To say I am a fan of NAB is an understatement. The friends I’ve met and relationships built around this annual trade show mean a lot and it is the biggest reason I keep coming back. Beyond that there is so much gear. Tons and tons of gear. You won’t be interested in all of it and you won’t meet everyone there so how do you make the most out this trade show?
If you’ve never been before, make sure you have comfortable shoes and are ready to talk to everyone. What I do every year is get on the NAB website and build out the show planner. You are able to see a birds eye view of the convention center and zoom in to see where all your favorites vendors will be. Take some time to look at this. The ‘floor’ is so much bigger than you think and it is easy to forget who you wanted to check out when you begin walking around and want to look at everything you see.
*Pro Tip* If you are excited to see a specific camera, it is often over crowded at the big name camera companies. However, go right to the Adorama booth. They always have a ton of gear being shown and it won’t be as busy. You’ll actually be able to talk to someone and get the information needed.
Beyond the gear at booths, a lot of companies (like Adorama – here is their schedule) will have guest speakers and presentations. Take a look online and build out a schedule of all that is going on. That way, if you are on the floor and looking for what booth to check out next, you can see if there’s an interesting presentation happening. Tiffen always has great speakers.
When you are looking to connect with those you talk to on social media, start the conversations NOW! Don’t wait until Monday afternoon. Make plans to meet up and hang out on the floor and at the company parties. The cool thing about NAB is it reminds me of freshmen year in college, especially when everyone is moving into the dorms – Everyone is looking to hang out! It is so easy to talk with people at the booth and to make plans with all my friends on social media. So don’t be shy! Embrace the opportunity to be surrounded by over 100,000 people.
Out of everything going on at NAB, I think it is safe to say most people’s favorite part is the parties. These are always a blast and you are surrounded by passionate filmmakers. We all love our career and we all love to talk about it. Now is your chance to share that and build some amazing relationships.
So to sum it up:
• Plan out the Floor with the NAB Show Planner
• Connect with your network ASAP and make plans
• Go to any party you are invited to – don’t be afraid to ask your friends if they can get you an invite
I hope this helps those looking to make the most out of the show. For me, NAB is the perfect blend of freshmen year in college and summer camp. Be sure to reach out if you are making it this year and if you are there Sunday, Cinematographers Insight is throwing our annual party at the 3535 Bar in the LINQ Hotel at 8:30p. No need to register and bring whoever you want!