May 27, 2022 I Convention

A Show for the Ages

By Katie Kailus

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been two-and-a-half years since the musical instrument industry gathered at a winter NAMM Show. Last year’s Summer NAMM was the industry’s first gathering since the pandemic began, but this June’s NAMM Show promises to bring back the traditional winter NAMM experience. To be held June 3–5 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, The 2022 NAMM Show is what NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond has called the industry’s “coming out party.”

“We are going to pull out all the stops to make attendees feel as welcome as we can,” Lamond said. “We want those who made the commitment to come feel that they got a real NAMM show experience. From a production standpoint, we’ll be hosting all the popular events, from the Yamaha Grand Plaza concert to the TEC Awards and the She Rocks Awards. And, we’ll be adding the Top 100 Dealer Awards to this year’s lineup [which is usually held during Summer NAMM].”

The 2022 show will be half the size floorspace-wise as it was in 2020, NAMM’s largest show to date, but Lamond said that’s OK.

“We know this will be a smaller show because of people’s hesitations to travel, and I think that’s OK,” he said. “Coming out of this pandemic, it was unrealistic to think we can expect another 2020 show.”

At press time, some of the industry’s biggest players, including Yamaha, Taylor Guitars and Casio, are all expected to attend. Distributor JHS just announced it will host its largest booth ever at this year’s show.

“Whilst the last two years have indeed been unpredictable and challenging, JHS [is] extremely excited that we are finally getting back together with friends and colleagues from around the world to once again enjoy meeting our customers and suppliers, artists and press in person,” said Dennis Drumm, JHS CEO.

An Investment in Your Business
For suppliers still on the fence about attending, Lamond said attending NAMM is an investment in your business.

“We’re a member organization. NAMM was founded by industry members, and it benefits members. It’s the only reason there is a show. It’s their show. They make it what it is. They decide what it’s going to look like,” Lamond said. “A lot has changed in the world since the 2020 show, and there are going to be opportunities that there maybe weren’t two years ago, and if I was a manufacturer I wouldn’t want to miss it and have to explain to my boss that sales are down because we didn’t go to the show.”

For retailers on the fence, Lamond said the educational sessions are worth the investment of attending in and of themselves.

“If you stop for a second right now, you’ll fall behind. There’s so much change going on,” he said. “From how to sell to how to market — this education is timely and ultimately a game-changer for those who have come out from the pandemic. I can’t imagine not attending for the education alone.”

This year, NAMM has moved all educational sessions to the convention center, so attendees never have to leave the building. The Idea Center will still be located in the convention center lobby. Key sessions will include: “Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World,” Saturday’s Breakfast Session hosted by branding and relationship expert Scott Stratten, who will explore top-line strategies to strengthen businesses and their brands; “Successful TikTok Marketing Tips for Music Businesses” presented by Melissa Loggins of Music Authority; and “The Biggest Digital Marketing Trends and How to Use Them” presented by Larry Bailin of Single Throw Marketing.

NAMM Show+
In addition to the live gathering, those interested in learning from home can utilize NAMM Show+ — an interactive platform available for worldwide access 24/7 on mobile and desktop devices in a format similar to the virtual Believe in Music Week which NAMM held in the place of the traditional show in January 2021.

“NAMM Show+ will be a very important addition to the show,” Lamond explained. “Those back at home will have access to stream content from the show — all exhibitor content, new product content and educational content. Networking obviously will not be the same as walking around the show floor, but there will be a digital way to reach much deeper into the show experience.”

All in all, Lamond said human nature has not changed despite more than two years of pandemic, and The NAMM Show offers attendees arguably the most important function of business — networking.

“Networking has not changed at all,” he said. “It’s human nature that we like to gather. The Hilton Hotel bar, the Pro-Audio Pool Party, the TEC Awards — all the tribal gatherings that we know and love will all be strong.” MI

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