NAB Show 2016 Survival Guide

Mar 15, 2016 1:30:00 PM

Burke Gibney



NAB Show is held by the National Association of Broadcasters each year in Las Vegas to showcase cutting edge technology and innovation in the media and entertainment industry. The focus is on digital media content production trends and new technology in the industry. There are workshops, speakers, exhibits, and demonstrations - all to spark your imagination and get the creative digital media juices flowing!

The thing about NAB Show is that it is HUGE. Due to the sheer size of NAB Show, you really have to be strategic to get the most out of your experience. It is physically impossible to see everything at this convention due to the overwhelming volume of content.

NAB Show isn’t a convention you can show up to unprepared. You will need to do a little bit of homework first to make the most out of your convention experience.

#NABShow isn’t a convention you can show up to unprepared. 



Luckily, we’ve done some of the leg work for you and have highlighted how to prepare for NAB Show 2016 below.  Read this post, do your homework, make a plan, and start hitting the gym - you’re going to need some cross-training to survive!



Because NAB Show is held in multiple locations, and the Las Vegas Convention Center is off the strip, you need to be a little strategic in your transportation planning. Taxi lines can be long in Vegas and get expensive, so they are not really the best option for getting to the show.

NAB Show does a great job of providing a free shuttle to and from the convention which stops at many of the hotels along the strip. If you are an attendee (make sure to have your badge to show the bus driver), you can jump on the shuttle at any hotel, whether you are staying there or not.

Jump on the free #NABShow shuttle from any hotel, whether you are staying there or not.



The shuttles do get crowded at the end of the day when leaving the convention. You can either be patient and wait it out, or try the Las Vegas Monorail from the show. There is a charge for the Monorail (as opposed to the free shuttle), but it definitely moves faster at the end of the day if you are in a hurry leave.



The NAB Show sessions do not all take place in the same location. You will want to plan your sessions not only by location, but also consider how they intertwine with the rest of the events on your schedule. Don’t try to plan a session in one location, and expect to see an exhibitor demonstration 30 minutes later at the exhibit hall.

NAB Show provides a very handy Session Planner tool online here that you can use to set your schedule ahead of time. There is also a NAB Show App that you can download and use to access this information at the show. It really comes in handy when you are feeling overwhelmed and can’t remember your schedule!

Download the #NABShow app to help you get around while at the show.




NAB Show also offers a tool to map out the exhibits you would like to see ahead of time, which is also very helpful to use during the show. Here is the link to the Floor planner to do this.

The exhibitor hall is overwhelming, and the numbering system with the booths is very confusing. If you map out the exhibits you want to see beforehand and have an idea of where they are located, you will save yourself a lot of walking.

When you are on the exhibit floor walking around, it starts to all look the same. It can be difficult to keep your bearings straight so try using a banner or landmark as a reference point to avoid running in circles.

Some of the more popular booths are VERY busy at the beginning of the week, on Monday in particular. If you are staying the entire week, or have the flexibility to plan just a few days any time during the week, the crowds are much smaller at the end of the week. They really die off on Thursday, and make it much easier to get around and see the more popular exhibits.

The most popular #NABShow exhibits are less crowded toward the end of the week. 




You’d think this goes without saying, but a lot of attendees get to Vegas and all logic goes out the door. Make sure to take care of yourself while at the show. Eat, even though it’s expensive and you don’t want to break from the action for food. Drink plenty of water - the air is very dry in Vegas and it is easy to dehydrate while walking around all day. Wear comfortable shoes, even if they don’t go with your outfit.

There is no dress code at NAB. You can wear whatever you like. Most attendees are dressed neatly, casually, and comfortably. There is no shame in dressing for functionality at this convention.

Wear sneakers or comfortable shoes, and comfortable clothing in general. You will be doing a TON of walking (I wasn't joking when I suggested hitting the gym to prepare!), and maybe even a little sweating amongst the crowd. There is no need to torture yourself all day with uncomfortable clothing. Save the trendy dress for the after-parties, which are usually held at nightclubs or restaurants.

There is no dress code at #NABShow. Dress neatly and wear comfortable shoes and clothing!



Hopefully this post gave you some insight about what to expect this year at NAB Show in Las Vegas and how to prepare. You can read more about Convention Nation's coverage of NAB Show on our website.

You can also follow @ConventioNation on Twitter to keep up with our live, real-time coverage of NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Check back to our blog next week where we will be covering some of the amazing technology you will see demonstrated this year at NAB Show! You will definitely want to add it to you show agenda!


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