As more companies mandate COVID vaccines for their employees, the National Association of Broadcasters is following suit for its big fall conference in Las Vegas. With the NAB Show and co-located Radio Show less than 60 days away, the trade group said Wednesday that it will require all attendees and participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
“We think this is a positive step in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will provide further details on implementation as well as other safety measures under consideration,” says Chris Brown Executive VP & Managing Director, Global Connections and Events at NAB.
The announcement came one day after the Consumer Technology Association said that proof of vaccination will be required for in-person entry to CES 2022, scheduled for Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas. And it followed the conclusion of an online survey NAB conducted to gauge respondents' comfort level with mask and vaccination mandates and the potential impact of mask-wearing on their ability to network and do business at the show.
NAB says the decision to mandate vaccines is intended to maximize the experience for all attendees, exhibitors and presenters. “This process has involved extensive consultation with health and safety experts, gathering feedback from a range of exhibitors and attendees, and review of the safety measures recommended by national and local health authorities, including Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s important announcement this week regarding large events,” Brown said.
The latest actions come as the surge of the highly contagious Delta variant is forcing Americans to recalibrate their activities. According to the New York Times, more than twice as many new cases are being reported nationally compared with last August and hospitalizations have reached their highest levels since winter.
Following is the complete text of Brown’s communication on the NAB Show’s latest update on health and safety protocols:
Dear NAB Show Community, With less than 60 days until the start of NAB Show and associated co-located events scheduled for October in Las Vegas, we are filled with excitement and anticipation to welcome you to what promises to be the ultimate reunion at which to get back to business, reconnect and reinvigorate the industry. While the enthusiasm is building, we are keenly aware of health and safety concerns tied to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and want to assure you that we are putting in place a comprehensive, data-driven plan that prioritizes safety and creates a productive environment at these events. We have worked for the past several weeks to finalize protocols that will maximize the experience and safety of all members of the NAB Show community. This process has involved extensive consultation with health and safety experts, gathering feedback from a range of exhibitors and attendees, and review of the safety measures recommended by national and local health authorities, including Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s important announcement this week regarding large events. Taking this all into account, we will require all attendees and participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. We think this is a positive step in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will provide further details on implementation as well as other safety measures under consideration. Multiple indicators show a strong eagerness among the NAB Show community to return in person, including steady attendee registration. The continued buildout of the Show Floor is bringing together hundreds of new and returning companies, including major brands like Amazon Web Services, AJA, B&H, Canon, Grass Valley, MediaKind, Panasonic, Ross, Sony, Verizon and more. We are also finalizing a full conference program featuring premium education content, high-profile speakers and world-class training opportunities. Additionally, major industry events, such as the Radio Show, Sales and Management Television Exchange and AES Show, will co-locate in Las Vegas, broadening the base of attendees and adding value to their experience. NAB Show is a momentous opportunity for the industry to reengage. We are ready to provide an unparalleled forum for inspiration and innovation while safeguarding those in attendance with sound health and safety protocols. We genuinely appreciate the support, participation and feedback of the NAB Show community and look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas and connecting throughout the year on NAB Amplify. Sincerely,
Chris Brown EVP & Managing Director, Global Connections and Events National Association of Broadcasters