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Vaccinations to be required to attend broadcasters’ October show

Updated August 19, 2021 - 5:03 pm

The National Association of Broadcasters will require attendees at its October trade show to be vaccinated for COVID-19, becoming the second major Las Vegas convention to announce a proof-of-vaccination policy this week.

Organizers of the show on Wednesday announced the plan, saying that details on how that proof will be obtained will be “coming soon.”

“While the enthusiasm is building, we are keenly aware of health and safety concerns tied to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and want to assure you that we are putting in place a comprehensive, data-driven plan that prioritizes safety and creates a productive environment at these events,” Chris Brown, executive vice president and managing director of global connections and events for the association, said in a letter on the NAB website.

The show, delayed to Oct. 9-13 from its usual April calendar spot, is annually one of the top five conventions by attendance in Las Vegas with around 90,000 people participating.

Brown said NAB leaders consulted with health and safety experts, exhibitors and attendees after reviewing Gov. Steve Sisolak’s recent announcement regarding large group gatherings. On Monday, Sisolak said large venues such as Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena can opt out of Nevada’s indoor mask mandate by requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

“Taking this all into account, we will require all attendees and participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination,” Brown’s letter said. “We think this is a positive step in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will provide further details on implementation as well as other safety measures under consideration.

“Multiple indicators show a strong eagerness among the NAB Show community to return in person, including steady attendee registration,” he said. “The continued buildout of the show floor is bringing together hundreds of new and returning companies, including major brands like Amazon Web Services, AJA, B&H, Canon, Grass Valley, MediaKind, Panasonic, Ross, Sony and Verizon.”

The NAB decision came a day after the Consumer Technology Association announced it will require proof of vaccination for admission to CES 2022 in January.

CES, a showcase for consumer electronics products, is the largest annual convention staged in Las Vegas.

In the wake of he CES announcement, Amanda Belarmino, an assistant professor of hospitality at UNLV, said the requirement “seems to be the wave of the present.

“As we see more institutions mandating vaccines, as well as concert venues and the National Football League, I think this will be the norm until more people get vaccinated,” Belarmino said.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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