The largest convention and expo to be staged in two years is scheduled to take place in one week. And, it will be held without the full-scale participation of such companies as Google and Microsoft, each of which confirmed over the Christmas holiday weekend that they will not be engaging in in-person events during the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
With in-person event cancellations at CES 2022, including that of iHeartMedia, growing, what does that bode for attendance at the second most-important event of the season — NATPE Miami?
“NATPE Safe” protocols have been updated. This means that on-site virus testing will be available at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, the sprawling casino-style with no gaming resort adjacent to the Nobu Eden Roc, home to the much smaller (but perhaps more important to broadcasters) Matrix Media Ad Sales Summit.
The “NATPE Safe” protocol already includes proof of vaccination, and the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) believes the on-site testing of vaccinated attendees will ensure that its global programming marketplace and TV industry conference will be a successful event, starting January 18 and ending January 20.
How will it work? Optional Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Testing for all attendees on the main dates of the event will be available via an appointment; sign-up information was still forthcoming at the time of this writing.
“Guests that take advantage of the daily testing will receive identification (i.e. wrist badge) of their negative COVID test,” NATPE said. “Individual exhibitors and sponsors may choose to require testing in order to meet with their staff.”
Meanwhile, NATPE Miami, which traditionally has a diverse global attendance, will offer a PCR COVID-19 Test for international attendees that require a negative test result 72 hours or less before entering back to their country of origin. The cost: $150. It is reserved for those who are attending NATPE Miami from outside the U.S.
Among the high-profile sponsors of NATPE Miami are Univision Communications, AP, A + E Networks, The CW, Horowitz Research, Lionsgate, WB, and Tubi, the FOX Corporation over-the-top offering.
“With the health and safety of exhibitors, buyers, sponsors, honorees, partners and all attendees as top priority, NATPE will be following the highest standards and COVID-related protocols,” the organization said.
Furthermore, NATPE has created a daily health survey which will be filled out by attendees on everyone’s mobile phones. Complimentary face masks will be available on-site. Temperature checks will be taken before entering certain parts of the NATPE event, such as the mainstage conference session or the exhibition floor.
There will also be a NATPE Networking Tent, which will provide an outdoor option for networking.
While masks are “highly recommended” for all attendees, even as the event requires vaccination, face masks will be mandatory for all NATPE staff, service providers and vendors as cleaning will be reinforced in all exhibition spaces and high-contact areas will be frequently disinfected.
The Fontainebleau is also doing its part to segregate hotel guests who are not attending NATPE Miami from those who are.
As such, things will not be back to normal for NATPE Miami attendees, with outdoor tents for sessions and meetings and designated NATPE Safe zones fully controlled by the event production team planned for the entire resort, where in years past it was perfectly expected to see Byron Allen walking the corridors of the Tresor towers as Kalil & Co. representatives met with current and prospective clients in a suite with a near-perfect view of South Beach.
RBR+TVBR has confirmed that Kalil & Co. will again have a suite at NATPE Miami.
— Adam R Jacobson, in Delray Beach, Fla.
RBR+TVBR will be offering selected NATPE Miami coverage, based on COVID-19 safety protocols and updated guidance. It will be present January 20 at the Matrix Media Ad Sales Summit, where Editor-in-Chief Adam R Jacobson will be moderating a panel discussion on ATSC 3.0 and OTT opportunities for television.