APRIL 6 I SHOWS I BY JENNY DOMINE
MI Retailers Want
Despite early concerns about Summer NAMM turnout in Nashville, Tenn., among dealers and suppliers, many independent music retailers remain vocal about the necessity of the show, which will be held June 18–20.
“It’s a relaxed business environment where you can actually have a real conversation without losing your voice,” said Billy Cuthrell, owner of Raleigh, N.C.-based Progressive Music Center. “Plus, it gives dealers the opportunity to order some Christmas product and plan for the second half of the year.”
CJ Averwater, general manager of Amro Music in Memphis, Tenn., noted that while there may be fewer of Amro’s vendors coming out this summer, that means more face time with the ones that do come and a chance to meet new suppliers, as well.
“The Anaheim show is fantastic, but the Summer NAMM show seems more intimate to me,” he said.
“We can’t afford not to attend,” said Kevin Cranley, president of Florence, Ky.-based Willis Music. “Our fourth quarter is so critical for our year, and Summer NAMM is where we meet and develop our plans with our vendor partners. NAMM U is also very important to our staff.”
The Innovator’s Show
Multiple retailers echoed Cranley, saying that NAMM University sessions are reason enough to make the trip.
“NAMM always covers, in great detail, the latest discussions in industry trends, such as how a dealer can incorporate Facebook, improve their Web pages or build a music lesson program,” said Menzie Pittman, owner of Contemporary Music Center in Haymarket, Va. “It is a wealth of helpful information that can benefit any dealer. At the summer show, the dealer has more time to investigate such ideas.”
Rick Santos, president of Rick’s Music World in Raynham, Mass., said the NAMM Idea Center is “a must” to make a full economic recovery.
“During these times especially, it’s so important to keep up with new, fresh ideas and find what others are doing to stay successful,” he said. “This information is invaluable.”
Pittman also noted the convention is a place where new innovators can get more face time and expose retailers to unique product ideas. “The new manufacturers and new innovations are very present at the show, and it is a good time to dabble outside the box a bit in purchases for a dealer.”
The Nashville location itself is an incentive for retailers on a budget, especially in the East and Midwest, to hit the road and have a NAMM experience.
“Proximity,” Ellen McDonald, president of Hartland Music in Hartland, Wis., simply stated as her top reason for going. “We can drive.”
Even Cuthrell, who said he would personally be unable to attend due to a prior commitment, stressed the importance of the show and is planning to send two employees to do business. “It gives the East Coast guys a chance to attend the show without the expense and travel time of going across the country to see the manufacturers,” Cuthrell said.
But Music City has another important role to play. As Santos said, “The incredible live music in Nashville also reminds us of one of the many reasons we are in this business.” MI