Pro Audio Will Make History at The NAMM Show – Here’s Why

by Barney Jameson, former pro audio industry editor and the Managing Director of The Inside Story.

In just two weeks, the Anaheim Convention Center will open its doors to the next stage in a bold reinvention of The NAMM Show—with the business of professional audio at its heart.

What began a year ago with a tide of developments—new halls packed with first-time exhibitors, a redrawn floorplan and an entire hotel’s worth of audio education—will expand into an event that truly encapsulates the Crossroads of music and pro audio. The opportunities will be unprecedented.

For the hundreds of thousands of past attendees, the surest sign that loudspeakers and mixing desks have become an integral part of The NAMM Show’s DNA will be the inaugural Loudspeaker System Showcase—a hugely significant addition to the show’s format. Hosted by Live Sound International, the System Showcase will give visitors the chance to hear the industry’s leading touring sound systems in the real-world conditions of the Anaheim Convention Center Arena—the first time this has happened in NAMM’s 118-year history.

The transformation has been years in the making. For almost a decade, professional audio represented a growing component of The NAMM Show experience, but the sparsity of available floor space within the already jam-packed convention center meant it was hard for the industry to make a true home for itself. Each year, increasingly high-end audio equipment appeared at the show, while the great and good of the audio business gathered at the bar of the neighboring Marriott hotel.

All of that changed in 2018 when the newly constructed ACC North wing of the Anaheim Convention Center gave The NAMM Show the opportunity to expand dramatically, and the pro audio community found an occasion to have an entire hall of its own. The result was the biggest NAMM Show to date—an 8.5% leap in new companies appearing, 616,015 sq. ft. of floor-space and a record-busting attendance of 115,085 people.

Fast forward 12 months, and the many people who work hard all year to make The NAMM Show a reality are putting the final touches on an event that will build on everything achieved so far.

Once again, the halls will be filled with the biggest brands from the worlds of international touring and recording, including newcomers such as Clair Brothers and Martin Audio, and returning icons such as DiGiCo, L-Acoustics, Powersoft and d&b audiotechnik. Education will again fill the floors of the Hilton hotel, with more sessions than ever before including certified Dante training courtesy of Audinate, and the second outing of AES@NAMM. Both the NAMM TEC Awards and the Parnelli Awards will return to celebrate the technology and people who make our industry so unique. And, of course, there will be lengthy nights in the Marriott bar to look forward to.

But best and loudest of all will be the Loudspeaker System Showcase. It’s going to make history, and I can’t wait to see you there.

ACC and ACC North will also feature:

  • Hundreds of Leading Brands
  • Food Trucks, Photo Opportunities and Activations
  • Synchrony Beer Garden
  • NAMM Pop-Up Shirt Shop
  • Software.NAMM
  • Pioneer Pro Audio Arena Plaza Stage

For detailed information about the Loudspeaker System Showcase, please visit each day's schedule of events:

Loudspeaker System Showcase — Thursday, January 24

Loudspeaker System Showcase — Friday, January 25

Loudspeaker System Showcase — Saturday, January 26