NAB comes around every April in Las Vegas. It is the trade show for broadcasters, and covers everything from where to find a $5 cable to a news helicopter (considerably more than $5). When I first attended NAB it was very novel for churches to be there. Responses were usually along the lines of "You're with a church? And you want this switcher? Really?" as people tried to reconcile the idea of the little white steepled building they think of as church (disclaimer, the church linked to there is the church I went to as a kid and I have nothing but positive memories of it!) and the modern megachurches that have sprung up in the last twenty years or so.
Within about a five years the comments went from "a church? really?" to "we are targeting churches and other assembly halls with this product." It was a pretty stunning turnaround. Things have continued, and this year there is a Technologies for Worship Pavilion at NAB. I received an email today from Jason Rouse, representing NAB and this is what he had to say about this development:
The Technologies for Worship Pavilion offers comprehensive training for house of worship staff and technical volunteers and is the focal point for all things related to worship technology at the NAB Show. In addition, you may be interested in Destination Broadband - the newest broadband-centric exhibit at the 2010 NAB Show. It will be featuring technologies like online video platforms, streaming video, mobile video distribution, and much more.
Technologies for Worship Schedule: http://ow.ly/1fCqd
Destination Broadband: http://ow.ly/14hgA
Personally, I think this is awesome that technology use in church is being embraced by the industry. One of my titles is "Technologist" and finding ways to apply technology to HDC to further the gospel is part of my job description. I'm excited by the prospect of higher visibility for churches at this year's show. I haven't been in a few years, and looking at my April I'm not 100% certain I can go this year either, but I think it's well worth writing about.
I'm certain that Jason was hoping I would publicize NAB here, and I'm happy to, but he also passed along a code that you can use to register for free if you would like to attend:
The reason I'm reaching out to you is because I have a special registration code for you to pass along to your readers, giving them access to the show – a $150 value - for FREE. This special pass includes the exhibit floor, the Opening Keynote and State of the Industry Address, Info Sessions, Content Theater, Destination Broadband Theater and Exhibits. All you and your readers need to do is visit http://ow.ly/13TL9 to redeem or register at http://nabshow.com/register with the code A913.
If you can arrange a trip to Vegas in the middle of April, take at least a day and attend NAB. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the latest and greatest technology, and hopefully will cause you to think about great ways to enhance your ministry.