The statistics are in, as are the rave reviews from exhibitors at this year’s NAMM Show.

Anaheim, CA (February 1, 2019)—The 2019 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California (Jan 24-27) felt like one of the biggest as Pro Sound News ran from booth to booth to bring you the latest product introductions, news reports and more, but now the stats are in and yes, it was very big.

A jaw-dropping 115,301 registered industry professionals attended this year, visiting over 2,000 exhibiting member companies that represented 7,000 brands. NAMM realigned member badge allocations to ensure an enhanced professional attendance resulted in a more focused business experience resulting in a slight increase in attendees, and achieved a targeted year-over-year increase of 14% in international participants.

Who were those 115,000 people? Attendees were an invited mix of industry professionals including domestic and international retail and distribution buyers and employees, exhibitors, event tech and pro audio buyers and professionals, media, artists, invited guests and The NAMM Foundation GenNext (college music students), Music Education Day (school music administrators and buyers) and Nonprofit Institute (NAMM grantees and affiliates) participants.

NAMM has gone out of its way to court live sound and event tech professionals and companies in recent years with the addition of the ACC North building, which holds most of the pro audio exhibitors, and expanded educational offerings, such as its collaboration with the Audio Engineering Society, AES@NAMM. The result was numerous pro-audio exhibitors who came away from the show with positive experiences.

“For four days, the center of the music universe is right here at The NAMM Show where we’re connecting with our top customers and artists,” said David Glaubke of HARMAN Professional Solutions. “This continues to be the premier event to launch products that will shape how music is made, performed and recorded for years to come.”

For Yamaha, this year’s show marked the first time it expanded upon its usual massive presence at the Marriott, as it moved its pro audio offerings to the ACC North building. “NAMM 2019 was a landmark show for Yamaha. You could say it was a year of growth for us. After witnessing the excitement and energy in the audio-focused North Hall last year, we added a new booth this year dedicated to our Yamaha and Nexo Commercial Audio solutions. We met with lots of old friends and found some new ones at the North Hall booth,” offered Tom Sumner, Yamaha Corporation of America.

The show still provided opportunities for smaller exhibitors as well, such as Spain’s Tierra Audio, which was at NAMM for the first time. Josefina Daly of Tierra Audio noted, “There’s an incredibly interesting group of people that we’ve met. Yesterday, I was talking to a leading studio producer who invited us into his studio to try the device with his current system. And then, a television producer came to talk to us about his show and our product. It’s such an exciting opportunity for us to meet so many different people.”

David Claringbold of d&b audiotechnik remarked that the convention provided a convenient platform for introducing his company’s KSL System: “We launched the KSL System, the new addition to the SL Series, our top range concert line array series. This was d&b audiotechnik's most significant product release outside of Germany in the company’s history. We chose The NAMM Show for a launch of this stature because the timing and location of NAMM is so well suited to our global market.”

The ACC North building continued to be a draw for the pro-audio industry, which was just what exhibtors wanted. Lynx Studio Technology’s Albert Margolis noted, “The traffic that comes through tends to be highly qualified professionals of the trade who are using our equipment or could be using our equipment.”

Andy Munitz of Sony Pro Audio said, “I love this show, there are so many types of customers that come through, people that have used our products for years and love them and people that also want to learn about the new products constantly. We have video people recording performers, engineers, singers, musicians, you have quite the cross-section and that’s great for allowing us to promote our product and of course at Sony since we make so many different kinds of products.”

Part of the convention’s draw for many pros are the 400-plus educational sessions offered, including many aimed at pro audio endeavors

TEC Tracks offered big-picture sessions to uncover topics ranging from building a profitable home studio to a keynote from engineer Chris Lord-Alge. Other highlights included “The Future of Music” with Pro Sound News columnist Craig Anderton; Mr. Bonzai interviewing Danny Kortchmar for his inside perspective on classic records, classic artists, and the highs and lows of the music business; “Pioneers of Analog Synths,” a special panel presentation by Michelle Moog-Koussa; and “Prince: The Making of a Legend,” with the original arranger from Prince’s team, Brent Fischer, who, with his late father Dr. Clare Fischer, collaborated directly with Prince over three decades. TEC Tracks also brought together a who’s who of presenters, including Alan Parsons, Al Schmitt, Michael Beinhorn, Ed Cherney, George Massenberg, Eddie Kramer, Jack Douglas, Ross Hogarth, and Frank Filipetti.

AES@NAMM Pro Sound Symposium: Live & Studio returned for its second year. The four-day international symposium offered seven Training Academies and related sessions on line-array technologies, microphones for studio and stage, live-sound mixing consoles, wireless systems and studio environments, in addition to tutorials on system measurement and optimization, plus informative and intimate sessions with pros hosted by veteran FOH engineer Robert Scovill and studio guru Bobby Owsinski.

David Scheirman, AES past president and AES executive committee liaison for AES@NAMM offered, “AES@NAMM was again a successful and inspiring event. With over 200 dynamic sessions available, attendees were able to follow studio production and live sound reinforcement signal paths from mic to mixer and DAW, through hardware and software DSP and control, and on through digital networks to amps and speakers. Many thanks are due to the expert presenters and hands-on trainers gathered together by our program team and our Symposium Supporters. Industry career professionals and entry-level attendees alike left the event ready to implement practical knowledge uniquely provided by AES@NAMM 2019.”

The 2020 NAMM Show will return to Anaheim, California January 16-19.

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) • www.namm.org