Over 100,000 people showed up in droves to Anaheim for four days of music and mayhem! Well, mostly music…but it was definitely organized chaos with as many people as I saw milling about. The National Association of Music Merchants brought everything you could imagine about music under the roof of the Anaheim Convention Center from January 19th to the 22nd. 7,000 different brands were on display from Hall E to the Arena, and there wasn’t much room for anything else. With that, there were also nearly 1,800 performances in those 4 short days. With everything from singer songwriters performing at a Guitar manufacturers booth, to a live Producer making sounds and tracks on the spot, to World Renowned Performers dropping in, it was a virtual smorgasbord of musicians.
One of the greatest things about NAMM is the people that make it happen. “The NAMM Show gathers our industry as a global community,” says Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO. The environment allows for people of all levels and every part of the world in the music industry to meet, network, and share ideas in one large forum. With the workshops offered, the award ceremonies happening, and the possibility of walking shoulder to shoulder with someone you really want to meet all in one spot, this makes NAMM 2017 a great start to the year.
This was my first time at NAMM, and I made sure that I took the veteran’s advice…”Just take it in” they told me. I was warned that I would be overwhelmed…and, contrary to my belief, I was. If you’ve never been to NAMM before, you don’t know what you’re missing! The first night of NAMM, Thursday night, RSO: Richie Sambora and Orianthi made their debut, and that was just on day one! The rain threatened to make day two a bust, but the association’s staff and volunteers worked double duty moving and shifting to re-organize and keep it afloat.
As awesome as it is to be a fan-boy at a trade-show like this, it’s serious business for the many dealers and distributors that only get to meet at this annual meeting of the minds. “We get a huge chunk of our business done every year here and it gives us a strong way to kick off the year,” states Richard McDonald of Fender Musical Instruments Co. After all, not only are the dealers and distributors all in one place, a large portion of their market base and customer base are traipsing through the aisles, waiting for that product that leaps at them. It’s a golden opportunity to make new customers and have that face-to-face conversation that really helps with developing those deep customer relationships.
Since 1901, NAMM has been worked to connect music makers to those who make the instruments. The culmination of that is the NAMM show every year, and this one brought more foreign vendors than previous ones, showing the international reach NAMM has been garnering. I’m sure next years will be even better.