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Top 12 things to see and do at NAB 2024

7 minute read
Pic: Shutterstock

It’s a new year and once again time to write our RedShark guide to NAB 2024, broken down into a top 12 (usually a top 10 but we got carried away this year) for new and regular visitors to the industry’s leading trade show in glorious Las Vegas.

OK so last year I took a year off. I suspect many of you have done this since the enforced closure of all shows in 2020. In my case it was a few combining factors. We were expecting our third child in just over three years (yeah, I know I know…); cost - to get from the UK/ Europe to Vegas is more expensive than ever; and the costs of, well everything, in Vegas were insane when I went in 2022. I also just fancied taking a year to look at the show and all the news from the comfort of my own home for the first time in a decade. 

You know what? It sucked! I missed everything, the people, the tech, feeling part of the news, damn I even missed Vegas! If I am honest I feel it was a mistake, professionally and personally maybe to miss the show. If you asked me this time four years ago if I expected to say that missing a trade show was a mistake I would have laughed - four years ago many of us were arguing that maybe trade shows would never come back in the same format again. We were wrong. Taking the time to see/ interact with new products and meet new people as well as catch up with old friends is incredibly important. To me anyway. Is it as big as before? No. Are visitors down from countries outside the USA? Absolutely. Is it still important and a tonne of fun? Yes! 

I’m really excited to see you guys again out in Vegas. The RedShark team is there and we want to hear from you. Add a comment below if you know of something we should see/ place we should go. For now here is my list of things to do and stands to check out:

Virtually Everything Summit: This may not feel part of NAB (it is happening on the Saturday, one day before the main exhibition starts) but it fits in with the ethos of the show and, hey is just looks absolutely brilliant IMO. Vū is a technology company that specialises in Virtual Production. They have incredible studios in Nashville, Orlando, Tampa and Las Vegas! On Saturday April 13th they are hosting a “Virtually everything” event at their Vegas studio. It is a full day of workshops, panel discussions and keynotes on a range of the hottest topics such as AI, VR, AR, diversity and virtual production. Each session is split into three groups, executive, technologist and creator. So depending on what you are attending NAB for (to buy stuff, to build stuff, or to try stuff) you will have a session focused on you and your needs. I think this is super cool and I have signed up to attend. It’s free and there is a NAB pre-game drinks session after as well. You can sign up here.

Adobe (SL5047): Frame.io have announced a *major* update with their beta V4. Check out ours news story covering it in detail here, I'm excited to see/ try it in person this week as it looks like exactly the tool we need here at RedShark for video planning and management (as well as the review/ approve features we already use on all our video content). The main thing we know you will get when you visit the Adobe stand is an incredible amount of hands on demos and workshops. It is absolutely one of the most interactive stands at NAB, though we are biased as we use Premiere Pro for our video editing - and at a trade show new tools like enhance speech and filler word detection are *essential* for us to edit our videos quickly and make them sound great!


Get plenty of demos at the Adobe booth (SL5047) and trust me, they are good!

Steaming: Live streaming is really hard, we have first hand experience of it and there is a reason we don’t do it at NAB! However, if you get a chance check out the latest streaming technology as it has come on a huge way since we tried using a Tricaster Mini connected to a 3G mobile phone in the South Lower Hall back in 2015! A great example of this is at AJA’s booth (SL3065) as they demonstrate their brand new Steam Plus plug-in for the popular HELO Plus, an H.264 streaming and recording device. It allows users to lock stream and record functions for simultaneous operations and a bunch of other essential functions. 


AJA will be giving hands-on demos at booth SL3065

Try being in a Broadcast Studio: The “B” in NAB is for Broadcasters and the execs at the major TV networks still drive the investment for the innovation we see every year. This year check out Matrox Video (SL5073), as they are demoing their broadcast studio tools Extio 3 and KMLync, designed for needs in today's environment such as remote access, multi-user collaboration, enhanced security and seamless switching. They are also Canadian, so super nice; they’ll probably offer you a cold can of Labatts if you ask nicely or mention Ice Hockey to them.


Get the insight scoop of all the broadcast tools you need from Matrox Video at booth SL5073

Keynotes: Always a key (see what I did there) part of NAB is the incredible amount of keynote speakers. Confession time, every year I say I will try and make time to see more of these but I get caught up a little too much in the networking side and the main task of making videos. However this year will be different! The speakers look amazing, from industry heavyweights like Paige Johnson, Microsoft’s Worldwide Media Industry, to new startup founders like Alteon.io’s Matt Cimaglia.

ASUS (C2934): OK so we do a lot with ASUS and there’s a reason why. Their ProArt range of monitors are the best value in the industry. We own two of them and use them for all our editing and post production. Their laptops are great (I am writing this on a Mac but my colleague Maari says I am “crazy” as she uses a Zenbook which is apparently way better), and so are their Motherboards. We see these at many many many Universities that have custom PCs for their game dev and film and TV courses. However I have an ulterior motive here… I am hosting a panel discussion at 2:30 pm on Monday April 15th on trends in virtual production with guests from Puget Systems and Vū Network. Come by the ASUS stand in the Central Hall, check it out and say Hi! More information here by the way.


