Nashville, TN (June 26, 2008)–NAMM has announced the final registration and exhibitor numbers for its 2008 summer convention, which was held last week in Nashville. At show close, NAMM reported a 36 percent increase in registration from last year’s event in Austin, with 17,473 total registrants for the three-day event, including a 45 percent increase in international registrants.
Exhibitor numbers were also up at the Nashville Convention Center, with 483 companies displaying and demonstrating products. Exhibitors had additional options this year–they could opt for smaller tabletop booth spaces on the show floor or even set up shop in “The Club” area, bringing some products and literature, and hosting meetings–without the cost of a full exhibit space.
“The Club has been really nice because it’s a quiet place where you can find a table, some chairs, people can sit down and get a load off their feet and you can have some good meaningful business and a great meeting of the minds, so it’s really worthwhile,” said Bob Jesperson, Kaman Music, Bloomfield, CT. “We have a smaller booth at this show, so obviously we’re not able to show a lot of our products, but it’s not really a big product show, it’s more of a planning show for the holidays and fall business, so for sitting down and planning, the quiet atmosphere of The Club is more conducive. It’s been good steady business.”
Each day featured professional development opportunities from start to finish, including the popular “State of the Industry” and “Best in Show” breakfast session and several retailer-focused sessions until show close in the NAMM Idea Center. “We came together to celebrate the importance of local community music stores in this country, and the feedback tells us that many dealers found the business and education they were looking for,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “NAMM is grateful for the opportunity to provide the venue for both manufacturers and retailers who are ready to do business for a successful fall and holiday sales season.”
There were more than 150 first-time exhibitors who created connections with dealers. “This was the first time anyone has seen or heard of our product before,” said Mike Krumholz, Dave Chiappetta Enterprises, Brooklyn, NY. “We’ve been sitting on it for five years. The show was unbelievable; we showed the product on Friday, and by Saturday we were distributing it internationally.”
“The show has actually surpassed my wildest dreams,” said Jim Normandy, Normandy Guitars, Salem, OR. “I had no idea the stuff that would happen, especially all the press interest I’ve had. I got two endorsement deals that I worked out with stars. I just launched the company this year. It was great timing on all cylinders. I love Nashville; the folks here are awesome.”
The show’s host city of Nashville was happy to see the industry return, with many proactive dealers who left their local communities in search of new products, ideas and a glimpse at upcoming industry trends. “I came here to prepare for Christmas,” said Ken Covington of Ken’z Guitars & Accessories, Georgetown, TX. “I think Summer NAMM is more important because you come here to prepare for the holidays.”
“It’s been extraordinarily fun,” said Jon White, a buyer for Gorilla Guitars, Columbus, GA. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff I hadn’t seen before. I’m getting to play stuff I’d only seen in catalogs but never got my hands on, so that’s helping us out with placing orders. That part’s been really great. Nobody’s rushed me. Everybody’s had plenty of time to talk.”
Several exhibitors also shared positive feedback about the traffic at the show. “Despite the challenging economic environment leading up to the show, we were pleased to see healthier attendance,” said Douglas Hanson, Roland U.S., Los Angeles, CA. “Dealers seemed upbeat and enthusiastic about our new products. We’re happy to be back in Nashville, and looking forward to the continuing success of the Summer NAMM Show.”
“The show was fantastic–it exceeded our expectation,” said David Kay, Taylor Guitars, El Cajon, CA. “Traffic was up, our dealers were buying–positive, positive, positive for us, so it’s been really a fantastic show. I think Nashville has a really musical vibe, I think that’s what the show needs; it needs some kind of a musical connection. This is a home for music. It’s a home for the show.”
“It was great–Friday and Saturday were incredibly busy,” said Athan Billlias, Yamaha, Buena Park, CA. “We had great dealer turnout; lots of local dealers, but also many dealers from around the country. Our expectations coming into the show, to be honest, we didn’t know what to expect. We looked at it positively. We were thrilled with the turnout.”
“It was great–great show, great people, and we had the opportunity to show some new product,” said Brent Eschew, Stage Ninja, Indianapolis, IN. “The products were well-received. I’m excited to be back here once again and excited to get back to work.”
“The show’s gone well,” said David Andris, Music Marketing, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “Yesterday was a lot busier than we thought it would be; Friday we had a lot of heavy [business]. This show gives us more face time with the buyers. You get to know them personally and have the time, so if a VIP comes by, you can really talk to them seriously.”
The 2009 NAMM Show will take place January 15-18, 2009 in Anaheim, CA.