Photo courtesy of the Music City Center.

Retail Think Tank

School rentals are amping up, summer rock camps are kicking off and that means one thing: Summer NAMM is right around the corner. To be held July 18–20 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the 2019 Summer NAMM show promises attendees a wide range of networking and educational opportunities aimed at helping them succeed in today's ever-changing business climate.

"The 'game' is changing quickly and attending Summer NAMM is a vital tool to staying competitive in this environment," said Joe Lamond, NAMM CEO and president. "It's a path to improve the most important element of success: yourself. Attending the summer show is a path to further your education, deepen your connections with peers and vendors, and re-energize the soul with the music and energy of Nashville."

This year's Summer NAMM schedule boasts more than 60 educational sessions across all of its educational platforms, including NAMM U, Advanced Audio Applications Exchange (A3E), TEC Tracks and Dante training.

"These education sessions [are] designed to help NAMM members supercharge their business," Lamond said, adding that one of the sessions he's most looking forward to is Friday morning's NAMM U Breakfast Session "The Customer Experience Revolution," which features customer service expert Shep Hyken. "[Hyken's] going to explore what a frictionless customer experience looks like in the age of Uber and Amazon, and what music products businesses, both large and small, can do to stay competitive and consumer-centric."

In addition to Hyken's session, Lamond called out Thursday's NAMM Idea Center session which will feature NAMM's 2017 Dealer of the Year Robert Christie of A & G Central Music as he shares new ways to upgrade a school music business.

"We're expecting a list of great, actionable ideas and some timeless wisdom," Lamond said. "In fact, I imagine that the session will appeal to just about any retailer — not just school music businesses."

The educational opportunities at this year's Summer NAMM start a day early on Wednesday, July 17 with the Retail Training Summit. This all-day, multitrack event lets participants pick one morning session and one afternoon session. Industry-leading presenters will share hands-on, proven ideas and best practices designed to help grow retail businesses and will include digital marketing pioneer, Larry Bailin; music retail financial experts, Alan Friedman and Daniel Jobe; social media guru, Jenn Herman; and sales and management leader, Thomas Post.

Perhaps one of the most crucial — and free — benefits of Summer NAMM is the abundance of networking possibilities, from conversations on the show floor to small talk during events like the American Eagle Awards and the Top 100 Dealer Awards. NAMM's Lamond said Summer NAMM's smaller size helps promote such networking opportunities.

"It's smaller than winter NAMM, and that gives us all the time to stop and enjoy a conversation with friends in the aisles and in the booths, hanging out in the Idea Center, Breakfast Sessions, and each evening at the awards [ceremonies]," Lamond said. "We learn from each other, and it doesn't take more than an idea or two to make a trip like Summer NAMM more than pay for itself." MI