Global music industry congregates for biggest ever NAMM show

AR Rahman lends support for music education, Stevie Wonder proclaimed NAMM Mayor


When the business is music, it’s a fine line between good times and work. The much anticipated NAMM Show, produced annually by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), got over in Anaheim, CA recently with four jam-packed days that saw music merchants from the entire globe getting together to discuss each and every aspect of the industry. In an event which was filled with new product debuts, networking and educational opportunities, music retailers, corporate buyers, artists and sound and lighting professionals did business with nearly 5000 unique brands in Anaheim, CA.

 The opening of the 2013 NAMM Show marked not only the start of the world’s premier gathering for the musical instrument and product industry, but also the debut of the Anaheim Convention Center’s new outdoor venue, The Anaheim Grand Plaza. NAMM Show-goers enjoyed a series of spectacular live performances all day, every day throughout the four-day show. Tower of Power, The Living Legends Jam (with band members from The Eagles, Black Sabbath, and Fleetwood Mac, among others), and CTA (California Transit Authority) rocked the Grand Plaza hard and gave the energetic nighttime crowds plenty of authentic rock and roll.

 From India, AR Rahman visited the convention this year and lent his voice of support for Music Education. “We covered a lot of ground for the NAMM Oral History project with Mr. Rahman now. And we will soon develop more of it in the days to come,” said Abe Thomas, Director of Business Development, Thomas Music.

 The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion global music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies located in more than 87 countries.


 NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond said, “Our industry, like many others, is in the midst of rapid change. And I believe NAMM Members who came to Anaheim to see the latest product innovations, attend NAMM University sessions, and network with friends and peers will be uniquely positioned to take advantage of the business opportunities in the year ahead.”

 NAMM Director of PR Lora Bodmer revealed that buyers increased 4 percent over 2012, while non-industry guests decreased 16 percent this year. “The important increase in buyers was attributed to more retail music stores, corporate buyers including houses of worship, live event venues and touring professionals, casinos, and studios sending buyers to shop the NAMM Show. The mix of industry professionals resulted in an incredibly business-focused, yet vibrant show made up of 93,908 total registrants, a 2 percent decrease from 2012,” says Bodmer. 

 While many NAMM Show veterans come to enjoy the musical spectacle and do business with old and new friends, the 2013 NAMM Show was rich in new faces, with 289 new exhibitors representing about 700 unique brands spread out over the sprawling Convention Center. Enthusiasm ran high among NAMM Show first-timers. Apps and software, new technologies for acoustic guitars, and performance accessories – all found a solid toehold on success at the show.


 “I’m freaking out,” said ImageMike Miltimore, founder of Riversong Guitars in British Columbia. Miltmore brought his patent-pending guitar design to the show for the first time. “At the show, we’ve seen big-time interest from countries I did not even know existed,” he said.

 “I attend for the latest, greatest and best our industry has to offer. This show was rich with industry trends, the latest in gear and top notch sessions at the Idea Center,” said Billy Cuthrell, owner of Progressive Music Center in North Carolina. “I consider my time at NAMM a major part of my business success throughout the year.”

 For the first time, a Mayor led the NAMM Show. NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond proclaimed world-renowned musician and humanitarian Stevie Wonder as Mayor of the NAMM Show with a lifetime, all-access badge to NAMM. “My goal is before it’s my time, I hope to be able to make music accessible to everybody, children and adults,” said His Honor (Wonder). “It’s a whole new world of music and instrument discovery at the show every year.” Wonder, one of hundreds of major artists at the NAMM Show, walked the show trying out new products and meeting with friends. Meanwhile, legendary music producer Randy Jackson was honoured with its highest honour – the NAMM ‘Music for Life’ award.



Posted on February 7, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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