Do you remember the 2009 cinema hit "The Hangover"? It was set in Las Vegas. All but one of the central characters was a seemingly intelligent professional, yet their Las Vegas experiences went far beyond what any rational person would do. No outrageous partying occurred among the people I associated with at NAB, but many of us found ourselves overindulging in information, demonstrations, novel ideas and walking.
Instead of nursing bad headaches like the actors in the movie, many of us who visited the 2013 NAB Show nursed aching feet and overstimulated brains. It was difficult not to be swamped with notes, literature, business cards and memories. Most attendees follow up by asking fellow visitors and reading Broadcast Engineering and newsletters for other takes on the show to discover what they missed. I think it’s safe to say everyone misses something important.
Some interesting facts about the show deserve mention. Slightly more than 26 percent of visitors were international and came from 155 countries. That percentage grows every year. There were 85,000 more square feet of exhibit space than last year. Also, I’m not sure what it means, but there were notably few visitors and exhibitors wearing neckties. I couldn’t help but notice, especially on the day I wore a tie.
It’s impossible for any one person to visit all 1600 exhibits in the 1920 minutes the exhibits are open. At best, other than shopping for specific items, the most a visitor can hope to take home is a clearer vision of the industry and the technology and trends that drive it. It’s also a terrific opportunity to network, visit with old friends and make new ones.