NAB Show records over 50,000 attendees in 2022

The National Association of Broadcasters announced a preliminary registered attendance of 52,468 for the 2022 NAB Show.

NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says, “We are thrilled that our exhibitors, attendees and partners from all corners of the world turned out in force this week in Las Vegas. The enthusiasm and engagement on the show floor, in sessions and throughout the entire event have been invigorating. We thank the NAB Show community for  making this year’s convention an incredible experience as we get back to doing business in person.”

Of the over 52,000 attendees, 11,542 were internationals from a total of 155 countries.

NAB also announced that the next NAB Show, the centennial celebration of the first NAB Show, will be held April 15 – 19, 2023 in Las Vegas.

For radioinfo, Wayne Stamm covered this year’s show, and made the following observations.

The 2022 NAB Show was one of the most anticipated conferences and trade shows in years, especially after two years of COVID cancelled 2020 and 2021, making this the first one for three years.

The attendance figure of over 50,000 people is way down on the hey day figures of 120,000+ from shows three or four years ago, but my guess is that the NAB will be thrilled to have gotten that many with the majority coming from the USA as it means that next years event should be much bigger.

The $US 1 Billion spend on the new West Hall also added to the anticipation, but more than anything it was a chance to once again see people face to face, to shake hands instead of touching elbows, and to catch up with old friends.

Radio’s focus this year appeared to be on the connected car with almost every workshop and event mentioning connected cars in some way. This seems to indicate that radio is betting on remaining dominant in the car, and is now beginning to make some serious moves to stay connected with drivers.

I first saw what HD radio displays could do fifteen years ago at one of my first NAB Shows, and it has been a slow burn to get stations to understand how beneficial these in-dash displays can be.

Joe D’Angelo (Xperi) and Steve Newberry (Quu) are leading the charge these days and are finally getting better support from the US radio industry. CRA at home is also working closely with Xperi.

The new West Hall is enormous and really well set out for a trade show like NAB, but it is a long way from the North and Central Halls, and you are unlikely to make the trip multiple times a day, even if you use Elon Musk’s tunnel that link the halls through a 0.8 mile (1.3km) route, though it is a bit of fun.

I was also a little disappointed that the equipment and software for radio was spread across the three main halls instead of having it all in one area of its own. If you were shopping for new consoles, codecs, playout systems, microphones, transmitters or any other equipment for your station, you were going to keep your step count way up over the three days you were likely to need to see it all.

This conference also doesn’t have the intimacy that the RadioShow in September has had, and that is mainly because the NAB Show incorporates TV, video and audio, as opposed to just radio/audio.

All that said, there was no doubt about the excitement of most of the attendees who were just glad to be taking part in a bit of “normal”, if anything about a conference in Las Vegas can be called normal.

My next stop will be Radiodays Europe in Malmö, Sweden.