FEED Issue 15


TAKING TO THE STAGE The NAB conference and seminar programme made a real attempt to diversity its offerings this year, featuring discussions on everything from esports to AI, connected cars to cloud production.

interoperable and standards-based solutions,” said Glodina Lostanlen, CMO at Imagine Communications. “We’ve also realised that when we deliver complex solutions to customers, our relationship with them has to be a partnership.” “What we see in the industry,” said Yoni Tayar of TVU Networks, “is that no company can cover the whole workflow of the customer by itself. In the area of cloud, for example, we might manage the cloud production aspect, but with things like graphics, we would integrate with another company so the customer gets the best experience. No one company can manage all that. Our goal is to help our customers use multiple platforms where necessary to get the most from live video.” “We don’t look at our customers as customers and we don’t want them to look at us as a vendor,” said Simon Haywood, CTO of media and entertainment at Dell EMC. “We like to work together. We want to understand what our partners are trying to achieve and what is preventing them from doing even better in their business. We want to know what their challenges are and help them overcome those challenges.” CHANGING THE NAB STORY “Every story starts here” – that’s the new

slogan of the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention. And beneath the logo of that slogan are icons representing satellite, mobile, gaming, drones, cloud, audio, radio and even connected cars. The big industry trade shows are starting to cast a broader net in an attempt to haul in the diverse parts of an increasingly fragmented media industry. At FEED we see this as an opportunity – we can cover a wide variety of content types and tools for making them – but for big institutions like NAB, and for its long-time exhibitors, this is a challenge. NAB counts on selling booth space a year in advance. By the time exhibitors leave the show, NAB wants them to have signed a contract for booth space for the following year. NAB is making a deliberate move to attract anyone who uses technology to create and deliver a story. I’m suspicious of the compulsion to declare every kind of content a ‘story’ – just because a cake recipe has a beginning, middle and end doesn’t make it a story – but I understand what NAB are going for. When we tell a story – even if we make a cake – we have an emotional investment in the outcome, and will want to have access to the best tools and expertise to make sure that story is constructed and delivered effectively.

NAB has been a broadcast industry destination for many, many years. In fact, the first NAB took place in 1923, in New York, well before the advent of TV. Traditionally, the show was where broadcasters went to check out the new gear. In the days before the internet, where you might not find out about an innovation until you actually saw it with your own eyes, NAB was a must-attend destination. There was simply no other way to see and evaluate all the new technological advances that you might want to incorporate into your business. The challenge for NAB now – for all technology tradeshows – is to give people a new reason to show up. There will always be an audience for NAB, it’s never going to go away, but there is an ongoing downshift in attendance numbers, and therefore to exhibitor booth spend. The questions is will NAB (and other shows) be willing to adjust themselves to the lower numbers, or will they try to reinvent themselves to create something new – something that really does put the creativity of attendees at the centre of the event, rather than the technology on exhibitors. There has probably been too much focus on the exhibitors at industry trade shows – doggedly putting the attendee’s needs first could bring some really positive results. It sounds like NAB is making steps in that direction, trying to incorporate everything from esports to podcasting into its line-up. If it can find a grand unified theory to connect all those content types into a single coherent show, it can look forward to a new lease of life.


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