NAB cancels annual NAB Show amid Coronavirus outbreak

NAB Show 2019
NAB Show 2020 was scheduled to be held next month at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (FierceVideo)

The National Association of Broadcasters today said it is canceling its annual NAB Show in Las Vegas, scheduled for April, amid growing concerns over the Coronavirus outbreak.

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith today issued a statement saying the organization is currently considering several potential alternatives including a potential event for later this year.

“This was not an easy decision. Fortunately, we did not have to make this decision alone, and are grateful to our NAB Show community for engaging with us as we grappled with the rapidly evolving situation. This Show is as much yours as it is ours, and it is important to us that we move forward together,” Smith said.

RELATED: Here are the companies skipping NAB Show 2020

NAB’s decision to cancel this year’s NAB Show arrives as a growing list of companies had announced plans to withdraw from exhibiting at or attending the show. Companies that planned on skipping the event included Nikon, AJA Video Systems, TVU Networks, Zaxcom, Avid, Adobe and BitCentral.

As recent as earlier this week, the NAB Show remained committed to carrying on. Last month, NAB issued a statement reassuring attendees and participants that it was taking every possible precaution to ensure a safe show.

“NAB is taking COVID-19 very seriously and is fully invested and prepared to host a successful NAB Show in Las Vegas. The city of Las Vegas is maintaining rigorous cleanliness and safety standards throughout public spaces, resorts and meeting facilities, and hosts successful trade events daily,” NAB said in a statement on February 19. The organization said it was sticking to the guidance and safety measures issued by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also said it was working with city and state officials, as well as the Las Vegas Convention Center, to monitor the situation as the first cases of coronavirus are reported in Nevada.