An email from Chris Brown, EVP and managing director of global connections and events at NAB, explained:
For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community.
As we have always kept the best interest and safety of the industry as our priority, it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person.
NAB Show is the premiere destination for the media and entertainment industry and we will not move forward with a show that delivers anything less than the excellence our community has come to expect and deserves from us.
NAB's cancellation comes on the heels of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announcing that its 2021 Cable-Tec Expo is reverting to an all-virtual event. The two groups had planned to hold a joint session whose status would appear to be uncertain.
As reported by Tom Butts of TV Tech, NAB's show-canceling announcement also "comes after a number of its largest exhibitors, including Sony, Canon, Panasonic and Ross all announced that they were pulling out of the show, citing concerns over COVID-19."
Notwithstanding, Brown did advise industry stakeholders to "stay tuned for details regarding...options for accessing select 2021 NAB Show content virtually" through the 'NAB Amplify' website.
"While we are disappointed that we will not be together again in person next month, we look forward to converging at the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27, 2022, to reignite our passion for our business and focus on a bright future ahead," Brown's statement concluded.