The 2008 NAB Show is over, and the NAB reports that registered attendance was just more than 105,000. This figure is only 3,000 fewer than the 2007 convention. It seems like there were a lot fewer than 3,000 people on the floor this year.
As I have said many times before, registered attendance really means nothing. Like most conventions, I hold more than one badge (news media, exhibitor, speaker and full convention). I’m told that I only count once, but I don’t buy it.
I have talked to exhibitors and attendees, and the general feeling is that attendance was more likely closer to 80,000 or so. That’s 25 percent less than registered. Because the NAB does not track actual attendance, we’ll never really know.
It wouldn’t be difficult for the NAB to track actual attendance. At some AES conventions, all badges are scanned when they enter the convention. Another way would be to imbed an RF ID chip in each badge holder and have attendees enter through sensor gates.
Until then we’ll just have to guess at the real attendance figures.