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The State Of NAB 2020: RED Pulls Back, “No Handshake” Policy & More

The State Of NAB 2020: RED Pulls Back, “No Handshake” Policy & More

As we published in the past, NAB 2020 has been keeping a close eye on the Coronavirus event sweeping the US. Now, NAB has released another update, describing their efforts to reduce risk of the Coronavirus, even as the number of exhibitors dropping out of the show continues to rise.

The current list of exhibitors includes:

  • Adobe
  • AJA Video Systems
  • MRMC
  • Nikon
  • RED (Cancelled their booth space buildout)
  • Western Digital
  • Zaxcom


Adobe’s withdrawal means a large hole in the real estate of the convention’s South Hall, as Adobe has grown to two very large booths over the years and AJA has occupied a sizeable booth in South Hall as well. Similarly, RED was poised to return with booth space for a demo area, also in South Hall. However, RED President and Co-Owner Jarred Land recently posted on Facebook regarding their attendance:

“We (RED) cancelled the build out of our demo area last weekend and any of my staff can skip going if they want to… Obviously I am making safety of my staff and their employees a priority, so attendance is at their own discretion and only they get to make that decision. What happens to our space at NAB we just gotta wait and see what happens in the next 6 weeks.”

With roughly five weeks to go until the show, these next few weeks will be crucial in seeing how the makeup of the show develops. What we won’t know until showtime is how the Coronavirus epidemic will affect potential attendees and their willingness to travel. Even if no more exhibitors drop out, attendance is sure to drop exponentially the longer it spreads and as the number of travel bans increase.

NAB does seem intent to move forward for now, despite other events (SXSW, PBS TechCon and many more) canceling outright. They have introduced a number of countermeasures, even implementing a “No Handshake” policy and having extra staff on hand to constantly wipe down and clean the onsite bathrooms. Partnered with the Las Vegas Convention Center, NAB’s onsite measures include:

  • Increasing cleaning protocols to include more frequent wiping and disinfecting of touch points in its facility during occupied show hours, such as door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, restroom stall doors and sinks.
  • Adding hand sanitizer stations in strategically placed areas throughout the facility.
  • Increasing the outside air intake/air change rates during occupied show hours.
  • Reinforcing its standard employee health practices, including sending employees home and or encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick or demonstrated health symptoms that could impact colleagues or guests.
  • Reinforcing its standard food safety awareness programs including frequent hand washing and making alcohol-based hand gel-rub available at every food station and every table at food outlets.
  • Participating in ongoing webinars and conference calls with the International Association of Venue Managers to stay abreast of new practices, protocols and guidance.


“State and local authorities in Southern Nevada are also monitoring the situation closely, and are  well prepared to support any public health needs in the area:”

  • The Southern Nevada Health District conducts regular emergency exercises with both its public and private response partners, and there are plans in place for responding to an outbreak of disease and guidance for pandemic response.
  • The Health District successfully implemented these plans during the H1N1 pandemic response in 2009.
  • The Health District is continuing to work with its state and federal partners on a multi-layered response with the goal of detecting and minimizing introductions of this virus in the U.S. to reduce the spread and impact to our community.
  • The Health District continues to monitor travelers who underwent medical screenings and were allowed to travel to their final destinations.  These individuals were not experiencing any symptoms and were asked to stay home and monitor their health within a 14-day period.
  • The CDC is preparing community guidance documents representing proactive public health activities that businesses, first responders, health care providers and others can utilize to better prepare to mitigate the impact of the virus if transmission begins to occur in the U.S.  The document will soon be available on the CDC website.


NAB has not yet responded to our request for comment. However there is plenty more to keep track of and we will, of course, be keeping an eye on the situation ourselves and updating as the situation develops. So be sure to visit NAB’s Coronavirus Updates and Resources page: