Successfully Navigating The Show Floor

NAB Show continues to define what it means to be part of the professional media and entertainment industry. And with more than 100,000 attendees arriving in Las Vegas for this year’s convention, there’s literally a lot of ground to cover: over 1 million square feet of exhibit floor space, more than 750 sessions, 13 conferences, more than 1,700 exhibitors, dozens of keynote speakers and a series of in-the field workshops.

How to get it all done? Begin with an understanding that this year’s show is anchored by some of the biggest trends and technologies facing the industry today; among them: virtual reality, drone technology, UHD/4K, ATSC 3.0 and IP media. These targeted themes will be strategically located in a series of halls across the Las Vegas Convention Center.

IN THE MIDDLE: Start by tracking down the big broadcast muscle right in the Central Hall, where companies that make up the acquisition and production industry are located. These include professional video camera acquisition companies, such as Canon, Go- Pro, Hitachi, Panasonic and Sony.

In this hall, attendees will get to see the newest in 4K technologies as well as get a chance to check out LED lights, test lens filters and peer up at 25-foot-tall jibs. One of the highlights of the show will be the Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, sponsored by Multicopter Warehouse and FirstCom Music, which will surround an enclosed flying cage that will give users an up-close look at this buzzing technology in action.

PEERING NORTH: If the Central Hall is home to workhorse broadcast, film and production technologies, the North Hall offers a further glimpse into the future, as it serves as home to some of the most forward-looking attractions at the show: SPROCKIT showcases a unique collection of market-ready startups that have been vetted by some of the industry’s leading organizations; and the new Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Pavilion, sponsored by Technicolor and G-Technology, features the latest virtual reality equipment and software. Located within the pavilion is the Kaleidoscope VR Showcase, presented by Jaunt, which will offer experiential areas featuring the most innovative narrative, environmental and interactive content that harnesses the transformative potential of presence.

“With the rapid evolution of media and entertainment, it’s clear that virtual reality will play a prominent role in the future of film and broadcasting,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown. “Kaleidoscope will be a major highlight of our virtual reality offerings. We can’t wait to see what this next generation of artists brings to the NAB Show floor.”

The North Hall serves as the home for radio equipment like microphones, digital audio workstations and trafficking software. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest from companies such as Imagine Communications, Ross Video & Evertz.

The North Hall also will be home to the Advanced Advertising Theater, sponsored by RSG Media, which brings together technologies that are helping to monetize content and optimize advertising campaigns.

SLIP ON OUTSIDE: During the hustle and bustle of a busy show, the outdoor exhibitors are not to be missed. Step outside of the Central Hall into the sunshine of the Outdoor/ Mobile Media area, where 18-foot production trucks sit alongside satellite trucks and microwave vans — all within an easy walk to one of NAB Show’s beer gardens.

HEAD SOUTH: Take a walk through the South Hall, where attendees seem to flock in an effort to see and test production switcher panels, editing suites, video production gear and 3D graphic technology. In the Upper Hall, manufacturers in the business of distribution, delivery and online video will include companies such as Avid, Ericsson and Intel.

New to this hall location will be the Connected Media|IP area, sponsored by Cisco, which will explore the underlying technologies that are enabling audiences to receive, discover and interact with content across any device. Also new this year is the ATSC 3.0 Consumer Experience, which will show how new capabilities, such as interactive advertising, advanced emergency alerting, expanded audio and 4K video will transform the way we think about television.

It’s here that attendees also can visit the Futures Park, powered by PILOT, where up-and-coming technologies, such as 8K, find a home. Futures Park will also feature an in-depth ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast demonstration area. In this locale, attendees can learn the latest tips and tricks for content creators, from shoot to post via 30-minute sessions within the Post|Production Campus.

Additionally, the StartUp Loft serves as a launch pad for the industry’s newly created companies. Attendees will get a first look at product and service offerings that have recently hit the market.

Downstairs in the South Hall, attendees can find high-speed, digital film camera technology, the best in editing software, VFX, weather graphics and other post-production technologies. And it’s here that visitors will be able to delve into the cloud — via companies such as Amazon Web Services, Oracle and others — as well as peer down into deep storage devices and up at massive video walls.

Want to see how it all comes together for live production? That’s the goal of the StudioXperience space, sponsored by Intel, which is a furnished, live broadcast studio that gives a look at acquiring, transferring, creating and distributing content via 50 different demos.

GETTING A GUIDE: Still not sure where to start? NAB Show will offer a series of self-guided audio tours that will give attendees an up-close and personal look at areas that include advertising, immersive media and multiplatform production. Attendees can also get an overview of the exhibit floor and general trends via daily 30-minute “Decipher the Show” briefings.