November 25, 2015

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First Mediaworks

9/27/99 Had a Great Time ­ Wish Youıd Been There
The National Association of Broadcasters always does a marvelous job of putting on a convention. Itıs too bad that so few people came to see what NAB had prepared for them in Orlando. Although they knew in advance that the event would be horribly under-attended, NAB didnıt punish those who did attend by giving them less of a show. They held a first-class, well-planned, well-executed event. The real problem was that most of the luminaries from the major broadcast groups did not, for the most part, send many of their people. Sitting front and center at every function, these luminaries took turns pontificating about how marvelous Radio has become since they took over at the helm. The only other sound was the wind whistling through the vacant halls of the beautiful Orlando Convention Center. I suppose that any broadcast group who paid for plane tickets, meals, hotel rooms and convention badges for several hundred of its people would have had to spend enough cash to purchase a small country. It just didnıt make financial sense. Yet isnıt it strange how each of their stations could afford to attend NAB conventions before the groups took them over? Is there any value for a broadcast group in having its people at a convention attended by "outsiders" who are not within their ranks? If there isnıt, then perhaps itıs time for the NAB to once again combine the Radio show with the Spring NAB, which is always well-attended. While it may not make financial sense for broadcast groups to send their people to NAB conventions, neither does it make financial sense for the NAB to continue spending and planning as though people were going to attend its conventions, when the simple truth is theyıre not. When I asked the group heads why so few of their people were in attendance, I was told that no one had wanted to come to Orlando during the heat of the summer or to be gone from the office just prior to Labor Day weekend. I think our industry associations are facing some very difficult decisions if the lack of attendance wasnıt just about summer heat and holiday weekends.

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