The sky didn’t fall at NAB
The first question at every booth visit I made was, “What do you think the attendance is?”.
I guessed about 65,000. Other ranges I heard from exhibitors was 40,000 to 80,000. NAB says 83,000 “registered”. Yes, and I can tell you they counted me twice because I (and thousands of others) have more than one registration. A person who’s a speaker, exhibitor and conference attendee might have three registrations. So, you have to take “registrations” with a grain of salt.
Even so, in NAB’s defense, what else can they use for attendance than “registrations”. Exhibits only registration was free, so why not have a badge waiting—in case your boss finally gave in a the last minute and let you go.
It really doesn’t matter because every single exhibitor said what while the numbers were down, quality was good and they were “satisfied”. Case closed.
So, if you were here at the show, I suspect you too were satisfied. Attendees found exhibitors available to talk, answer questions and demonstrate new products. Everyone I visited with said they appreciated the ability to have more face time with customers and vendors.
Perhaps the ones who most complained about fewer attendees were the cab drivers.