Message From the CEO: Observations From Europe on the Resiliency of Our Global Music Products Industry

By John Mlynczak | July 10, 2024

This summer I had the pleasure of visiting NAMM members and partners across Europe, with a focus on seeing first-hand how various music products are manufactured across all industry segments. Over two weeks, we visited manufacturers of wind instruments, string instruments, pro audio speakers, amplifiers, lighting, acoustic drums, digital drums, percussion, acoustic pianos, digital pianos and accessories. We also visited distributors, local retail shops and our association partners. These visits are invaluable to learn about our members in their home environments and gather local knowledge on their needs.

I may be biased after spending two weeks with NAMM members, but I truly believe the music products industry is one of the most special, passionate and resilient industries. The focus on quality is imperative, from the treatment of the raw materials to quality checks at every step of manufacturing. Musicians depend on our products to resonate and function consistently. A musical product is not just an “instrument” or a “tool,” but an extension of the musician that forms a close relationship with the player. In many cases, choosing the right instrument for a musician is selecting their sound and shaping their craft. NAMM members have an intimate understanding of how their products are used and this is apparent across the manufacturing process.

We are also reminded how interconnected our world is, with European manufacturers selling across Europe, Asia and the U.S., with more and more in Latin America and the Middle East. Distribution relationships across these global territories are the key to success. This is why The NAMM Show focuses so much on being the global gathering of our music industry, as we are interconnected and dependent on each other for growth.  

The general sense is that sales are stable after years of disruption, and there is an acceptance of the shifts in channels and customer buying habits between online and in-store, as well as the role of social influencers in purchasing decisions. Companies are adapting and evolving, and NAMM is learning how to serve our members through the changes in our industry.

This trip energized us for The NAMM Show in 2025 with all the major brands coming together globally, but also validated reasoning for our NAMM NeXT event in Nashville this month. We will gather NAMM members to focus solely on how we can create the best customer experience for music makers worldwide. After the inaugural event in Nashville, we have strong support for holding a NAMM NeXT event in Europe in 2025. More to come on this!

We will continue to build close relationships with our NAMM members worldwide to fully understand their needs — whether that's connecting with members at The NAMM Show as the world's largest global gathering of the music industry or through our year-round efforts to unite and strengthen the industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.

Here are a few moments with our members:

Gewa team members
GEWA Music headquarters in Adorf, Germany


a piano frame
Julius Blüthner Pianofortefabrik factory in Leipzig, Germany


SONOR team members with NAMM CEO
SONOR factory and headquarters in Bad Berleburg, Germany


NAMM CEO plays woodbrass music trumpet
Woodbrass Music store in Paris, France


Buffet Crampon
Buffet Crampon factory in Mantes-la-Ville, France


Konig & Meyer team
König & Meyer factory in Wertheim, Germany


outside L'Acoustics building
L’Acoustics factory and headquarters in Marcoussis, France


MEINL showroom at headquarters in Gutenstetten, Germany


Orange Amps tour
Orange Amps headquarters in Borehamwood, England


Henri Selmer clarinet tour
Henri Selmer factory in Mantes-la-Ville, France


Vandoren headquarters in Paris, France


Petrof Group
PETROF Group; Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

About the Author

John Mlynczak is the president and CEO of NAMM, with expertise in the music industry, education, technology and leadership. He previously worked as VP of music education and technology at Hal Leonard, director of education for PreSonus Audio, and as a music educator at the K12 and collegiate levels. He holds a bachelor of music education from Virginia Commonwealth University and master’s degrees in both music performance and education leadership from Louisiana State University.