Taking Content to the Customer

The NAB Show is the world's biggest event for the electronic and broadcast media.  Produced by the National Association of Broadcasters, it takes over the entire Las Vegas Convention Center for a full week in late spring each year and attracts nearly 150,000 attendees.

Stranded Sessions

Our client was a nonprofit industry group serving a sector of the telecommunications industry for which broadcasters were a key market.  Volunteer leaders of the group had done a deal with NAB that resulted in the group producing three panel sessions as part of the NAB Show program.  But the sessions, taking place in a meeting room distant from the show floor and main auditoriums, were poorly attended.  This was disappointing for the senior executives that the group invited to speak as well as embarrassing for the group itself.

We were asked to improve the NAB Show experience for the association.  Working with NAB Show management, we created an opportunity to shift the sessions to the show floor, in a small, open theater zone located in the area where the association's members exhibited.  With NAB controlling the venue (and having a lot else on its plate), the first year was a rough ride.  The location was peripheral, the furnishings poor, the AV equipment inadequate and audiences no better than in the meeting room the prior year. 

Improving on Success

We offered detailed critique to the show management along with multiple recommendations for improvement.  Not all the recommendations were accepted but enough of them were to provide a significant boost the following year.  That was when the on-floor location began to prove its value, as the core audience of association members and interested broadcast professionals was supplemented by passers-by, who created a standing-room-only feel.  The on-floor theater became like a Web site, which passers-by browsed and either stayed to listen or moved on. 

We provided detailed analysis and recommendations to show management each year, and each year the performance improved.  Among our recommendations was a revenue-sharing deal in which the industry group received a percentage of the theater sponsorships that NAB was selling. Within four years, we were producing three full days of panel sessions, interviews and solo presentations, mostly to standing-room-only audiences.  The group's theater had become a staple of that corner of the vast NAB Show, and income from sponsorships was returning thousands of dollars to the nonprofit each year.