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CAB Conference Merges With NCTA

Dec 4, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau said last week that it plans to integrate its annual sales management conference into the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s upcoming national show, to be held in Las Vegas May 7 to 9.

The move reflects the growing importance of advertising to the cable business and should put the discussion of advertising issues in front of more cable executives.

Four years ago, the CAB stopped having its own national convention in order to concentrate on research and direct presentation to ad buyers. Over the past four years, its annual three-day sales conference has been averaging about 1,000 attendees, according to Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of the CAB. Last year it had about 800 attendees in Atlanta.

The CAB will have fewer elements during the NCTA’s “The Cable Show ’07” than it did in a stand-alone show. But some key sessions will be seen by several thousand cable executives, Mr. Cunningham said. Last year’s NCTA show, also in Atlanta, drew 15,000 people.

Mr. Cunningham expects one general session to feature a top executive from a major advertiser explaining what marketers want from the cable industry, like last year when Betsy Lazar, executive director of advertising and marketing operations at General Motors, said the company would be investing more in video-on-demand advertising.

The CAB has had a role in helping program sessions during past NCTA shows.

“We are excited to take advantage of CAB’s expertise and energy in planning `The Cable Show ’07’ and look forward to using the show as a platform to demonstrate why cable should be the advertising community’s first choice,” said NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow.

The conference had been a money-maker for the CAB, and Mr. Cunningham said he expected to come out ahead in the new arrangement.

“We’re still working that out,” he said. “Everyone’s going to come up a winner.”