Greatest Show on Earth

This year's NAMM Show was one for the record books. Held Jan. 21-24, The NAMM Show 2016 not only broke attendance records with 101,736 registrants — a 2-percent increase over last year's show — but it also saw an all-time high when it came to the number of exhibitors. A record 1,726 exhibiting companies representing more than 6,000 brands made for a 7-percent increase over last year.

"As we look at the record number of exhibiting brands, influx of new entrepreneurial spirit and attendance from 125 countries, the industry seems poised for vital growth and breakthroughs," said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. "The NAMM Show is a reflection of our industry, not only where it is now, but even more importantly where it is heading next. NAMM members brought their A-game to Anaheim with creative, innovative, beautiful products."

Exhibitors noticed the rise in attendance as well, reporting high traffic at their booths all four days.

"I think the show [was] busier than last year and more dealers were visiting the booth," said Brandon Lorenz, district sales manager for Hal Leonard, which debuted two huge songbooks at the show — Adele 25 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. "There was a really positive vibe to this year's show. Everyone was looking to do business; there was a good energy and good results."

Retailers echoed similar sentiments.

"It seemed that the crowd was larger than in the past few years," said Paul Tobias, owner of Tobias Music. "Friday and Saturday were crazy out on the floor. Overall, we had a successful trip. It seems like the industry is really going full throttle."

Events Galore
When they weren't scouring the show floor for the latest and greatest gear, attendees had a plethora of events to check out. The annual She Rocks Awards, which celebrates female leaders in the music industry, honored Karmin's Amy Heidemann, Seymour Duncan founder and CEO Cathy Carter Duncan and legendary artist Chaka Khan, among others. The 31st annual TEC Awards, held Jan. 23, celebrated the best in live and recorded sound and honored record producer Don Was with the Les Paul Award.

On the education side, the Idea Center found its way to the lobby of the convention center this year, where sessions were packed the entire weekend.

"I attended some marketing sessions led by professionals in [the] industry, and I very much enjoyed spending time tackling the problems I see every day in my store with like-minded people from around the U.S.," said James Harding, owner of Gist Piano Center and an Idea Center speaker. "I came away with some new ideas that will help me make more money!"

TEC Tracks made its Winter NAMM Show debut featuring 70-plus sessions showcasing innovative insight in music technology, recording, live sound, lighting, DJ, apps and game audio.

For full coverage of The NAMM Show 2016, check out Music Inc.'s March/April 2016 issue, out March 1. MI