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ATTN Advertisers...Ron is on the money, save yourself a pile of $$$

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bill Campbell
ATTN Advertisers...Ron is on the money, save yourself a pile of $$$
on Feb 15, 2008 at 9:33:06 pm

Great opinion by Ron.... I was on the fence about NAB and Apple's departure made the decision easy...I'm going to take the money I was to spend on my team at NAB and buy some new equipment....that I shop for on-line.

Just two years ago I went to NAB and discovered lots of new toys that I eventually bought but sites like the Cow & lafcpug, Podcasts like Digital Production Buzz, TWIT network and newsletters like Studio HD & C Cow Newsletter....this is where I find out what is new, hot, reviewed. This is where I start my purchasing decisions. 80% of my studio's purchase decisions are now made based on information from these sources.



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Brendan Coots
Re: ATTN Advertisers...Ron is on the money, save yourself a pile of $$$
on Feb 16, 2008 at 6:14:34 am

Testify.

Who doesn't prefer to shop without the pressure of some sales guy breathing down your neck feeding you cherry-picked stats and perfect-world scenarios?

The internet is THE perfect place to research, compare and find out what others think of products before making a decision. It's also pretty indisputable that better deals can be had online once you ARE ready to buy.

I would only add that we should all start taking it a step further and shop at smaller online retailers (where possible) instead of the tried and true sources like B&H. The increased competition will help to drive prices down across the board.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Nick Griffin
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 16, 2008 at 4:43:04 pm

I believe that I've read most of these posts about the value of NAB and trade shows in general and perhaps I've missed it, but the ONE thing that hasn't been said should be.

Sure there are things that we go to trade shows with the intention of seeing, touching, learning about, etc. But one of the major benefits of shows, be it NAB or MacWorld or AES is the stuff that we DIDN'T know about or expect. Have you ever been to a trade show where you DIDN'T learn something you hadn't known before? How about the magic of smaller products and smaller companies? Yes you can find things on the web, but usually you have to be looking for them. At a show you can discover new things around almost every corner, stuff that you otherwise might not even know existed.

Apple and FCP may not need NAB now, but they certainly benefited from the visibility and credibility of the show when just starting out.


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walter biscardi
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 16, 2008 at 4:53:14 pm

[Nick Griffin] "Have you ever been to a trade show where you DIDN'T learn something you hadn't known before? How about the magic of smaller products and smaller companies?"

Every time. Years ago I discovered the Flying Cam remote controlled helicopter camera and used it immediately on a project. Three years ago a D.P. found Silicon Color and Final Touch HD for me. I found SyncVUE on one trip just walking the floor. Found Anthro two years ago and now have three of their editing consoles. Found all my Music Libraries that way.

This is what I call the "halo" effect that Avid and Apple had. Thousands of people come to see their booths, but then you inevitably walk the show floor and find all kinds of nuggets. There are all sorts of small things around the show floor and that's the main reason why I'm spending the money to bring my other editor along to the show as well. I'm going to be speaking in a lot of booth's, but I don't want to miss any nuggets that might be available to us.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR
The new Color Training DVD now available from the Creative Cow!

Read my Blog!


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view of the contrary view
on Feb 16, 2008 at 5:51:41 pm

God I love ya, Nick. I hope you know that. ;o)

But I learn about new things almost daily on the net and I don't even have to leave the comfort of my LL Bean PJs and comfy cow slippers to do so. And instead of sipping a $7.50 cup of coffee while eating an $8 doughnut as I walk the show floor, I can sip some fresh ground beans made the way I really like it and I can forgo the doughnut for something a lot tastier and better for me.

On a serious note, I agree with you that I have never been to a tradeshow where I didn't learn about something very cool that I did not know about before. Often times, something VERY cool.

But...

I remain unconvinced that the value of the odd discovery is enough to justify the costs of a show like NAB.

Your mileage obviously differs, (though which of us is driving the Yugo remains one for debate and based on one's personal driving habits).

