RED President Jarred Land has revealed the company's convention plans for next year, including a change of venue for its flagship roadshow.
NAB Show may reign supreme as the biggest and most important film and broadcast technology convention, yet it can be a significant challenge for companies to communicate their messages effectively to current and potential customers in the face of so much other news from scores of manufacturers.
Here's Land's own explanation: "I know some of you plan your travels way, way too far in advance, so I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that didn't hear it already, next year we are going to bail on NAB in April and instead move our entire roadshow to CINE GEAR in June...which we feel has grown to become a much, much, much, much, much, much better show for us and our customers."
Most major film tech and equipment manufacturers use NAB Show as a launching pad for its new releases and upcoming products. Yet such a strategy assumes a very competitive landscape, with mounting pressure for these companies to schedule their exhibits in such a manner to warrant 'talk of NAB'-status. However, there's something to be said for the opposite approach.
By ignoring NAB, a company like RED can essentially dominate the news cycles around the much smaller Cine Gear. This year, the talk of Cine Gear 2016 was the Panavision DXL 8K camera, which fittingly, utilizes a RED Dragon sensor. I can personally attest to the large crowds around the Panavision / Light Iron booth that exhibited working demo units of the DXL.
By skipping NAB Show 2017, RED will save itself the expense of traveling to Vegas. Instead, it seems that RED will pour its resources into making Cine Gear a more important event for its own products. In addition, RED can see what other manufacturers communicate during NAB and perhaps adjust its exhibition plans accordingly. But the biggest advantage may be in the ability to tease new products during NAB, in the form of press releases or, as is the custom with RED, through its user forum. I can almost see the RED headlines, released during NAB, for new products and technologies that will arrive for exhibition at Cine Gear around six weeks later.
Lastly, RED's plans to elevate Cine Gear as its preferred exhibition platform probably has a lot to do with location. In terms of size, Cine Gear pales in comparison to NAB, but it takes place in the heart of Hollywood, at Paramount Studios lot on Melrose Avenue, and is attended mostly by working, LA-based professionals. The shift from NAB to Cine Gear highlights the importance of such customers and users.
It remains to be seen if other manufacturers will bolster their Cine Gear releases in light of RED's plans. However, for a short time at least, RED will own the first weekend in June and plant its soapbox squarely on the Paramount lot.