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High Attendance Expected at NAB

Apr 7, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Despite complications caused by the war in Iraq, attendance at this week’s National Association of Broadcasters convention is expected to be on pace with last year, when about 92,000 were on hand in Las Vegas. Despite travel concerns such as the SARS flu, the number of international delegations is actually expected to increase to 50 from 39 last year.
“At last year’s show we were coming off a pretty serious recession, and now we’re on a bit of a rebound,” said Dennis Wharton, senior VP of NAB. “We’ve heard from station groups and station owners saying they were sending more people than last year because of the improved economic situation,” he said.
One theme this year will be the TV industry’s ongoing transition to digital. NAB is the show where station engineers kick the tires on new technology, Mr. Wharton noted. Conference sessions include the Digital Operations Exchange, in which broadcasters will discuss their experiences making the digital transition; Leadership Session: Group Executives, with top broadcast executives sharing thoughts on the future of the TV business; The Digital Transition: Let Viewers Be Your Guide. Also, there will be a session on the advertising and business models of interactive TV.
The show’s sessions have morphed over the past few years and now address more brass-tacks issues, such as business plans and how to implement them, said Stacy Perrus, spokesperson for NAB. As previously announced, the opening keynote will be delivered by Barry Diller, chairman and CEO, USA Interactive. The Federal Communications Commission chairman’s breakfast takes place Tuesday, followed in the afternoon by the Regulatory Face-Off.