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
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Mark Suszko
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 16, 2008 at 7:53:11 pm

Nick, this happened to me one year in the 80's, going to the Swiderski show in Chicago, which may be as close to something like NAB as I ever get (God, I miss those guys). It was at that show, where I went looking for early desktop video gear, that I discovered Holtz demoing Pinnacle's Alladin at a super-tiny booth. I rushed home with brochures and data and really sold my boss on the thing, and it catapulted our operation into a whole new level of production. We soon bought a second one. We still use them every day too!:-)


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Rich Rubasch
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 2:57:50 am

Continuing Nick's perspective, last NAB was my first and besides the show floor, I bought the Supersession package. Every morning I went down and got to hear some industry leaders look to the future. It was worth it and broke up the day from just trudging around the floor.

Also I was able to hear Genelec speakers firsthand. Maybe the floor is not the best acoustically, but it was a great experience and really showed me what that brand is all about.

I also got that firsthand look at some of the new flat panels, and a comparison of the various new cameras and their codecs. I live in Madison WI and there just isn't a showroom in a 250 mile radious that I would be able to see this stuff.

I also walked around the production area (I'm more of a post shopper) and saw lots of gear that was all new to me.

I think the suggestion of Macworld as a destination might be a better fit and I love SanFran.

There is the attendees perspective and the exhibitor's perspective. I think the exhibitor's have a stronger argument for not going. With the major players pulling out, maybe this is a good year for the small guys to either upgrade their space for no extra cost, or get a sweet deal.

Glass still half full,

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 3:09:27 am

[Rich Rubasch] "With the major players pulling out, maybe this is a good year for the small guys to either upgrade their space for no extra cost, or get a sweet deal."

NAB doesn't give sweetheart deals, that is why the majors pulled out.

I won't tell you what they usually pay but trust me on this, Apple pays so little to go to many shows that you and I often pay more to attend the show. That's the power you get when you can deliver 30,000 people or more to a show.

But the best thing about last year for us, Rich, was working with you at the booth. It was great to finally meet you after all these years of interacting. *That* is the part of the shows that never got old and that we will indeed miss greatly.

The burn-out, the bad food during the day, the noise, the high costs, none of that will we miss. But the people like you, that is really something that we will miss.

It was truly an honor to meet you and have a chance to talk during your time in the booth, Rich.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Randall Raymond
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 6:08:36 am

[Ron Lindeboom] "NAB doesn't give sweetheart deals"

You know what, Ron, no one does. Every association or society or blah blah blah in 'conjunction' with an association or society does not give deals. They depend on their shows for the profits to carry on.

Nevada is a 'right to work' state - you want to see high labor rates? Come to Detroit, Chicago or New York. The space rate charged by the show is incidental.

You don't know how good you had it in Vegas. Here's an example, I had an Austrian client who racked up an 80k carpenter bill for setting up his 30x30ft exhibit at the SAE show in Detroit. 80K. Sure, there were mitigating circumstances - such as, their liaison acting and sounding like Arnold, your governor, and really pissing the crew off, but hey, if any of you Coliefornia cookies act up, you're gonna pay in the same way. Welcome to trade shows.



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Steve Wargo
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 6:51:04 am

[Randall Raymond] "Nevada is a 'right to work' state "

Are you sure about that? There's union facilities everywhere. The Convention Center is union among many others. the last time we shot a show at the Flamingo, we had to hire a union shadow (at $40 per hour each) for each crew person we had on sight. And don't dare ask them to do anything or it will really cost ya.






Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 12:18:53 pm

Randall:

The profits to merely "carry on," eh? I think that NAB is "carrying on" quite nicely, thank you, and is becoming increasingly accustomed to the style in which they growingly aspire to merely carry on. ;o)

Over the years, I have done shows and paid fees in Los Angeles, New York City, New Orleans, Reno, Nashville and Las Vegas. Of them all, New York is by far the most expensive. But I don't think that Las Vegas is cheap by any means. In fact, it too is becoming increasingly expensive -- so much so that it is just another facet of the cost that is helping to destroy these kinds of shows and in doing so, is putting people out of work.

Don't think so? Read the MSNBC story in which the Consumer Electronics Show talks about their reasons for getting out of Las Vegas after the next show.

But for many companies it's the space rates that are the biggest rate charged by the show and you think it incidental, eh? I know companies in this industry that tell me quite regularly that the cost of their booth is a year-to-year item. What do I mean by that? Merely that it costs them the year in front of them to hopefully generate the dollars to pay for the booth rental they just did.

Hardly incidental.

Some of these companies are waking up to the fact that it's a ridiculously expensive treadmill and are beginning to refuse to play. Bravo, me says. I wondered how long it was going to take and I applaud Apple and Avid and know they are just the signal fires of what lies ahead for NAB if the organization doesn't start weighing their real needs against their apparent greed. Yes, there is greed regularly found in even supposed non-profit organizations. Happens all the time.

As I said before, DV Expo once filled both of the huge halls in the Los Angeles Convention Center, occupying both exhibit levels of each hall and even the basement for registration. The walkways, upper and lower, between the two halls, were used for classrooms and meetings. It was huge. It was increasingly expensive. Companies found other ways to reach the audience. The last few years it has gotten so small you need a flashlight, a magnifying glass and a guide just to find it. Another year or two and I predict that they will blow out the candle on that one.

Ditto for SIGGRAPH which continues to shrink from its halcyon days of yore when they could fill all the halls of the New Orleans Convention Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center. Today, they could bring that show here to San Luis Obispo County and I think we could accommodate them here in the boonies of nowheresville.

If NAB doesn't listen to the market, then they will find that in not learning from the mistakes of the other shows around them, they too are going to become The Great I Was.

You think the costs incidental, eh? I guess the companies writing the checks for this one disagree with you, Randall. And in the end, it's the decision of the jury that writes the checks that really counts in this court of public opinion.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Randall Raymond
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 4:31:27 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "Some of these companies are waking up to the fact that it's a ridiculously expensive treadmill and are beginning to refuse to play. Bravo, me says."

Good old supply and demand. Is part of the problem the fact that it's an international show and our guys are competing for space with a shrinking dollar? i.e. Do the increases have the same bite to a German company paying in Euros? Probably not.

That's not to deny that greed may be a factor, but that there may be other factors.



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 4:45:12 pm

[Randall Raymond] "...there may be other factors."

Oh, indeed there are. ;o)

Another factor is the fact that for many users, they can and do get quite enough of their information online to make their buying decisions.

Oh, it's nice to walk through a hall and discover the unheard of heretofore gold nugget on the showfloor, but as I mentioned to Nick in my response to him, I am discovering new things almost daily on the Net. I think many people do and so their need for booth forays is likely less than some.

But the part I will always miss by not going anymore is the people. That was the part that both Kathlyn and I liked best. That we will miss.

...oh, and the opportunity to do the show stopper COW marketing ploy that I always wished I could pull off but the one which Kathlyn cringed whenever I mentioned it. What was that? Glad you asked, Randall. It was the ultimate COW schtick and involved hiring Las Vegas showgirls dressed in skin tight spandex orange and white cow spotted costumes with udders flailing as they walked down in the pelvic area. Cool, eh?

Oh, don't like that one either, huh? Well, many didn't and so I never did it but what a chuckle I get out of thinking of a few orange and white spotted showgirls walking around the NAB exhibit halls with "CreativeCOW.net" emblazoned on their backside.

Ever the ham,

Ron Lindeboom


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Randall Raymond
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 5:15:59 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "Another factor is the fact that for many users, they can and do get quite enough of their information online to make their buying decisions."

That's certainly true of software, especially where a trial download is available. Software companies are better off spending ad money with the Cow - as long as you keep your rates fair...;-)

But from the shooter's side it's all about hardware. Personally, I wouldn't buy an 8k tripod without TRYING it and every other tripod in that range. There's a long list that needs hands-on experience, and you know it and cannot (and never will be able) to provide that experience here.





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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 18, 2008 at 1:17:17 pm

[Randall Raymond] "That's certainly true of software, especially where a trial download is available. Software companies are better off spending ad money with the Cow - as long as you keep your rates fair...;-)

But from the shooter's side it's all about hardware. Personally, I wouldn't buy an 8k tripod without TRYING it and every other tripod in that range. There's a long list that needs hands-on experience, and you know it and cannot (and never will be able) to provide that experience here."


I would agree on both points, Randall.

In point one, I like your line of reasoning, I like it a lot. ;o)

On point two, you outline a valid reason to go to NAB. If I were a shooter, I'd go if I was in the market for a camera. This, as I know I could see all of them in one place. I know that while I may not get to put my hands on any of them for any real length of time, still it will exceed the amount I could get my hands on them online. ;o)

Local dealers can fill in for some users but only to a point, as I know few dealers that carry everything that you see on the floor at NAB. (Well, except for the New York City mega-dealers and not everyone feels comfortable working with them as they can have a meat market mentality where the customer is 1/10th as important as the wallet they bring with them -- as Steve Wargo spells out in one of his most react posts.)

Ron Lindeboom



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Randall Raymond
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 7:03:25 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "...oh, and the opportunity to do the show stopper COW marketing ploy that I always wished I could pull off but the one which Kathlyn cringed whenever I mentioned it. What was that? Glad you asked, Randall. It was the ultimate COW schtick and involved hiring Las Vegas showgirls dressed in skin tight spandex orange and white cow spotted costumes with udders flailing as they walked down in the pelvic area. Cool, eh?"

Frankly, I find that much more appealing than brown shirts and a goose step in trying to align the troops behind your admitted hatred of the NAB. It's so...unbecoming. Stay positive, dude - you've got your knickers in a knot. You're like the divorced guy trying to get all his friends to hate his ex. That ax-grinding gets old in a hurry.

Are you harming your business here? Now that's a topic for discussion.




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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 18, 2008 at 1:25:19 pm

[Randall Raymond] "Frankly, I find that much more appealing than brown shirts and a goose step in trying to align the troops behind your admitted hatred of the NAB. It's so...unbecoming. Stay positive, dude - you've got your knickers in a knot. You're like the divorced guy trying to get all his friends to hate his ex. That ax-grinding gets old in a hurry. Are you harming your business here? Now that's a topic for discussion."

I am not asking anyone to agree with me, Randall. I am merely saying that the knee-jerk belief that NAB is a necessity for everyone to attend is pure bull and is not based on fact or always based on good business sense. There are many valid reasons for some companies and people to attend, while there are many other compelling reasons for people to assess their own situation and decide that it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Perpetuating the propaganda that this show is a "necessity" is crapola of the highest order and if I am banging my drum harder than may seem prudent in your opinion, it is because it's a new discussion in this industry. (Please don't try to tell me it's an old one because you can't produce ANY threads anywhere (before leading into this year's NAB 2008) in our near million and a half posts over the last almost eight years that would show it to be an old argument.) I am merely trying to get people to think and consider their own situations, either as a vendor or as an attendee.

Don't be a lemming ... think. That's my real point. If it makes sense FOR YOU to go, then by all means, go. But if you do the math and it doesn't make sense, then don't go.

I resent your fascist reference -- especially as I was just showing facts substatiated by a number of links and other proofs as to why NAB had become so expensive that major companies have started dropping out. You are the one who took it into the flag raising for NAB and championing the Cult of Personality as to why it is such a venerable thing. Me, I was merely talking numbers.

Your opinion is fine but when you start calling me a fascist and a Nazi, you only show that your arguments have so little merit that the numbers can't back your opinions and so you have to resort to childish remarks like that.

