NAB Vegas 2024 Highlights

One of the first things you notice when you arrive at an NAB convention is the overwhelming size of it. Seemingly every year everything gets bigger, the booths, the speaker line-up (which they were kind enough to include me on) and, most of all, the footprint. Day one I’m confident my Fitbit thought someone had stolen it because I logged 18,595 steps. Luckily on day two I discovered the Tesla Vegas Loop to cut down on the walking between the different halls. If you missed the show, here are some of the highlights from our team that was on-site throughout.

Exhibits

I can’t stress this enough, one day is no longer enough to see all the exhibits you want to see here at NAB. I would recommend two days minimum just for the exhibits. A few that stood out to me were Mevo, who now have an affordable 4k option for their wireless streaming cameras I always recommend to radio, Rode who’s ProcasterII is still for my money the best podcasting console around, Osbot with their AI-enabled cameras, Riverside the best remote interviewing solution for broadcasters and podcasters, Shure whose new MV7+ usb/xlr mic with built-in processing made sure I have to buy another mic when I get home, Vocal Booth with their impressive modular studio and Forecast, a studio furniture company with some reasonably priced furniture that looks as good as it functions for both radio and podcasting.

Speakers

I’m not going to lie, many of the sessions and panels I attended went a little over my head. However, where in years past I would’ve quickly and quietly made my exit to find something else, this year I powered through many of them and I’m VERY glad I did. Because of that, there wasn’t a single session or panel I watched in it’s entirety that didn’t leave me with at least one or two nuggets that got my wheels turning on ways to apply them to radio. I spoke with some colleagues and friends like Curtis Machek from Text Groove, Alex Quintero from Radio Resources, Mohamed Buisier with Buisier Media and several others who all had similar takeaways. Hopefully, people walked away from my session with the same thoughts. The NABShow app was also an enormous help planning out the sessions I wanted to attend, sending me reminders so I didn’t miss them and helping me navigate everything.

Networking Opportunities

The Radio Happy Hour to me was the best networking opportunity of the week for us radio folks. I ran into Oscar Rodriguez, the president of the TAB, met a handful of owners and GMs (didn’t see as many programmers but that makes sense because many of them are in a book) and multiple radio-specific vendors I can connect with my consulting clients. Plus, free drinks without a catch and a DJ on-site spinning tunes (Do I sound as old as I feel writing that sentence?).

Overall impressions

I heard from a handful of my fellow radio people who were here, and others who opted not to come, that they felt like this convention has gotten away from radio. In my opinion that’s not the case. Yes, there is a LOT of video products now. But, radio needs to be doing a LOT more with video. The key is to walk past the $15k cameras that very few of us know what to do with to the $400 cameras that we can train virtually anyone on our staffs to work. Yes, there was a LOT of AI. Not only did practically every other booth seem to incorporate AI in some way. It was also one of the main topics in virtually every panel and presentation, I even worked it into parts of mine and I was discussing keeping people engaged through stopsets. But, again, radio needs to fully embrace AI as do radio people themselves so they can make it their coworker instead of their replacement. So, if you chose not to come to NAB this year I would strongly encourage you to come to NAB in New York in September and consider coming back to Vegas next year. The stronger radio’s presence at NAB conventions the better it is for the convention and our industry as a whole.

If you were here, let me know some of your takeaways in the comments or email me at Andy@RadioStationConsutlant.com or editor@radioupdate.com.

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