Western Digital and Adobe to stay away from NAB 2020

Published: 10 March 2020 - 5:55 a.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

Following news from Dubai about CABSAT 2020's postponement, a few exhibitors have ditched their NAB 2020 plans as COVID-19 Coronavirus cases continue to rise.

NAB, the 2020 edition of which is set to be held from April 18-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, Nevada, is the biggest global tradeshow for media production and the broadcast industry with several launches and announcement from equipment manufacturers on the show floor.

In February, following the ill fate suffered by the Mobile World Congress on account of COVID-19, organisers of NAB 2020 had assured that its show would be going ahead.

Over the last 24 hours, a number of exhibitors that includes Western Digital, Adobe, Nikon, Zaxcom and Ross Video have pulled the plug on their participation as concerns around COVID-19 escalate.

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Western Digital released the following statement: “The health and safety of our employees is a top priority for Western Digital. Due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, we have taken the precautionary measure to withdraw from participating in NAB 2020.”

Meanwhile Adobe's statement read: "Each year, we look forward to seeing our video community at NAB to talk about the latest trends and our product innovations. Over the past few weeks, we have been closely monitoring and evaluating the situation around COVID-19 and have made the difficult but important decision to cancel our presence at the show this year.

"While we are disappointed, the health and safety of our employees, customers and partners are always our priority. We look forward to engaging with our NAB community through a digital experience in the near future."

The National Association of Broadcasters, however, remains steadfast in their plans that the show must go on.

An official statement from NAB said: "The health and safety of our show community remains our top priority. As of now, we are moving forward with NAB Show, while continuing to evaluate the national and international situation carefully. In light of confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Nevada, we have reached out to local public health officials, the convention center, and other partners on the ground to assess the situation and determine their increased protocols for the health and safety of Show guests. As we receive additional details, we will update this website and communicate with all our guests and partners.

"As of now, we are moving forward responsibly with NAB Show. We continue to take our direction from global, federal, and local health officials, like the WHO and CDC, which do not have travel notices or restrictions on public gatherings for the continental US."

"We understand there are exhibitors and participants that may decide not to attend this year’s show and respect everyone’s desire to do what they believe is best. Over the last several weeks, we’ve heard from many exhibitors and attendees who are excited about driving our industry and their businesses forward, and we are striving to put on a show that will provide them this platform, while being mindful of the ongoing concerns regarding coronavirus. In fact, about 96% of our exhibitors are still planning to attend and of the 4% that are no longer attending, more than 80% are from China and unable to attend due to travel restrictions."

"We share in the disappointment of show community members who are affected by travel restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and cannot join us in person this year. We are in contact with the exhibitors and attendees who are impacted by travel restrictions and working with them on options so they can, where possible, experience some of the benefits of the show and add value to in-person attendees remotely."

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