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NATPE Convention Attendance Drops 14%

Jan 29, 2009  •  Post A Comment

NATPE President and CEO Rick Feldman estimates that attendance at the syndicated television industry’s biggest conference this year fell 14% to about 6,000 registrants.
That represents a drop of nearly 1,000 from last year. Mr. Feldman said the attendance loss was in part the result of TV companies limiting their contingents to essential attendees. The convention of the National Association of Television Program Executives still attracted decision makers that conference-goers needed to meet, Mr. Feldman said.

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“Some of the riff-raff and periphery are gone,” he said.
The souring economy stymied interest in the convention, as stations and distributors couldn’t justify the expense of paying for employee trips to Las Vegas. Forecasts for next year aren’t positive, which has forced Mr. Feldman to move towards holding the convention in hotel suites and ballrooms at the Mandalay Bay rather than the more expensive convention hall floor.
“It is a tough decision for us to abandon the NATPE floor,” he said during his opening remarks on Tuesday, “but the times call for tough decisions.”
“We are a reflection of the business,” Mr. Feldman said. “We don’t make the business.”
Mr. Feldman did remain positive on the new media interest in NATPE, noting full panels about online programming and distribution. Also, tech sponsors like LG Electronics and Intel have taken a new interest in the conference, he said.
New features to the floor, including the business to business lounge and the test kitchen were well received, he said. But NATPE will take a modest loss on the Table X Restaurant, as demand for on the floor dining wasn’t there due to lower attendance, he said.
(Editor: Baumann)

11 Comments

  1. “Some of the riff-raff and periphery are gone.”
    What a dickhead.

  2. Most likely the comment was taken out of context and knowing Feldman’s sense of humor that’s likely.

  3. Rick here,,,,I DID NOT SAY THAT…NOR DID I SAY IN MY SPEECH THAT WE WERE ABANDONING THE FLOOR.
    A DISTRIBUTOR MADE THE COMMENTS ABOUT LESS MEETINGS BUT BETTER AS ALL THEIR MEETINGS WERE
    VERY PRODUCTIVE…WE IN FACT MAY HAVE A FLOOR NEXT YEAR…BUT ALL OPTIONS ARE ON THE TABLE…
    THATS THE TRUE SCOOP….RF ( THANKS D.A)

  4. Move to LA next year. Enable station managers to justify a trip by enabling them to do other business (i.e. visiting rep firms), while also saving a lot of travel/hotel cost for distributors. Int’l visitors can just go into LAX without having to transfer to Vegas. Plenty to do around the new LA Live complex. It’s all about cost and convenience.

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