Around October we start thinking about the NAB Show in the spring. April seems so far away at that time, but the early planning begins. When January rolls around we start building the framework for the pre-convention issues, supplements and online. When we flip the calendar to February we launch into full gear gathering information on new products, getting the exhibit hall map and assembling the exhibitor list. We continue the full-steam effort until the April issue is sent to the printer and we post all the information online at RadioMagOnline.com.
But it's still not over. In some ways we haven't really even begun.
In the two weeks before the NAB Show opens, we're still in full convention planning mode. We're making appointments, setting meetings, filling our calendars. And we of course are already working on the May and June issues.
Once I arrive in Las Vegas, it's nearly a non-stop rush to get everything in. This was my 24th NAB convention (and my 15th as the editor of Radio magazine), so I know the drill quite well. Most of my time during the day is taken up with booth visits, and fortunately I can make some of them on Sunday before the exhibits open. Every little bit helps.
And then as quickly as it all came upon us, it's Thursday afternoon and the announcement is made that the 2012 NAB Show is now closed. The usual hoots and hollers ensue, and some exhibitors crank up their audio systems in celebration.
While this is a brief moment to relax, we're still not finished. We have tons of photos. Pounds of material on new products (and thanks to electronic distribution this weight is greatly reduced from previous years, but there's still quite a lot). I have video of the Pick Hits winners. My feet get a rest from walking miles and miles, but there's still plenty of work ahead to compile and sort all the collected information.
A great deal of information has already been posted online, and we'll share much of it in the June issue show wrap-up. By the middle of May, much of the NAB Show effort is finally set in place. The August Product Source and our ongoing New Products Extra email newsletter extend the NAB Show new products collection a bit longer, but that's more a long tail than the frantic pace in March and April. By the end of the summer, the April convention is a distant memory.
But not for long. A few weeks later it's time to start thinking about the 2013 NAB Show. And it all begins again.
We'll get into the meat of the NAB Show next month, but there are a few appetizers I'll offer. On the exhibit floor, the general theme seemed to be unveiling updated products with added features but at the same (or nearly the same) price. Many manufacturers have already found a product sweet spot, so rather than reinvent an idea, they're updating ideas to fulfill user requests.
EAS was top of mind for many following the FCC's recent report and order. The text-to-speech issue had not been decided before the convention ended, and the missing station reports from the November 2011 national test kept emergency alerting on everyone's mind.
Finally, the debut of HD Radio on smartphones caught lots of attention. While it's still a proof of concept while iBiquity, Emmis and the NAB sell the idea to the cell carriers, it's an important step for the technology in getting it in all devices by default and not just as an add-on.