The coronavirus is wiping out industry events that are being cancelled or postponed. Not least the NABSHOW in Las Vegas. Some events will be delivered online. Now is the time to discover whether this online video thing really works.

Following the cancellation of Mobile World Congress in Spain and MIPTV in France, it was only a matter of time before the NABSHOW in Las Vegas was affected. The event in April, which usually attracts over 90,000 attendees has been cancelled and organisers are currently considering potential alternatives.

Gordon Smith, the president and chief executive of NAB said in a statement: “In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community.”


DVB World in Valencia was cancelled but will run a series of online webinars. The EBU Broadthinking event that was to take place in Geneva is going online only.

The Connected TV World Summit will be limited to an online event, with a rescheduled summit later in the year.

The organisers of the Media Production and Technology Show have announced that it will still take place in London in May, a decision that will undoubtedly need to be reviewed.

The DTG Future Vision annual summit, originally due to take place in London in May has already been rescheduled to October.

ANGA COM in Cologne is due to take place in May and so far there has been no announcement to the contrary from the organisers.

ConnecTechAsia, due to take place in Singapore in June, has been rescheduled to late September through to early October.

At this stage the organisers of IBC2020 say the event is Amsterdam is proceeding as planned in September. They have not updated their statement since 5 March. Last year the event attracted 56,000 attendees from 150 countries.

The planning assumption appears to be that this will blow over and the position will be clearer by September. At this stage it may be too early to know. In any case, exhibitors and contributors will already be forming their own views. For them, the safety of staff and business continuity in their own organisations will be their immediate priority.

It is ironic that a sector concerned with electronics communications has been so dependent upon conventions. This global pandemic may force exhibitors to rethink their plans and their marketing budgets. Many vendors will be considering other ways to promote their products and services.

Given that for years exhibitors have been promoting the message that online video allows people to view anything, anywhere, anytime, perhaps it is time to follow this advice. Some more enlightened companies are already doing so.