And yes, I have considered that my opinions may hurt my business. I have given it a LOT of thought. But someone has to stand up to the money-grubbers at NAB who think that even in a bad economy with shrinking prospects and lower traffic figures, that they can give healthy price increases anyway.

It is a matter of principle and I have never run from that kind of fight -- even if it costs me business.

I personally believe that there was a time when it made sense for Apple and Avid to go, for some companies it still makes sense, but it doesn't make sense for everyone. That is the argument that I am making, if you don't like that and can't use tactics any deeper than to disparage my character by your juvenile rantings about brownshirts and such, I have nothing more to say to you.

After all, Dear Ole Sainted Dad taught me long ago that you should never enter a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

Ron Lindeboom


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Randall Raymond
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 18, 2008 at 9:40:58 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "I am not asking anyone to agree with me, Randall. I am merely saying that the knee-jerk belief that NAB is a necessity for everyone to attend is pure bull and is not based on fact or always based on good business sense. There are many valid reasons for some companies and people to attend, while there are many other compelling reasons for people to assess their own situation and decide that it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Perpetuating the propaganda that this show is a "necessity" is crapola of the highest order"


Having all those products and services under one roof is a convenience - 'necessity' is probably not the best word. Other shows have tried to replicate the NAB and have failed - even with lower rates being offered. The NAB is THE show for the industry and exhibitors pay a premium for being there.

You have your own 'aisle traffic' here at the Cow which many of your advertisers are happy to tap into to. The COW is THE forum for the industry. Maybe, you're charging too little.



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Brendan Coots
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 19, 2008 at 3:21:36 am

"Having all those products and services under one roof is a convenience"

I don't know how convenient it is to take several days off of work (especially if you're the owner), fly to Vegas, stay in an overpriced room (even by Vegas standards) and then walk across 1,500 square miles of floor to "see" new products.

I am of the opinion that if you really NEEDED a particular product, you would seek it out through conventional channels. I have never seen anything on the NAB floor that I didn't know existed and was so crucial to my business model that I was thanking my lucky stars I attended the show. Sure new product debut there, but they are promptly covered at length on the web like every other product so where's the big advantage?

Maybe I'm wrong, but NAB always seemed more suited towards people who don't want to spend time researching products (which is supremely penny wise, pound foolish if NAB is your big time-saving alternative) or perhaps are looking for "cool toys" or to see the "hot" new products. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you can't fault the people and companies who won't shell out major bucks to participate in that circus.

As for NAB being THE even of our industry, that is debatable as well. What about SIGGRAPH? Or DV Expo, etc.? Sure they aren't freakin' HUGE shows with celebrity keynotes, but from my perspective they are much more finely tuned to our industry. Case in point - will I purchase a $5m broadcast amplifier, video helicopter or cherry picker? Doubtful, and a large chunk of NAB is dedicated to this type of major equipment.

I am firmly in Ron's camp on this one.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Brendan Coots
One other point...
on Feb 19, 2008 at 6:04:14 am

I would like to add that, as a trade group, NAB's politics and lobbying almost always go directly against my personal beliefs. Of course not everyone will agree with this, and that's fine, but I am not eager to give them even more money to lobby with when consumers are almost always at the losing end of their pet issues. They've spent well over $50M lobbying and paying for trips, etc. over the past five years, mostly to curry favor on issues like media consolidation and protecting the biggest media corporations from their own mistakes. I don't see how this possibly benefits me, in fact it works AGAINST me as a consumer and media enthusiast, so why should I give them my money?

Sorry to get political but hey - I'm a wacky Californian what can I say.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: One other point...
on Feb 19, 2008 at 8:00:12 pm

[Brendan Coots] "Sorry to get political but hey - I'm a wacky Californian what can I say."

From one wacky Californian to another, I couldn't agree more, Brendan.

Thanks for saying something that I have been sitting on my hands afraid to say, as I am already out on the branch pretty far.

