Media, Entertainment and Technology Take the Stage

The M.E.T. Effect, this year’s NAB Show theme, embraces the convergence of media, entertainment and technology industries and helps explain the show’s growing attendance and exhibitor base and the expanded conference and pavilion offerings.

Last year, more than 100,000 visitors visited the Las Vegas Convention Center for NAB Show, and in 2017, nearly 1,800 companies will exhibit across more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space. NAB Show has organized educational content around The M.E.T. Effect, revamped conferences, introduced new pavilions and streamlined forums.

An expanded lineup of Super Sessions has been scheduled exploring game-changing media technologies; innovative sports and entertainment concepts; emerging business models and markets; and features a track of sessions programmed by Google at NAB Show.

The North Hall will host educational conferences and tracks focusing primarily on media and technology. Among the media-focused programs is the Business of Broadcast, a four-day conference evolved from the long-standing Business Management Conference. The sessions and speakers are designed to give radio and television stations the big scoop on content delivery and to offer practical suggestions in the areas of finance, legal, policy, advertising, marketing, podcasting and digital strategies and business development.

In addition, the Online Video Conference, produced in association with VideoNuze, brings together media and entertainment executives to discuss new online viewer behaviors and streaming business models, while the Digital Futures Exchange targets TV and radio station staff who drive digital revenue for an unscripted conversation of digital trends, strategies and case studies for local markets.

Additional programs examining market opportunities, trends and strategies include the Media Technology Business Summit, produced in association with Devoncroft, and the Media Finance and Investor Pro- gram, produced in association with Noble Capital Markets; Google at NAB ShowSuper Sessions; the Ad Innovation Lab; the M.E.T. 360 Leaders Town Hall; and a Facebook Live Video Bootcamp, produced by Sports Video Group.

Technology-focused conferences and tracks are also taking place in the North Hall, which is a move from their traditional South Hall location of past years. Technology trends led NAB Show to introduce the Next-Generation Media Technologies conference, tackling big trends in the entertainment space, including cloud innovations, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Produced in partnership with the Entertainment Technology Center at USC, the conference will spotlight cutting-edge technologies shaping the creation, distribution and consumption of content. Other programs focusing primarily on technology include an Amazon Alexa Hackathon, the Satellite Technologies track of sessions and the Broadcast Engineering and IT Conference (BEITC).

Another technically focused feature is the new Global TV Tech Day, to be held Saturday, April 22, and open to all Show registration levels. Attendees will be given a preview of the types of technologies emerging in the Next Gen TV space. Presentations will include an overview of developing Next Gen TV standards from the Inter-SDO Group, a look at the Korean launch of ATSC 3.0 UHD service, and an update on Consumer Technology Association’s WAVE project, which is attempting to narrow the focus on important elements of OTT.

An offspring of the Broadcast Engineering and IT Conference is BEITC ENGAGE!, a series of interactive sessions that will let attendees have in-depth conversations with presenters for a full 90 minutes on topics such as IP-based facility design.

Entertainment-focused conferences and tracks are taking place in the South Hall this year. This is a big move for Post|Production World (P|PW), which has been housed in the North Hall in the past. Despite its move it will feature several workshops on corporate productions, aerial photography and timelapse videos, in addition to the training and certification sessions.

Adjacent to P|PW, the Creative Master Series returns to provide a behind-the-scene look at how filmmakers and creative professionals are exploring new methods of story- telling. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from executive producers, film editors and visual effect designers for some of today’s biggest movies and shows, including “Logan,” “Ghost in the Shell,” “Game of Thrones.” It’s a session featuring the biggest names in visual effects. The Future of Cinema Conference, with is produced in association with SMPTE and blends a look at the technology and creative work in cinema, remains housed in the South Hall.

New pavilions and returning attractions are on the menu, too. One only has to see the standing-room-only space at the well-attended Virtual & Augmented Reality Pavilion to know that the technology has taken off.

A topic a little more ominous — namely breaches in security — led NAB Show to introduce a Cybersecurity and Content Protection Pavilion, located in the Central Hall, which will offer insights on how to protect valuable assets, programs, networks and data from malicious activity.

The IP Showcase, in the North Hall, will offer attendees a holistic view of industry alignment, action and transformation thanks to internet protocol technology. With leadership from AES, AIMS, AMWA, EBU, IABM, MNA, SMPTE and VSF, the industry has developed this pavilion to help everyone from broadcast/IT engineers to CEOs to producers deter- mine how they can best reap the benefits of IP. This attraction features a full schedule of must-see IP education sessions within its IP Showcase Theatre along with demonstrations of new applications and the latest interoperability developments.

The North Hall is also home to the Advanced Advertising Pavilion, the new NextGen TV Hub and the Facebook Live Video Solutions Partner Pavilion.

What does new technology in the automotive industry mean to content producers and broadcasters? NAB and Ford have teamed up to feature the Connected Car Hackathon, a fun and unique competition in the North Hall where visitors can explore how access to vehicle-generated data and the increasing autonomous capabilities of vehicles will affect the delivery of audio and video inside the car.

NAB Show attendees can learn more about The M.E.T. EffectSM during the General Session and through the Super Session lineup, which will shine a spotlight on the intersection of media, entertainment and technology. In addition, “M.E.T. Talks” on Wednesday, April 26, will feature top media and entertainment innovators delivering keynotes TED-talk-style, sharing their career journeys and visions for the media and entertainment future.