Day One of the 2012 NAMM Show Spotlights Reuniting of Peers, Innovation in Business, Educational Sessions

Opening Day Also Features Musical Performances and Celebrity Sighting

January 19, 2012

Themed “Make It Count,” the 2012 NAMM show kicked off on day one with its traditional Breakfast of Champions session, welcoming droves of attendees from all over the world to gain valuable insight about the music products industry and the innovation that is being used by successful businesses.

The session started with musical performances from orchestral trio Sharon Hurvitz (piano), Avi Nagin (violin) and Natalie Helm (cello), and the cultural rhythms of Indian musician Prakash Sontakke on the slide guitar and Afghanistani musician Salar Nader on the Tabla.

NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond conducted one-on-one interviews with industry professionals, focusing on the innovative technologies, techniques and business practices that have given these professionals a competitive edge in today’s economy. Guests included product manufacturer Marcus Ryle of LINE 6, Rick Camino and Will Urban of the online retailer Hello Music, and George Hines of retail store George's Music.

“The session was awesome—it was really informative and provided lots of great information we’ll take back and utilize,” said Angus Marshall of Big Music in Sydney, Australia.

Lamond then presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to
Ray Kurzweil, an American author, scientist, inventor and futurist in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments.

Next, Lamond presented NAMM’s Music for Life Award to Stevie Wonder, honoring him for his brilliant musical contributions and talent that is cherished by people all over the world.

“I will cherish this award,” said Wonder. “It means a lot to me. Music is about moving the world forward. It is our time now to do this. We must treat this like ‘yesterday will be too late.’ Thank you for this honor.”

“It was outstanding getting a lot of the different business perspectives from every presenter, and then getting to hear Stevie Wonder speak was unreal,” said attendee Dan Puccio of Marich Music in Corning, N.Y. “I’ve got several degrees in music, and I’ll say, hands down, that he is one of the greatest musical geniuses to walk the earth. It was a complete and utter inspiration. We run a family store, my parents have been in business for 38 years now, so we’re looking for new products, trying to see what’s going to be the best value for us and work with our customer base. We plan our route so that someone’s always at the NAMM U sessions and the rest of us are meeting up with our reps, talking to new vendors and seeing the new products.”

Afterward, the doors to the show floor opened to crowds of attendees lined up waiting to see the products that the exhibitors have in store for them this year.

The overall pre-registration numbers for this year have shown a solid increase over previous years, and NAMM has predicted a busy show floor for all days of the show.

The Fernand L. Petiot All-Industry Marching conducted its traditional “Grand March to the Exposition” and was led by NAMM Members and special guests Gov. Mike Huckabee and Michael Butera, executive director at the National Association for Music Education.

Attendees were also offered a musical performance in the lobby by the “Get a Life Marching Band,” a high-energy all-adult group based in Portland, Ore. comprised of people who were once in high school or college marching bands.

Retail professionals participated in on-going educational sessions in NAMM’s IDEA Center, including “Right and Wrong Retail,” “Tough Times Require Tough Decisions,” a “Guerilla Tactics” series, “Proven Systems for Selling Instruments and Accessories to Your In-Store Students.”

Celebrity sightings included Alan Parsons, Bob Weir, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Baby Face, Navarone Garibaldi, Jay Gordon, John Stamos, Ken and Colbie Caillat, Dan Jacobson, Amber Frakes, and Cameron Mitchell.

The day wrapped up honoring industry colleagues who died in 2011 with a video tribute called NAMM In Memoriam.

“The show has gone great—I love it,” said Donny Matthews of Raptor Guitars in Phoenix, Ariz. “Tons of new stuff. I always talk to everybody. Every year I come out here to NAMM and enjoy it. Anaheim is great.”

“We’ve come here every year for the past 10 years, and it is amazing,” said Luisa Rodriguez of JV Music Corp. in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We’re focused on meeting the people we actually talk to—our representatives—and finding new lines and looking for new products.”

The 2012 NAMM Show runs through Sunday Jan. 22 and will feature educational breakfast sessions each day before the show floor opens, ongoing NAMM University sessions, numerous product demos by celebrity musicians and after-hour events at local Anaheim venues.