;o)

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Steve Wargo
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 17, 2008 at 7:09:57 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "thinking of a few orange and white spotted showgirls walking around the NAB exhibit halls with "CreativeCOW.net" emblazoned on their backside."

You could have at least done posters for us to hang in our offices. And come to think of it, why not still do that? I'll bet that a crazy COW poster that caters to both genders would be a hit. I'm not a poster guy but I would hang the right poster. We have COW mouse pads on all of the computers.

As for the cost of NAB Vegas rooms, it's the same story any place that people gather. The wife and I used to go to Sturgis for the annual Harley Rally. When we had a friend living there, it was a fun week at a friend's house. When the friend moved away and we had to pay $250 a night for a $34 room at the Comfort Inn, we decided that $1500 was just too much.

What gets me is the "Special NAB Room Rates". When my wife's cousin worked ay the Riviera, she would attach us to a wedding party and we got the normal price of about $60 a night. That I can live with.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1.


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KC Allen
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 20, 2008 at 4:26:22 pm

(Ron Lindeboom) - "But the part I will always miss by not going anymore is the people. That was the part that both Kathlyn and I liked best. That we will miss."

That's what we'll all miss. I was in radio for 18 years and the thing that really is killng that industry was the increasing lack of human interaction. The past greats in radio told of how their connection with the audience is what created a fan base. The talkers of today do still enjoy that, but normal FM radio has been taken over by voices via satellite and Internet. Even the guys in the booths are "voice-tracking", pre-recording their raps so they can get out and sell for their station, or attend a remote broadcast, or a staff meeting for crying out loud.

Buying and shopping via the Internet has its place, but as we become an ever-increasingly isolationistic society, the demise of the trade show is another stark reminder about how little we actually want to get to know other people. Production people are sometimes characterized as pale, big-eyed, socially deficient lab rats who sit in the dark for ten hours a day staring at a computer screen. If we're not careful, that's exactly who we'll all become, whether we're in production or not.

I've lived in my house for 9 years...I don't even know my neighbor across the street because he never comes out of the house. His blinds are always closed. Come to think of it, so are mine. Crap. I've been sucked in. Goodbye world, if you're still out there.

KC Allen
Allen Film & Video

"Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows?"


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 20, 2008 at 6:02:20 pm

[KC Allen] "The past greats in radio told of how their connection with the audience is what created a fan base. The talkers of today do still enjoy that, but normal FM radio has been taken over by voices via satellite and Internet. Even the guys in the booths are "voice-tracking", pre-recording their raps so they can get out and sell for their station, or attend a remote broadcast, or a staff meeting for crying out loud."

As an ex-radioman myself, I agree with this but would add another point to consider. The standardization of formats and stations by conglomerates like Clear Channel who all play the same few artists shoved down our throats by a few mega-record conglomerates is killing listener interest in radio. (Thank God for my iPod.) Gone is any real artistry in most modern playlists -- for the most part -- and with few exceptions, I can't tell one of the sound-alike girl and boy cookie-cutter artists from the other. And if rock is your cup of tea instead, just how many bands do we need to have force-fed to us that have singers that sound just like Eddie Vetter anyway?

The station I worked at was one of the last full power commercial FM free-form radio stations in the country, and now it's part of a conglomerate and has the same exact playlist day-in and day-out that runs on all the other channels on their network. Boring. Boring beyond belief.

But as Brendan Coots pointed out in his comments regarding NAB as a lobbying organization, these kinds of things are the things that they lobby for and protect at the expense of the little independents.

Just my opinion, your's may differ -- and likely does.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

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Tim Kolb
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 18, 2008 at 3:19:02 am

[Nick Griffin] "Apple and FCP may not need NAB now, but they certainly benefited from the visibility and credibility of the show when just starting out."

I think that since the discussion somehow morphed from NAB Pro vs Con to NAB vs CreativeCow.net, it will be difficult to have a truly objective discussion from this point forward.

But I am glad to see you chiming in, Nick.





TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Tim Wilson
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 19, 2008 at 4:25:45 pm

[Tim Kolb:] "I think that since the discussion somehow morphed from NAB Pro vs Con to NAB vs CreativeCow.net."

It's much, much bigger than either NAB or the Cow. Our dynamic is a single example among a multitude.

ALL tradeshows have been on the decline for years. Comdex and KIPI are gone. CES is shrinking fast. MacWorld went from 2 massive shows (at its peak, the Boston show took up 3 area convention centers in area -- shuttles galore) to one teensy one (New York) and the moderately sized one in SF that remains.

Not many among us attend Siggraph anymore -- remember when we DID, because that show MATTERED? Now, it's mostly a job fair. The last time I went, the biggest booth was for Full Sail, soliciting students.

Part of our audience attends the DV Expo...but an increasingly smaller part. The New York expo is gone. The last year I attended, vendors were double and tripled up in dealer's booths. (I, at Boris, and 4 guys from Apple were all camped at one such dealer, the only presence for either of our companies at the show.) The LA show is a shockingly small shadow of its former self.

The once-important LADV and NYDV shows are both gone.

I know I'm missing others in the media biz, so I did a speedy Google search for other industries.

The first result that GOOG returned says that B2B tradeshows used to return their investment, but now they just don't.

--New products are first announced on the Internet
--Vendors and manufacturers do their competitive analysis on the Internet
--Potential buyers or existing customers gather information over the Internet.
--And Sales people are spoiling their time on booths, waiting for a visitor to pass along.

Moreover Sales are starting to spend more time on the mobile phone or behind their portable during tradeshows, than actively looking to capture leads on the trade show. This due to the fact of the ever-decreasing number of visitors on the trade shows.

...The whole Internet with all it's websites, have become the biggest tradeshow, night and day and worldwide reach.


Industrial expos are far larger in scope than anything in our little pond. Sorry for the long quote, but it's a really good one.

The Hannover Fair in Germany was easily the largest of all industrial exhibitions, housed in its own self-contained city with major entrances on all four sides, streets, traffic light, buses and its own train station with an express direct from Frankfurt, some 200 kilometers away.

During exhibition week, hotels in a radius of some 50 kilometers are typically overbooked, and lodging arrangements are made with local people to take in guests. Busses brought exhibitors and attendees every day from as far away as 100 kilometers.

...Attendance at all the large automation exhibitions has declined to a fraction of former times. Attendance at the annual ISA exhibition has declined to about 15,000.

The vendor to end-user ratio which used to be as much as 10 to 1 is more like 2:1 today and sometimes less (my estimates). Traffic is sparse, with forlorn exhibitors spending their time reviewing each others products and bemoaning hard times.

Many explanations have been given for this decline of exhibitions:

--Cost of participation for both exhibitors and attendees;
--Business decline, which has reduced budgets and personnel;
--Because of constrained development expenditures, there is very little new to see that can’t be reviewed via the Internet;
--Greed on the part of the organizers – charging huge booth and overhead fees;
--Gross overspending by exhibitors on booths/stands.


C'mon man -- any of this sounding familiar? It's a worldwide phenomenon, in every industry, and it's truly staggering when you look at the whole picture.

And every trade show I can find blames the internet for the decline. You don't have to like it, but that's what THEY say.

We see that the decline of NAB is exactly in line with other shows, including such forces as greedy organizers leading to fewer vendors, fewer qualified leads, overspending, etc. It's just not efficient anymore, which is why the two biggest non-camera exhibitors (by a long shot) have dropped their booths.

So, since every other industry blames the internet for the decline of its tradeshows, why is there such a hub-bub when we make the same observation for ours? Not just NAB, but all the others I mentioned.

The Cow is far from the only online resource in our industry. We're just larger than the rest combined. We didn't actually know this until we looked up easily available public numbers, so I invite you to do the same.

