National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Kyle McSlarrow is postponing indefinitely a decision on whether to move next May’s National Show from embattled New Orleans.
“I recognize that it may well be impossible to have the National Show in New Orleans,” McSlarrow told reporters Wednesday. “But I also recognize that we don’t have to make that decision now.”
However, the NCTA did notify exhibitors Wednesday that it would postpone assigning booth space at the ErnestN.MorialConvention Center.
“As the nation continues to focus its attention on the relief and recovery efforts in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast, the NCTA is informing exhibitors that have reserved space for the 2006 National Show, scheduled for May 21-23 in New Orleans, that is it postponing assignment of exhibit space, which was to begin today,” NCTA officials wrote in an e-mail to exhibitors.
The NCTA would need to find a new venue if New Orleans hasn’t recovered from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. McSlarrow was unsure when he would need to commit to a new city. “I know that it’s not in the next month,” he said.
The National Show is the industry’s showcase event. By returning to New Orleans next spring, cable would likely help the city to bounce back from a horrific natural disaster.
“We would love nothing more than to be able to go, have the show in New Orleans and be part of the recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans,” McSlarrow said. “What I’ve asked our folks to do is just put a pause on everything right now. We’re just not going to make any decisions.”
The NCTA continues to add new information to its Web site (www.ncta.com) each day regarding the industry’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
A separate Web site dedicated to the convention (thenationalshow.com) now contains a message regarding Katrina, directing visitors to organizations such as the Salvation Army in order to provide monetary assistance to victims of the hurricane.
Web surfers are also directed to check back to the site for updates on the National Show.