CES 2022. In particular, LeGeyt was pleased that the radio industry leaders understand the importance of the partnership with the consumer electronics industry, especially the auto manufacturers, who took a major spotlight this year. Among the head-turners, aside from autonomous vehicles, was a color-changing BMW. “That’s one that both sides are investing in in a tangible way,” LeGeyt told those in attendance. “It recognizes we need to be at forefront of everything that’s going on in the automobile, the home and broadcasters are embracing that challenge.”
For some 20 years, automotive brands have used CES as a springboard for important events such as the L.A. Auto Show and similar gatherings in Detroit, New York and Miami Beach. In-dash technology gets the spotlight in Las Vegas, however, and with dashboards resembling iPads these days, the radio industry needs to consistently demonstrate it is doing whatever it takes to be an important partner while giving consumers the content they desire. That’s why LeGeyt is excited about what he’s seeing from the auto manufacturers.
“It’s very clear that radio is a present piece of that conversation,” LeGeyt said. “When you talk about consumer electronics the focus from the media can be around the streaming services, SiriusXM. What’s evident to me is there’s a real desire from consumers to have a seamless access to broadcast radio and that the car manufacturers understand that and are focused on it. That’s why you have such a radio presence from a broadcast perspective out here.”
The NAB Show will be held in Las Vegas from April 23-27. Details HERE.