The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) and ACA Connects (ACAC), which sponsor the Independent Show, have decided to moved forward with a virtual 2021 event.
This, the organizations say, offers members and vendors an opportunity to convene as an industry in the safest possible manner amid lingering uncertainty over the appropriateness of large in-person events.
In a statement released Wednesday, ACA Connects Chairman Patricia Jo Boyers explained, “After thoughtful discussion, ACA Connects and NCTC decided to take the Independent Show online next month because of difficult planning issues despite strong enthusiasm for such an important industry event to take place in Minneapolis. It’s the correct decision, with broad support from both ACAC and NCTC members. I’m positive the online event will be a smashing success.”
Outside of her ACA Connects role, Boyers is President of BOYCOM Vision in Poplar Bluff, Mo., a small MVPD and key ACA Connects member.
The 2021 Independent Show had been planned for Oct. 5-6 in Minneapolis; while the event had included a streaming registration option as a convenience for ACAC and NCTC Members who were unable to attend in person, this will now be the exclusive congregation point for attendees.
The decision to host the 2021 Independent Show online will not alter the meeting dates. The event agenda will remain as is, too.
“COVID-19 and the Delta variant have been a moving target. While our plan was to finally meet in-person, it has become more and more clear that it was not the responsible thing to do,” said NCTC CEO Lou Borrelli. “Nevertheless, the online show to me is a can’t-miss program, and I greatly look forward to seeing friends and members on the big screen.”
ACAC President/CEO Matt Polka (pictured, top left) joined NCTC’s Borrelli in endorsing the move to an online show given the current health environment. “We felt that transitioning the entire event to virtual was the best option and in the best interest of our members and vendor partners,” Polka said. “But let’s look at the bright side: We are going to keep all the great content we had planned as well as offer a few fun surprises for those who are registered for the virtual conference.”
Meanwhile, the NAB Show is moving full steam ahead with a full agenda of in-person events at the Las Vegas Convention Center — just days after the Independent Show concludes. The NAB is as of today only offering a smattering of NAB Show digital options; it is believed that the Radio Show is an in-person only event with no events streamed.
The Independent Show is an annual forum created to focus attention on the key public policy issues facing independent video and broadband providers and on other industrywide topics of concern and interest.