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IAB Stays Virtual For March Conference It’s Dubbing ‘The Great Reset.’

The National Association of Broadcasters is planning to bring the radio and TV industry together in person later this year in Las Vegas. But with COVID-19 still a factor and the slow pace of vaccinations, the Interactive Advertising Bureau will go virtual for its Annual Leadership Meeting set for March. Its theme will be, appropriately, The Great Reset.

“Events over the past year have changed our industry and our world in critical, permanent ways. This makes ALM 2021: The Great Reset, the most pivotal, must-attend industry event of the year,” said David Cohen, CEO of the IAB. “This is the moment for the industry to come together and find clarity, set direction, and push ahead on the initiatives, standards, and policies that will drive industry growth.”

The Annual Leadership Meeting will be a virtual week-long summit including keynote addresses, town hall discussions, and interactive roundtables, as well as invite-only leadership sessions. The IAB plans specific days to address issues including measurement, video convergence, the state of data, and privacy issues.

“When the industry looks back at this Great Reset in ten or twenty years, we won’t remember what ended in 2020,” said Cohen. “Instead, we’ll remember this moment as the start of entirely new ways to build consumer relationships, a new generation of digital experiences with privacy, personalization, and safety at the core, and a smarter, more diverse industry, with the creativity of everyone fully represented.”

The IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting will run March 8-12. Among the featured speakers announced so far are WPP CEO Mark Read, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Return To In-Person Events By Mid-Year?

The first major media or advertising conference to return to an in-person format may be the Cannes Lions. It announced this week that the advertising festival and awards show will take place as usual during the third week of June on the French Riviera.

"While travel is currently constrained, the availability of multiple vaccines offers hope that we can be together in June, even if we need to limit the numbers of delegates who can safely attend," said Lions Chairman Phillip Thomas in a statement. "We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and maintain our regular communications with the authorities in France, but there are many other large international events planned for the same timeline, and it's clear from talking to the global industry that everybody is very keen to come together again.”

After the postponement of last year's awards, the juries will be judging both years and awarding Lions for 2020 and 2021 work.

“For more than 65 years Cannes Lions has set the benchmark for great creative work, and after the disappointment of postponing the 2020 Lions awards, we look forward to presenting the work to the Juries in June,” said Lions Managing Director Simon Cook.

For broadcasters the NAB Show was rescheduled to take place Oct. 9-13 in Las Vegas. The annual Radio Show will co-locate with what is typically a sprawling event, as will NAB’s Sales and Management Television Exchange. The broadcast world is banking things will be a lot different come October, so much so that more than 540 companies have contracted to exhibit so far. The National Association of Broadcasters said the exhibitors so far account for nearly 330,000 square feet of floor space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. NAB said they have early commitments from exhibitors from more than 31 countries, including China, Germany, India, Israel, and Uruguay.

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