Conventional #NABShow Wisdom…Before You Go!

The NAB Show in Las Vegas runs from April 5-10, 2014. Trade shows and conventions provide an opportunity to meet prospective employers, learn about other companies, explore new technologies and skills, and meet industry leaders. Here is some conventional wisdom to help you get the most out of the NAB Show.

Craft a plan of action before the show. What do you want to get out of the NAB Show? What do you want to see? Who do you want to meet? What do you want to learn? Read all the material you receive prior to the show regarding seminars and events so you don’t miss something important. Usually the pre-show mailer will include short bios of the speakers and descriptions of the sessions. Study the program guide and examine the exhibit list before you go and set your priorities. The more work you do before you go, the more you’ll get out of the show when you get there. Review the special needs of your company or business so you can keep an eye out for those products or services that meet those needs.

The NAB Show and other conventions have websites where they post their exhibitors with links to the exhibitors’ websites. ( ) Find out as much as you can about the exhibitors before you go. Make a list of the exhibitors you are especially interested in seeing. Some shows send maps of the exhibit floor ahead of time. Use a highlighter to mark those exhibitors who are essential to see. Plan an efficient route so that you don’t go over the same ground repeatedly. Create a daily schedule or itinerary including events, seminars and appointments. A trade show is not the time or place to socialize with co-workers.  Appointments should be with exhibitors or others who are otherwise difficult to meet.

Organize. Order your tickets early. By registering before the show, you’ll save time and you may get a discount as well. Order any special materials you need to bring. If you plan to job hunt at the convention, make plenty of copies of your résumé and other marketing materials, pack them in a separate bag and leave that by your front door so you don’t forget it. Pack plenty of business cards or leave-behinds (at least 100). A leave-behind could include your name, phone number and email address as well as some samples of your work on a printed card or a reel on a disc or thumb drive. A few days before you leave, reconfirm your travel and hotel reservations to avoid last minute problems.

Arrange a specific schedule for checking in with the home office. A regularly scheduled call will allow those back home to collect your messages before you call and prepare their questions and concerns. This will keep the calls short so you can get back to the show. Pack several large pre-addressed mailing envelopes to mail literature home. Bring your shipping account information as well. Bring a light tote bag or backpack to carry collected materials during the show. Take notes during any courses or seminars on laptops, tablets, phones, or low tech spiral notebooks.

If possible, arrive a day early to avoid jetlag and rest before the show. Eat well and get a good night’s rest. A trade show like the NAB Show is a marathon.  Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Empty your purse and wallet of all non-essentials before you go to the show. Don’t lug unneeded stuff around with you.

Heed these tips and you’ll nab the goodies-knowledge, contacts, and the latest buzz.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter and career coach.
You can reach her at

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is an internationally-acclaimed recruiter, career coach and animation veteran (production manager on The Simpsons, ink and paint supervisor on Paramount's animated feature Bebe's Kids.) Pamela is a popular speaker at colleges, film festivals and entertainment industry conferences around the world.She has presented courses at SIGGRAPH in San Diego, Boston, and Los Angeles; was the commencement speaker at Art Institute of Tampa, and taught the Career Realities course at Gnomon School of Visual Effects.Pamela was named one of the Top Ten Recruiters by Animation Magazine and has worked with clients around the world such as Disney Feature Animation, Technicolor in Beijing, Framestore in London, and Lucas Animation in Singapore.She has written for over 80 publications including Computer Graphics, Animation Magazine, U.S. Art, Media History Digest, Apple Directions, Art Business News, Idaho Arts Quarterly, and Animation World Network.
Pamela Thompson
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource