Summer NAMM Provides Music and Sound Industry a Robust Platform for Business

Buyers, new events and professional education programs offered attendees enhanced business opportunities and illuminated strategies for a successful second half of the year.

The 2016 Summer NAMM show returned last week to Music City Center in Nashville, offering a robust platform for buyers, exhibitors and professionals to engage with the latest products, learn new business strategies, connect with other industry peers, and to position their businesses for a successful second half of the year.

“We are proud of our NAMM members who came to Nashville eager to learn, to make new business connections and to build deeper relationships with their current partners, all in an effort to proactively plan for a strong fall and holiday season,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. “The industry continues to change rapidly and in my opinion, the clues to success were available to forward-thinking members on the show floor this year in Nashville.“

With the wealth of educational sessions and leading manufacturers on hand, 14,055 industry professionals registered for Summer NAMM, a 1% increase over 2015 and 14% over 2014.  Of that, international attendees accounted for 12% growth over 2015, and 59% growth since 2014, making for the largest number of international participants at Summer NAMM in over a decade. The number of buyers attending Summer NAMM was comparable in count to 2015, however the mix continues to evolve. This year’s event saw a small drop in community music stores but an increase in member buyers from Asia and Europe, combined with a strong turnout of mid-to-large U.S. dealers, which populated the show floor with buying power. 

The show counted a variety of new and returning exhibitors including Dunlop, Ernie Ball, Fender, Ovation, and Pearl, among many others, and with Summer NAMM veterans like Martin, Peavey, Roland, Sabian, Taylor, Yamaha, and Zildjian returning to showcase their latest gear.  This year’s show saw a rise in exhibitors with 1,650 brands represented by 517 exhibitors, an increase of 5% over 2015. 

Professional education was a strong draw for many, as NAMM U and TEC Tracks offered 54 sessions that covered a variety of business-enhancing topics, all in an effort to position attendees for success. “This is my thirty-fifth year in business, and most of my total education on retailing has come from NAMM through NAMM U. It has been great for me,” said David Schmidt, of Schmidt’s Music in Pensacola, Florida. 

Show Recap:
The show opened on Thursday with a NAMM U breakfast session, The Online Retail Summit, where retailers who have made a place in online retailing relayed to the crowd their lessons learned, best practices and tips for success. On the floor of the show, the Music City Center was abuzz with a variety of new product debuts, business meetings and orders. Throughout the day, members enjoyed the NAMM Nissan Terrace Stage which featured a variety of performers. The day’s events were capped with a high-spirited performance from the legendary Charlie Daniels Band as part of the first ever, NAMM at Night opening party.

On Friday morning, the show opened with a “no holds barred” breakfast session with NAMM U veteran speaker, Jeffrey Hayzlett. Hayzlett energized the morning crowd with his candid assessment of businesses that succeed and businesses that fail. Friday evening was capped with the Top 100 Dealer awards. Now in their sixth year, the Top 100 applaud excellence and innovation in music products retailing and this, year recognized Contemporary Music Center with the prestigious Dealer of the Year award. The event was hosted by Country Music Television personality Cody Alan, complete with live band, Tim Akers and The Smoking Session. A full list of winners can be found here:https://www.namm.org/news/press-releases/namm-congratulates-top-100-deal...

Saturday welcomed music industry professionals for a record-setting Music Industry Day with nearly 1,800 attendees, an increase of 1% over 2015.  A full day of NAMM U and TEC Track session programming treated the group to best practices in recording, song publishing, promotion, and a wealth of other career-enhancing ideas.  Early in the afternoon, country rocker and “The Voice” winner of season seven, Craig Wayne Boyd, performed for the day’s attendees, and in the Davidson Ballroom, the 33rd Annual American Eagle Awards honored Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and the Grand Ole Opry. The awards annually recognize individuals that have made significant contributions to music in America.