NAB 2006: Television Beyond Broadcasting

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In 2002, I gave a National Association of Broadcasters convention SuperSession keynote on Pervasive Video, AI and the Architecture of Content about how video would someday escape from the living room and would start turning up everywhere. Well, someday is here, and I’m going to NAB 2006 in Las Vegas this weekend to report on the latest developments. The big buzz is around mobile phones, the so-called "Third Screen," but this year’s program highlights IPTV, Mobile, Podcasting, HDTV plus Ultra HD and Digital Cinema. If you’re at the show, let’s hook up. I’ll be checking in at the press room and the better parties, and I’ll be writing about what I see and what it means right here.

50,000 Fewer Dead in 2004

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The annual death rate in the United States declined by 49,945 in 2004 according to a report released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics. The preliminary count of U.S. deaths in 2004 was 2,398,343 versus 2,448,288 recorded in 2003. (In the same period, the overall population grew by an estimated 2.8 million.) An Associated Press story by Mike Stobbe gave some details:

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death, accounting
for 27 percent of the nation’s deaths in 2004. Cancer was second, at
about 23 percent, and strokes were third, at 6 percent.

The good news: The age-adjusted death rate for all three killers
dropped. The heart disease rate declined more than 6 percent, the
cancer rate about 3 percent, and the stroke rate about 6.5 percent.

"It’s kind of
historical," said the report’s lead author Arialdi Minino. A six percent drop in cancer and stroke death is a good thing, unles your job is raising money: "We will not make much of this until the final data come out," said
Elizabeth Ward of the American
Cancer Society.

Ultimate Pop-Up Retail: Expoships’ Seafair

Expoship2One of the most interesting ideas at the SISO trade show CEO Forum was David Lester’s Seafair Grande Luxe, a custom-built show yacht that will travel up and down the U.S. East Coast with a movable exposition. From the web site:

Targeting 34 affluent markets during an 11-month annual voyage, the world’s   first luxury exposition megayacht, Grand Luxe,
will undoubtedly be a spectacular attraction as it visits each port.
Prestigious art dealers, antique dealers and jewelers from New York,
London, and Paris will welcome collectors and connoisseurs to their
individual “galleries at sea.”

Sisologo_5The Flash-heavy web site is a little hard to get around, but the idea of a first class retail experience appearing at the local yacht basin is brilliant. Briefings from the excellent trendwatching.com describe the recent occurences of Pop-Up Retail in which sellers like Target, Levis, Sharp, eBay and Crown Royal create limited-time shops that showcase their brands on high-end shopping streets or in buses, minivans or even Hummers. According to trendwatching.com:

POP-UP RETAIL fits right in with the Entertainment
Economy, the Experience Economy, the Surprise Economy, with
MASSCLUSIVITY, and so on. It’s about surprising consumers
with temporary ‘performances’, guaranteeing exclusivity
because of the limited time span. It’s about buzz, and about
new try-out and testing techniques. It provides visibility
for e-tailers and allows ‘real-world’ companies to enter
uncharted markets on the cheap. In short, it’s one of those
trends that should be incorporated in every existing and
new marketing and advertising strategy.

(Thanks to JB for the link.)

SISO CEO Forum: Intense, Entertaining, Social, Star-Studded, Aspirational

Siso06dais_1The Society of Independent Show Organizers SISO CEO Forum this past weekend in Charlotte, NC hit every high point on my list of a successful event’s SHOW BIZ features. It was …

Intense
Two days of well-organized seminars, roundtables and networking opps that kept people busy from 8 am until past midnight  in a venue that wasn’t near any distractions.
Entertaining
It’d be hard for people who put on trade shows for a living to be anything less than interesting, friendly, practical, funny and smart, so the audience was at least as much fun as the speakers.
Social
Because it’s such a small industry, almost everybody knows everybody else or has worked for or hired or sold to everybody else so it’s easy to get a conversation started.
Star-studded
Some of the richest companies — and several of the richest people — in the trade show business rubbed elbows with entrepreneurs, investors, start-up teams and famous experts.   
Sisologo_4Aspirational
With lots of examples of how to do things right and how to screw things up, how to make good money and how to make good business, attendees could visualize how they’ll build their companies, manage their careers, and craft great shows.

Full disclosure: I spoke (for a fee) on "Next Generation Marketing: The Challenge of On-Line Society."  The slides are available on-line in a big PDF file, one of the few legitimate uses of PDF that I described in my section about web design.