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The business of making music takes center stage, as the number and variety of buyers increase
When the business is music, it’s a fine line between good times and work. Produced by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), the NAMM Show provided the most effective platform across four jam-packed days filled with new product debuts, networking, and educational opportunities set to the soundtrack of live music and conversation among friends old and new. From January 24-27, every aspect of the music instrument and products industry including retailers, corporate buyers, artists and sound and lighting professionals did business with nearly 5000 unique brands in Anaheim, CA.
“Our industry, like many others, is in the midst of rapid change,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “And I believe NAMM Members who came to Anaheim to see the latest product innovations, attend NAMM University sessions, and network with friends and peers will be uniquely positioned to take advantage of the business opportunities in the year ahead.”
Based on member feedback, NAMM made a concerted effort to increase buyer (blue) badges and decrease guest (yellow) badges to create the most business-friendly event in years. Buyers increased 4 percent over 2012, while non-industry guests decreased 16 percent. The important increase in buyers was attributed to more retail music stores, corporate buyers including houses of worship, live event venues and touring professionals, casinos, and studios sending buyers to shop the NAMM Show. The mix of industry professionals resulted in an incredibly business-focused, yet vibrant show made up of 93,908 total registrants.
“We were approached by many potential new business partners, so it became an even broader type of business show,” said Tony Moscal, general manager of business development for Peavey. “We’re glad to see that NAMM’s provided with a full representation of an industry business show in addition to traditional retailers. This has been one of the most exciting, rewarding show’s that I’ve been involved with since my first NAMM Show in 1981.”
“I attend for the latest, greatest and best our industry has to offer. This show was rich with industry trends, the latest in gear and top notch sessions at the Idea Center,” said Billy Cuthrell, owner of Progressive Music Center in North Carolina. “I consider my time at NAMM a major part of my business success throughout the year.”
For the first time, a Mayor led the NAMM Show. NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond proclaimed world-renowned musician and humanitarian Stevie Wonder as Mayor of the NAMM Show with a lifetime, all-access badge to NAMM. “My goal is before it’s my time, I hope to be able to make music accessible to everybody, children and adults,” said His Honor (Wonder). “It’s a whole new world of music and instrument discovery at the show every year.” Wonder, one of hundreds of major artists at the NAMM Show, walked the show trying out new products and meeting with friends.
While live music played and celebrities visited, the resounding sentiment on the show floor was that the industry was getting down to business. “Roland Corporation U.S. is very pleased with the 2013 NAMM Show and activity on our new booth and location,” Kim Nunney, president of Roland. “Traffic was steady throughout the show and dealers responded very positively to our new products, Content Checkpoints and media stage. A great show, we’re looking forward to a strong 2013.”
The opening of the 2013 NAMM Show marked not only the start of the world’s premier gathering for the music instrument and product industry, but also the debut of the Anaheim Convention Center’s new outdoor venue, The Anaheim Grand Plaza. The Grand Plaza features 100,000 square feet of outdoor meeting and event space, and during the NAMM Show an outdoor stage for live performances.
NAMM Show-goers enjoyed a series of spectacular live performances all day, every day throughout the four-day show. Tower of Power, The Living Legends Jam (with band members from The Eagles, Black Sabbath, and Fleetwood Mac, among others), and CTA (California Transit Authority) rocked the Grand Plaza hard and gave the energetic nighttime crowds plenty of authentic rock and roll. “There’s great talent with Tower of Power and a community feeling [on the Grand Plaza]. It’s great to wind down out here after the day, while enjoying some music with good friends and business partners,” said Jerry Loos, owner, Jerry Loos Guitar Training, Westerville, OH.
The industry quickly adapted to the new show perimeter that reached the convention center’s exterior walls, effectively adding to the show’s footprint. By moving registration to the hotels, NAMM created an easier to navigate show with fewer ID checks.
Legendary drummer, Carmine Appice ( of Vanilla Fudge/ Cactus fame in 1960-70s) was on hand at the NAMM Show. -Photo by Terry Miller