Summer NAMM keeps music industry strong

George Clinton performs on stage during the American Eagle Awards honoring the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum George Clinton, and, Vince Guaraldi at Music City Center on July 18, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for NAMM)

From insightful, business-advancing professional development sessions and networking events, to the latest in new gear from established and emerging brands, the music products and pro audio industries convened here in Nashville last week for Summer NAMM (July 18-20), the industry’s annual mid-year gathering. NAMM members prepared for the year ahead through buying new products and making all-important reconnections on the show floor. Independent retail members advanced their market opportunity through professional development sessions reflecting the continued evolution of service business opportunities of lessons, rentals, repairs and installations.

“Summer NAMM seemed to highlight the important role of both the manufacturer and the dealer in maintaining a strong musical ecosystem,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO. “While the marketplace is evolving rapidly, our manufacturer and retail members are adapting and finding strength in better understanding each other and finding new and innovative ways to work together to better serve the music-making community.”

The industry cross-section of retail and commercial members spanning music products, pro audio and technologies welcomed 16,001 members, a 7% increase in attendees, and notably, accounted for a 32% increase in international attendees. The show counted over 1,500 brands presented by 500 total exhibitors which reflected this interchange representing all facets of the industry, including AVID, BOSS, Hal Leonard, TransAudio, Martin Guitar, Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, and a collection of leading plug-ins at Software. NAMM. New exhibitors accounted for nearly 200 companies and included the likes of British Drum Company, GO Pedal Boards, Maton Guitars, Whitestone Audio Instruments, and many others.

Professional development opportunities abounded throughout Music City Center with NAMM U and TEC Tracks. Before the show officially opened, retail professionals of all levels of expertise took part in the Retail Training Summit: a mini-conference that dove into the most relevant and critical areas for music retail success. Once the show opened, members started each day with a NAMM U Breakfast Session.

Retail members seeking the latest best practices and tips to supercharge retail music stores gathered at the NAMM Idea Center. TEC Tracks on Thursday and Friday helped professionals take their careers to the next-level. Saturday offered a robust lineup of sessions curated for emerging artists to build successful — and sustainable — careers.

Thursday evening, at the 36th Annual American Eagle Awards, the National Music Council honored funk legend George Clinton, the late beloved “Peanuts” composer and jazz piano giant Vince Guaraldi, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Pianist George Winston offered a tribute in honor of Guaraldi and performed two of his iconic songs from “Peanuts.” Country hit-maker John Rich offered a touching tribute in honor of Clinton, and singer-songwriter Liz Rose presented the Country Music Hall award. Friday, the industry gathered to honor their peers at the Top 100 Dealer Awards. Saturday, Summer NAMM opened to the public with the Make Music Experience. For more information about NAMM, please visit the official website at www.namm.org

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