2009 Summer NAMM Leaves Members Energized Despite Lower Attendance and Fewer Exhibits

Show Shows Growth Over 2007 Summer NAMM

July 19, 2009

NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, today announced final registration and exhibitor numbers for 2009 Summer NAMM. At show close, NAMM reported a 26 percent decrease in registration from last year’s event, with 12,967 total registrants for the three-day event. 

Exhibitor numbers were also down at the Nashville Convention Center during this turbulent economic year, with 383 companies displaying and demonstrating products. Many exhibitors chose NAMM’s “Club” option, bringing in products and literature, and hosting meetings—without the cost of a full exhibit space on the show floor.

“While the economic crisis certainly made this year’s Summer NAMM uncertain in many people’s minds, we forged ahead and provided a good venue for our Members to do business and prepare for the important fall and holiday selling seasons.”  said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM.  “And as a result, I believe that this show marked an important transition point, as community music stores and the new and veteran exhibitors worked together to set the stage for an important growth period ahead for these companies.”

During the show, the NAMM University education sessions were packed full of dealers serious about their success as the economy rebounds. Despite the fact that it was a smaller gathering due to the challenging economic conditions, both exhibitors and retailers reported having a good show.

“Obviously with everything going on, I was a little skeptical going into the show, but Friday and Saturday were very busy days for us—I was very pleasantly surprised,” said Dave Jewell, Yamaha Corporation. “We talked to a lot of new dealers and people in general were happy that we were here this year.”

“We didn’t know what kind of expectations we should come with this year, but we were happy,” said Phil Bettete, Yorkville Sound.  “We wrote orders, saw the buyers we wanted to see and did very well.  I think, because some of the larger brands decision to stay home, companies like ours did even better.”

“We did really well and honestly, we didn’t expect to,” said Dan McPherson, Ernie Ball. “In all respects, it was really a better show than we planned for.  People were in a good mood, upbeat and positive and that really put things in our favor this year.”

NAMM previously announced that more than 145 of the exhibiting companies were new exhibitors with brand new products to the music products industry.  Two of them—Beamz Interactive and Pigtronix—enjoyed success at this year’s show.

“We had a phenomenal response to the product,” said Al Ingallinera, Beamz Interactive. “A lot of retailers are excited to see new products here to grow their business.  We signed up a handful of good dealers here, and we were excited to immerse ourselves in this industry and use this experience as a building block for our presence in the music business.”

“We had an amazing show,” said David Koltai, Pigtronix. “Going in, we didn’t know what to expect, but we came here, and it absolutely kicked butt.  During the show, we took orders and it was incredible and just a really great show for us.”

The dealer attendees at this year’s Summer NAMM took particular interest in and appreciated the vendors that were here to support them.

"I am making a point to buy and do a lot more orders at Summer NAMM than I have in the past, just because some of the bigger vendors that I deal with didn't show up this year,” said Brian Hanson of B's Music in Mount Pleasant, Mich.  “So I'm trying to reward as many of the vendors here as I can.  I feel this show is very important.  A lot of us on the East Coast don't get a chance to come to Anaheim, but we can almost always come to the summer show and bring our staff as well.”

A three-time winner in this morning’s “Best in Show” is Breezsong, whose JamHub had dealers buzzing around their booth. “This show has been terrific—we’re so glad we came,” said Steve Skillings, president of Breezsong. “We were worried that it may not be as good a show because of all the naysayers, but the people who said that turned out to be wrong. We’ve had people coming by, a lot of excitement, a lot of action. In a down economy, there’s an opportunity—while others are pulling out you jump in and may hay while the sun shines. We’re kind of glad some of the big companies made a mistake in not coming because it was good for us.”

The 2010 NAMM Show will take place January 14–17, 2010, in Anaheim, Calif. For more information about 2009 Summer NAMM, interested parties can log on to www.namm.org/summer.