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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

A plea to attend the NAB Show

Speculation abounds about the 2009 NAB Show and the anticipated attendance. I’ve heard predictions on attendance ranging from 80,000 to 100,000. All the predictions say that the state of the economy will affect attendance in some way.

Today, I received the following message from the NAB:

Dear friends:
As a leader in the radio business, your presence at the 2009 NAB Show – and that of your colleagues and your organization – is important to the overall success of the event and the association as a whole. The financial success of the show directly impacts NAB’s ability to advocate on behalf of America’s broadcasters in Congress, at the FCC and in the courts; provide educational and professional development programs that help stations grow their businesses and broadcasters enhance their careers; educate policymakers about the many ways broadcasters serve their communities; and invest in future technologies to enhance revenue for the broadcasting business.
The organization is able to provide great value to its members, and has not increased member dues rates, in large part due to the revenue generated by the NAB Show. It is up to all of us to be sure this event continues to be successful.
The NAB Show is also an economic engine for the industry, displaying the most exciting technologies in the business, such as HD Radio, Itunes tagging and radio data system (RDS) services, Internet streaming and incorporating radio on all mobile and handheld devices. The capital spending that occurs at the show fuels future industry growth. It is a positive economic catalyst during a time when our country sorely needs it. Thus, your presence at the show not only ensures that you stay at the forefront of a constantly evolving industry like ours, but also demonstrates the unity of the business in moving forward and doing its part in helping to spur economic growth.
The show is also an important time to celebrate the men and women who have made lasting contributions to radio and television. We hope you join us as we honor renowned comedienne and actress Mary Tyler Moore with the Distinguished Service Award during the Opening Keynote session and induct legendary sportscaster Vin Scully into NAB’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame during the Radio Luncheon. In addition to these events, the show features many other notable speakers and experts in media, entertainment and communications.
Now more than ever, your leadership is needed. It’s time for us to step up and lead by example. By engaging in the NAB Show and working together, we are proving our commitment to building a strong future for radio.
We urge you to maintain this commitment to our business by participating, attending and experiencing the NAB Show. Please visit www.nabshow.com for details on this year’s show.
We look forward to seeing you in April.
Best regards,
Jack Sander; Joint Board Chair; Senior Advisor, Belo Corporation

Steve Newberry; Radio Board Chair; President and CEO, Commonwealth Broadcasting

I won’t call it a desperate call from the NAB, but you know the show organizers are concerned. Last year’s attendance was 105,259. I think this year’s will be closer to 95,000, but the big difference will not be in raw attendance, but in time spent at the show.

I’m talking to people who in years past have spent a week in Las Vegas. This year, they are only spending 3 or 4 days. That person will still count as an attendee in the raw total, so the number will be high, but there won’t be as many people on the floor at any given time.

What’s your attendance prediction for the 2009 NAB Show?

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