The big Japanese three have now all withdrawn from NAB 2021

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Canon, Panasonic, and Sony have all withdrawn from NAB 2021. Once Sony withdrew it wasn’t a question of if, but when, Panasonic and Canon would follow suit.

Japanese business culture is very much about conformity and all it takes is one of the big three to pull out and the rest will quickly follow.

COVID-19 has stuck around for a lot longer than anyone could have ever anticipated. Even with large numbers of people now vaccinated, the new Delta strains have thrown another spanner into the works. You can still catch COVID and pass it on to others even if you are fully vaccinated.

The last tradeshow Newsshooter attended was Interbee in November 2019. Major shows such as NAB, Cinegear, and IBC were all canceled in 2020. Now, in late 2021, Cinegear, NAB, Interbee, and IBC shows are all slated to go ahead. Below are the scheduled dates for these shows:

  • Cinegear 2021 (LACC)– 23rd September to 26th September
  • NAB 2021 (LVCC)- 9th October to 13th October
  • Interbee 2021 (Makuhari Messe)– 17th November to 19th November
  • IBC 2021 (RAI)– 3rd December to 6th December

NAB 2021 originally wasn’t requiring anyone attending to be vaccinated, but they quickly changed their tune around three weeks ago and issued this statement:

Dear NAB Show Community,
With less than 60 days until the start of NAB Show and associated co-located events scheduled for October in Las Vegas, we are filled with excitement and anticipation to welcome you to what promises to be the ultimate reunion at which to get back to business, reconnect and reinvigorate the industry.

While the enthusiasm is building, we are keenly aware of health and safety concerns tied to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and want to assure you that we are putting in place a comprehensive, data-driven plan that prioritizes safety and creates a productive environment at these events.
We have worked for the past several weeks to finalize protocols that will maximize the experience and safety of all members of the NAB Show community. This process has involved extensive consultation with health and safety experts, gathering feedback from a range of exhibitors and attendees, and review of the safety measures recommended by
national and local health authorities, including Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s important announcement this week regarding large events.

Taking this all into account, we will require all attendees and participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. We think this is a positive step in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will provide further details on implementation as well as other safety measures under consideration.
Multiple indicators show a strong eagerness among the NAB Show community to return in person, including steady attendee registration. The continued buildout of the Show Floor is bringing together hundreds of new and returning companies, including major brands like Amazon Web Services, AJA, B&H, Canon, Grass Valley, MediaKind, Panasonic, Ross, Sony,
Verizon and more.

We are also finalizing a full conference program featuring premium education content, high-profile speakers and world-class training opportunities. Additionally, major industry events, such as the Radio Show, Sales and Management Television Exchange and AES Show, will colocate in Las Vegas, broadening the base of attendees and adding value to their experience.

NAB Show is a momentous opportunity for the industry to reengage. We are ready to provide an unparalleled forum for inspiration and innovation while safeguarding those in attendance with sound health and safety protocols. We genuinely appreciate the support, participation and feedback of the NAB Show community and look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas and connecting throughout the year on NAB Amplify.

Will NAB 2021 be canceled?

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Given NAB specifically mentions Canon, Panasonic, and Sony in their press release in regards to some of the major companies attending, it will be interesting to see if the show still goes ahead.

Usually, when a few big manufacturers decide to withdraw from a show there is a domino effect. RED hasn’t attended NAB in quite some time, so the only major camera company that is still slated to attend is ARRI. Blackmagic Design isn’t listed as an exhibitor on NAB’s website.

Lens companies such as Angenieux, Cooke, Zeiss, and Sigma are also not listed as exhibitors. Other companies such as Creative Solutions (Wooden Camera, SmallHD, Teradek), Rotolight, Adobe, Avid, are also not listed as exhibitors. Vitec is still listed as an exhibitor at this stage.

With NAB 2022 scheduled for April 23 – 27, 2022. This means the gap between NAB 2021 and NAB 2022 is only around 6 months. I think there may well be a lot of people skipping NAB 2021 and waiting for NAB 2022.

I think we will see almost all new products being announced prior to trade shows occurring as manufacturers know that not a lot of people are going to attend or want to attend due to safety concerns. If you couple this with all of the restrictions, you have to wonder how many people will be going to attend, especially given the lack of exhibitors.

Do you think trade shows should be going ahead in 2021? Will you be attending any of them? Do you have safety concerns about attending a trade show? Do you think trade shows are still an important part of our industry and should continue in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.

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