January 19, 2024 I Feature

Back in That January Vibe!

By Katie Kailus

It’s hard to believe, but it has been nearly four years since The NAMM Show has been held during its traditional time in late January. Disrupted the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The 2024 NAMM Show, to be held January 25–28 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, will be a “homecoming” of sorts, with all the familiar features of a winter NAMM show — a packed NAMM U schedule, hundred of evening concerts and all the perennial award shows.

At the time of our conversation in late November, NAMM President and CEO John Mlynczak said the sales was “busier than they’ve ever been eight weeks before a show.”

“We’re seeing more brands releasing more products than ever before. That’s a fact. And we’re seeing more brands releasing more products because, after all the challenges of the past few years, companies are back to their regular product cycles,” Mlynczak said. “So, we’re going to see an incredible amount of new product and innovation around our industry, and it’s really going to be the story of where we’re going now as an industry after all the disruption. This is the first year of the future of our industry.”

Amplifying Brands’ Messages
Part of NAMM’s job serving in addition to serving its members is also amplifying the larger message of the MI industry as a whole, something Mlynczak said this year’s NAMM-attending brands will feel.

“We are going to be amplifying not only the message of NAMM and our music industry, but our brands, as well,” he said. “The show is coming back different than it was in 2019, and we recognize that today and tomorrow’s consumers make purchasing decisions based on wide range influences. So, what’s going to be different at this year’s NAMM show is we’re bringing together, highlighting and elevating everyone who influences a product decision — that, of course, means the people who make the products and obviously retailers who sell the products, but then also the social influencer who’s unboxing the product, the teacher who’s teaching the product, the artist who’s endorsing the product and the media who’s covering the product.We need to make sure all of those voices are brought together and really amplified to elevate the brands that make up our industry.”

When asked why a supplier on the fence should attend this year’s show, Mlynczak put it simply.

“Because they will instantly regret it on January 29,” he said. “When they see the amount of media coverage and brand exposure that comes with exhibiting at this year’s show, they’re going to realize they missed out a huge opportunity.”

The Full ‘NAMM Experience’
This winter’s NAMM show will feature all the traditional NAMM events, including the TEC Awards, the NAMM Top 100 Dealer Awards, the Parnelli Awards and the SheRocks Awards — all hosted onsite.

“This will be the first time we have four nights of awards on The NAMM Show campus,” Mlynczak said. “There will be an awards event every night for to recognize and honor the innovators in our industry.”

The Yamaha All-Star Concert on the Grand will be back for its regular nights of live music — this year featuring violinist Lindsey Stirling on Friday night and singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin on Saturday night — but it’s the educational sessions that are really taking center stage this year.

“Our NAMM U educational sessions have never been stronger,” Mlynczak said. “We’ve reinvented the Breakfast of Champions opening session on the first morning of the show, which will be called Industry Insights and touch back on the message of amplifying brands. It will include industry insiders, thought leaders and guests who will offer a look the role of influencers in 2024. It’ll be a reimaged session facilitating conversations between all of the personas that make up our industry. How do we get media, influencers, educators, retailers and manufacturers all working together to grow the market? We believe it’s by being the source of all of our industry’s insights and getting people to share and collaborate.” MI

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