So when we're talking about the decline of NAB due to the internet, we absolutely take some of the credit...or blame if you prefer. Not all of it, mind you. Not by any means. But with nearly 1 million unique monthly visitors -- and nearly 3 million totally unique visitors since last August -- I hope you can understand why we feel that we are in fact a large part of the problem or solution re: NAB, depending on your perspective.

To underscore Brendan's points, NAB is the third most heinous lobby on my list. (The other two are a discussion for another day.) Like Brendan, these lobbyists represent the opposite of almost everything I care about in this industry where I've lived for 30 years. I like lobbyists just fine, and support a number of them with my money. But these are evil dudes.

Second, a point I made in the Avid part of the festivities that Brendan mentions here, that there are many, many other places to get better information and better hands-on experience than any big tradeshow in any industry.

In conclusion (honest), I've never said that there's NO reason to go to NAB. I've named plenty of them in other posts. Just that it's highly inefficient, and that those inefficiences are driving NAB's decline no less than every other tradeshow, in every other industry.

The contrasting efficiency of the web is also a factor, in ever other industry, and in ours.

Yr pal,
Tim




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Tim Wilson
Re: A contrary view, errata
on Feb 19, 2008 at 6:15:18 pm

I type unbelievably fast. Really. You may never have met somebody who can type as fast as I do.

And I think unbelievably slow.

I overstated my objection to the NAB lobby. They're only number 4 on my list. With #3 as the cut-off for "evil" and "heinous," the NAB lobby is merely "annoying." My apologies for the error.

Also, the number of monthly Cow visits is only over 1.2 MILLION. That's right, only ONE POINT TWO million. I knew that - just another example of my hands moving too fast.

I also know, but left out, that visitors to the Cow spend anywhere from 3 to NINE times as long here as visitors to other industry sites, making our overall impact even larger than visits alone would indicate.

I like the rest of the post just fine.

Believe it or not, I have my typing and thinking geared wrt each other better now than ever, but I'm still working on it.

tw


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Terence Curren
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 23, 2008 at 3:57:16 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Second, a point I made in the Avid part of the festivities that Brendan mentions here, that there are many, many other places to get better information and better hands-on experience than any big tradeshow in any industry. "


Agreed. That is one of the benefits of local groups. Much more personal interaction in which both sides can carry away valuable information.


Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Tim Kolb
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 23, 2008 at 9:06:25 pm

[Terence Curren] "Agreed. That is one of the benefits of local groups. Much more personal interaction in which both sides can carry away valuable information."

Local groups are a fantastic resource, but not everyone lives in Burbank or Manhattan, or Chicago or Dallas, or even Milwaukee or Kansas City...

There may not be an Avid user group anywhere close to a great many Avid users...or Apple group to Apple users...

I'm typically not arguing the positive points posed on all these other venues, just trying to figure out why it has to be an all or nothing situation for so many...



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 23, 2008 at 9:36:07 pm

[Tim Kolb] "I'm typically not arguing the positive points posed on all these other venues, just trying to figure out why it has to be an all or nothing situation for so many..."

For me personally, it's not an all or nothing thing at all. Not everyone is well served by avoiding an event like NAB, and not everyone is well served by going to NAB.

For some companies, it makes perfect sense to go to NAB and the same holds true for many users. But conversely, the opposite is true and the only point I have tried to make in all of this is that as long as the NAB organization and the Las Vegas hotels conspire to raise the rates beyond what is reasonable -- especially in a poor business climate and one with a falling dollar -- of those for whom it does indeed make good business sense to go, they will find fewer and fewer takers.

But I doubt they'll listen, and so as I said much earlier in this whole debate, they are likely killing their own goose that lays the golden eggs.

THAT is much of what my point is all about.

Just to clarify my stand.



Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

Would you like to be in Creative COW Magazine with your story or contributi...

Do you have your complimentary subscription to Creative COW Magazine yet?



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Tim Wilson
Re: A contrary view
on Feb 25, 2008 at 12:31:09 am

And after you visit the Editor's Lounge, step across the street to Donut Prince. Buy an apple cruller and think of me.


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