I’ve got some confessions. I’m not an engineer. Not even a little bit. I don’t have years of radiocommunication experience or an impressive advanced technical degree. I’ve been told that I do learn quickly at least. Oh, and I had never even heard of the NAB before this year… Phew, I feel better getting all that out in the open!
After about a month at the office here in beautiful Quebec City, I was asked if I’d like to represent Comlab and Davicom at the biggest broadcasting industry event of the year in Las Vegas. I said yes, of course. So started several weeks of industry research, product research… and research to figure out what the heck the NAB even was. John, Louis-Charles, Andrew and everyone else here at the office patiently answered my questions, suggested topics to study and generally tried to make sure that I wasn’t going to embarrass myself and the company. Their time was well spent and their mission was a success- as far as I know!
View overlooking Le Chateau Frontenac and the St. Lawrence river in Old Quebec City in the fall.
We arrived late at night a couple days before the show started. It wasn’t too late LV time but it was very late EST and I was looking forward to a nice soft bed after a long travel day.
Of course, that wasn’t the hand that I would be dealt. There was a problem with my room- and the hotel was booked-up. This led to a rushed search for another room and a late-night walk through the neon lit Las Vegas streets dragging all my luggage behind me like in a movie. I checked-in to my new room and ‘’enjoyed’’ the soothing sounds of a nearby nightclub until just before dawn. It could only get better from here- I hoped.
The iconic ”Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.
This was my first DEX breakfast and I felt prepared; but still somewhat unsure of what to expect. No one was completely sure what to expect this year. This was our first event since COVID, it was a very uncertain year as far as the entire NAB was concerned, and we were deviating from the normal and popular DEX breakfast format.
We usually ask members of our community to share the creative ways they use the power and flexibility of Davicom products. Everyone really seems to look forward to this. Who doesn’t like to see new ways to use their tools to make life easier? This format also gives our Davicom community a way to bounce ideas, win congratulations, and to just socialize and network a bit. Would everyone miss this more structured approach or would they enjoy the relaxed welcome back that we planned?
This year, we really wanted to provide a place to see friends and colleagues who had been kept distant by travel and gathering restrictions. We planned for Louis-Charles Cuierrier and Radica’s Alan Brown to give short presentations on what Davicom had been working on for the past two years and then break to give people time to say hi.
I was given a few tasks but the most daunting was to introduce myself. I’m usually pretty comfortable with public speaking. I really should be at this point! But I had to address a group of industry professionals, all of whom were more knowledgeable and experienced than me- by far (remember my confession?). Oh yeah, and I had to do it at 8 AM in Vegas. I assumed that, for a lot of people, 8 AM in Vegas was not the same as 8AM at home! I wasn’t anticipating a lot of energetic and smiling faces happy to meet the new guy…
Our booth was well positioned in the hall and surrounded by friendly exhibitors. The people to one side were from Arkansas and the people across the aisle were from Texas. I spent a lot of time in both states when I was in the military and while I was studying at LSU. We chatted when there was time and they answered my questions and told me stories of how the NAB and the industry have evolved.
There were times that I was left alone to answer questions about our products. Everyone was very understanding if I referred to Louis-Charles, told them that I’d have to get back to them, or asked them for more detail if I was unsure that I understood a question. No one made me feel unhelpful or unwelcome and I really couldn’t have appreciated it more. It was time to exhale- I hadn’t even realized that I was holding my breath.
On the last day, we celebrated by trying out the Tesla Loop on the way out of the convention center and then having dinner at Louis-Charles’ favorite LV restaurant- again. Lol
Shaun Owens and Louis-Charles Cuierrier (Left to Right) of Davicom at The NAB Show 2022
I know that I left the section about the DEX breakfast unfinished. It turned out that I had worried for nothing. I was impressed by how welcoming everyone was and I did fine with my introduction. I think that I avoided all vocal pauses or embarrassing slips of the tongue! On the floor, no one made me feel like an imposter, interloper or tourist. I felt like a welcome member of the community.
My first NAB experience was great. I got to meet a lot of people in the industry, many that I had already heard of by name. I gained greater exposure to the ecosystem of products and companies with which I’ll be working and I got to enjoy a little of Vegas at the same time. A special thanks to the Inovonics crew and everyone at MNC software. I look forward to NAB 2023 and I’m excited to show off some of the new things that we’re working on right now!
I left for Las Vegas thinking that I had found a special company in Davicom. A unicorn. One that was willing to accept someone new to the industry, mentor them, and welcome them to a real work family. I returned to Quebec City knowing that what I had actually found was a special industry. One that is willing to do all those things and more! Thank you and I look forward to seeing you again or meeting you at the next NAB. Come by the booth and say hi.
Coaster collection from the Yard House on The Linq Promenade, near the site of the DEX breakfast.
Did you attend NAB 2022 or others? If so, what’s your favorite part?
Have you never been to NAB but want to go? What do you look forward to seeing or doing?
Do you know Louis-Charles’ favorite Las Vegas restaurant? I gave you a really strong hint!
Please comment below. I look forward to reading your replies!