By Harvey Sid Fisher
NAMM is The National Association of Music Merchants. Its president and ceo is the personable people person, Joe Lamond,and his current musician joke is, “What do you say to a drummer who is wearing a suit and tie?n…Will the defendant please rise.”
NAMM has a 9,000 membership that costs $195 per and they are having a winter event at the Anaheim Convention Center January 19-22, 2012, which will be populated by 1,419 exhibitors showing off their musical instruments, machinery, accessories and charm.
Interview with the President/CEO of NAMM: Joe Lamond
JL: NAMM is more than manufacturers and retailers. There are many tribes within the NAMM family. It is a university where you can learn to grow with our idea center sessions, diversity breakfast sessions, next generation workshops, and H.O.T. zone sessions for markets like house of worship.
HSF: Maybe ‘heaven’ zone would sound better for the musical minded.
JL: I believe everyone has the music in them.
HSF: That could be true if you include what has been acquired through piracy.
JL: Unfortunately there is a generation that doesn’t believe in paying for anything that has a zero or a one.
HSF: And then there is the world economy which could be ‘a bug in search of a windshield’.
JL: We can only hope for a soft landing.
But NAMM is quite healthy with the highest pre-registration in history; a 13 percent risen from outside the U.S. and an 8 per cent increase over all with 233 new exhibitors. This is the event that attracts the decision makers and they are attending not because they need to, but because they want to: For the education, the nightlife, and the exciting mix of the different parts of the industry.
HSF: Nightlife? What’s that about?
JL: Our manufacturers have created many events to entertain their customers; meet and greets with artists, concerts, parties…
HSF: Would you say that NAMM attracts the prettiest women?
JL: No comment. That would be profiling. But I have enjoyed every one of my winter NAMM shows, a lot. If you include all the activities that involve NAMM our attendees occupy virtually all the hotels in Anaheim and the surrounding area all the way up to Garden Grove. The Anaheim Convention Bureau estimates NAMM’s economic impact to be somewhere around 80 million dollars.
HSF: How does the songwriter benefit?
JL: NAMM’s traditional attendees make and sell products. We’re gear people. There’s nothing more exciting than smelling the new instruments and checking out the drum sets Sometimes we lose sight of how these products are truly used but NAMM is trying to serve market and songwriters are a huge part of that market. It’s never been easier for a songwriter to move their creations from inside their head to out into the world. They say that one day the iPad or iPhone will be the size of a red blood cell in the brain.
HSF: And maybe one day we will see a Nano NAMM convention contained in the space of an Anaheim potato chip.
JL: This event will be the most streamed show in NAMM history from the opening keynote. Exhibitors will be streaming live from their booths, or strolling down the aisles with a hand held and uploading it to their websites. A couple of years ago there was one or two videos. Now there are hundreds. A product launch used to take days to spread out the news. Now there is video in seconds.
HSF: Are there any new revolutionary products that will be launched at this event?
JL: I am not at liberty to talk about it because the manufacturers have their time schedule to unwrap new secret products, but keep your eye on the ukeleles.
There will be 1,419 exhibits to browse and around 100 concerts and performances with expected appearances by: Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne; Brian Wilson
; John Mayer; Tommy Lee; Dave Navarro; Band from TV
, featuring Scott Grimes, James Denton, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar and Bob Guinney; teen pop-star Greyson Chance; Michelle Phillips; Tito Jackson and Jermaine Jackson; Kenny Loggins; Lisa Loeb; Weird Al Yankovic; Jazz musician and former Yankee Outfielder, Bernie Williams; Jeff “Skunk” Baxter; Phil Ramone; Skid Row
, Phil Collen; a killer Living Legends Jam Session line-up; the WWE’s Chris Jericho (a pro-wrestler that sings); and more.
So if you are going to be at the NAMM show, Joe Lamond’s best suggestion is …wear comfortable shoes.
Harvey Sid Fisher