The National Association of Broadcasters: Las Vegas

The National Association of Broadcasters is the world’s largest electronic media convention, which features seminars and events held in the heart of Las Vegas. Each year the broadcasting department at WCU flies to Vegas to spend an entire week among the casino lights and convention technologies. The connections and opportunities that the NAB makes can help with future jobs and looks great on a résumé. This year, the NAB took place during the week of April 14-19 and held more than 1500 exhibits. The kick-off ceremony featured American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee, singing the national anthem. Other well-known personalities include NBC and MSNBC Host Chris Mathews, CNN American Morning Anchor Miles O’Brien, Meet the Press Tim Russert, Borat Editor James Thomas, and Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt, just to name a few. This year, there will be technologies from more than 130 different countries and 105,000 attendees from across the world. The NAB will be hosting the 2007 NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame award to Tim Russert for his work on NBC’s Meet the Press, which is now the longest-running TV-news program on network TV. There will also be an awards ceremony for CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour. However, this conference not only features technology for TV and radio but it also is host to digital broadcasting, emerging technologies and international broadcasting. One of the exhibits this year will be the DTV Hot Spot, which, “represents broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries.” On the radio side of technology, some of the sessions and highlights include, “building a next generation web site, sales and marketing strategies, building a podcast: hardware to software to staffing and leadership training,” just to name a few. For the sports fan, the NAB is host to the topics such as how to deliver kick offs, talking graphics and how to edit sports cuts.Some of the special highlights include companies like WeatherBug Info Session; SCA, which is the world’s leading prize provider for games, contests and promotions; digital cinema summit and the amateur radio operator’s reception most of which are accessible to anyone who wishes to attend.The trip to the NAB is not school funded, and students do not receive school credit for attending. Students who go must pay for their own flight and board, which can become expensive. However, the experience of going makes up for the cost, and the people that students contact will be beneficial when applying for a job. Students are allowed to wander freely through the conference and gamble in nearby casinos; however, students are encouraged to spend at least some of their time at the conference. In case students cannot attend the NAB in Las Vegas, there is a NAB Radio Show held in Charlotte, N.C., September 26-28 this year, and is the largest show focused only on radio and its technology. There is also the NAB European Radio Conference held in Barcelona, Spain, on November 4-6 this year.