ASUS always has one of the sleekest booths and the best lineup when it comes to mastertalks at booth C2934

Virtual Production: Once again Virtual Production is going to be huge this year! I mentioned Vū right at the top and we actually got to know the team there because of their super cool NAB activation in 2022 (the one with the motorcycle as you walk into the Central Hall, come on, anyone that attends knows what I mean). This year they are in the same spot (next to the NAB store right as you walk into the Central Hall) so check them out as they have told me they have a new very cool demo this year. Also check out Zero Density (SL2038), they are on our radar as we saw their Reality5 Photo realistic real-time graphics engine at IBC and want to learn more about it and see what has improved. There was a buzz about them and they are one of the stands I want to visit the most this year.


Zero Density showcasing Formula 1 XR

Industry heavyweights: If you are visiting because you just want to see cool stuff well you have a bunch of great options. Canon (C201) always has a killer stand with an incredible amount of camera and lens combinations for you to try. They also dominate the PTZ market and $ wise that is absolutely massive. Sony is killing the camera space in our opinion right now, we own and will be shooting our content on a FX3 with G series zoom lens this year. However I feel their main focus may be on virtual production so will be heading to C8201 to see what’s on show. Please also check out the BURANO camera, we just had one to test for a few weeks and it is incredible! However, every year the most popular stand is *always* Blackmagic Design (SL5005). We have heard rumours of a major camera announcement with is VERY on brand for BMD at NAB. I’m expecting updates to Resolve too (and we know just how popular that is becoming for you guys). Finally on the heavyweight front, Aputure. Yes, I'm moving Aputure up from Indy start up to heavyweight as their lighting solutions are becoming must haves not just for small/ mediaum sized production companies like ours, but also for major productions - you can see this with their brand new INFINIMAT lighting system (news article here) with air bags (yes, air bags). Check them out at C6719.


Canon showcasing its cameras in virtual production

Networking: Get out there and meet people! Take a stack of business cards, wear comfortable shoes and introduce yourself. If after hours is more your thing a quick search on Eventbrite for events in Vegas with “NAB” in their title will give you opportunities to attend female-only events, drinks nights, workshops, and even a Golf Event if that is your thing (it certainly is mine but clashes with Virtually Everything so sadly I can’t do that). Another great kick-off Happy Hour can be found on Saturday 13th of April hosted by Strada - an evening of cocktails, fun and networking at Flight Club Social Dart Club at the Venetian. RSVP here!

Atomos (C4931): There are a bunch of great reasons to visit Atomos. Obviously their recorder monitors, we use the Ninja Ultra as it is a glorious piece of kit and allows us to record to the cloud if we want/ need to. They have a great range of products that are compatible with *every* type of camera you will see at the show. Just check out the Sony, Canon and Nikon stands if you don’t believe me. However, there’s another reason to attend this year… A key part of why Atomos grew so big so fast was the huge splash they made at shows. Interactive sushi making, half pipes with skateboarders and more - all of this was at the direction of founder and CEO, Jeromy Young. Jeromy exited the business a couple of years ago but has recently returned as they look to kickstart growth. Anyone that has met Jeromy knows how key he is to the business and he will be leading things again this year. It will be loud, it will be exciting and it will be Atomos (again). Check them out in the Central Hall.


Atomos is back in action! You can find them at booth C4931

Wireless Mics: OK so this may feel kinda niche but bear with me here… So a few weeks back my colleague Maari wrote about the great options creators have in the wireless lav sector. The article basically exploded and we had a tonne of companies reach out to get us to test their mics. A trade show is a perfect place for this, loads of ambient noise and a need to be super mobile. Shout out to the good people at Shure (C5525), Maono (C2247) and Saramonic (C7116) for sending us their solutions. We will test all of them and let our readers know what they are like. We know why this is a big thing, go onto Instagram or TikTok now and look at the influencer content out there (millions of hours of it) that use wireless lav mics. This is hot business right now and worth looking at in detail. To make things even more interesting we use the industry standard and totally bomb proof Sony UWP-D27 and this is the standard to which we will hold them. No favours!

Las Vegas: An finally, my bit for the Las Vegas tourist board…Las Vegas is the perfect location for NAB. The city offers more hotel rooms than anywhere in the world, shows, bars, restaurants, events and opportunities to have fun 24/7. If you're in a position where your work / passion takes you to somewhere like Las Vegas for a week (even if it is your 28th show) remember how lucky you are, no doubt your friends family like to remind of this point every year when you wearily say you are “off to Vegas for work” again. Have fun and enjoy the trip!

Tags: Production News NAB 2024