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Top Pro Audio Exhibitors Talk NAMM 2020, Part 2

Leading pro audio brands give insight into their return to the NAMM show this year

Following the introduction of its dedicated pro audio section three years ago, the industry has taken to NAMM like never before. PSNEurope hears from some of this year’s top exhibitors about the show’s ever-growing appeal to newcomers and what keeps existing attendees coming back for more…

David Bruml, sales director, Funktion-One

After a successful first year, we decided to return for 2019. It was remarkable to see the development of the show in a year. NAMM 2019 was, undoubtedly, amongst the most positive trade shows in all of my many years of exhibition experience. Such a remarkably diverse mix of people from all sectors of the music industry and beyond—from major musicians, through to top level entertainment venues, tour and event production companies, sound rental users and system integrators.

All trade shows are melting pots of potential connections, but NAMM excelled in this regard—the organizers clearly have a highly developed sense for how to choreograph and stage a great convention. Since being involved with the show we have been highly impressed with the caliber of both its organization and the visitors it attracts. It’s important for Funktion-One to be present with our US distributor, Coherent Distribution, at the US exhibition, and NAMM ticks most of the boxes for us in what we’re looking for from a major trade show. It has now become an established part of our exhibition calendar.

Find Funktion-One and Coherent Distribution, together with FFA Audio and NST Audio in Area ACC North Level 2, booth 18007, where its Vero VX will make its US trade show debut at NAMM 2020, while the booth will also feature the F124 bass enclosure and loudspeakers from the Evo Series.

Will Eggleston, USA technical marketing, Genelec

Going to NAMM is like going to the Mardi Gras of music shows. It’s not just the sounds, but the color and vibrancy of all those who attend. Over the past 24 years, Genelec has remained inside NAMM and seen the changes morph with the times. We began the NAMM journey in a small demo room overlooking Halls B and C, then moved to Hall E for a couple of years where we met more new customers than ever before and then to Hall A which also had great traffic.

Now, with the recent addition of the new ACC North Hall, our position reflects the advancing importance of pro audio and participation at NAMM. NAMM brings us close to our varied customer base, be it basement hobbyist, professional musician, or even the ever-expanding audio production client. It is also held in Southern California, so it is a short drive for customers from the film, video, post-production, TV, etc. sectors to meet with us and check out our latest offerings.

NAMM has grown with the times and attending the show gives us the best opportunity to match faces with names and spend valuable one-on-one time making sure their purchases are best suited for their clients or our users. NAMM is now also the home of the TEC Awards, which has always been an important event for Genelec as we have fortunately had the honor and privilege to be recognized by our peers for Genelec Oy’s hard work, dedication and innovation.

Pascal Dietrich, chief marketing officer, KLANG:technologies

NAMM has become one of the main trade shows to internationally launch new products. The location, the positive vibe, the variety of people and products you can find make it so special and interesting to attend—for both visitors and exhibitors. Especially for KLANG, being a specialist in in-ear monitor mixing, we need to provide hands-on demos for sound engineers and musicians. There is no other trade show offering this opportunity and attracting high class attendees from around the world.

With a stronger focus on pro audio, it offers a highly professional and much calmer atmosphere for valuable in-depth discussion. Emerging collaborations like the Audio Engineering Society bring the educational and workshop part to the show. Of course, KLANG will be contributing to the AES in-ear monitoring academy.

At this year’s NAMM show, KLANG and DiGiCo will be launching exciting new integration options, following the company’s acquisition last year and, of course, there will be a few surprises, too.

James King, director of marketing, Martin Audio

Martin Audio is really looking forward to being back at NAMM after its first foray to the show in 2019. The show, with its additional pro audio focus, support and marketing, has become an instant hit, not only as a US based show but one that is drawing increased international interest. The show’s organizers have won a significant battleground, simply by doing the one thing that too many other shows with arrogant attitudes fail to do: listen. They have been very proactive in understanding the needs and challenges of the pro audio industry and have tried to accommodate this or have provided alternative suggestions wherever possible.

From our perspective, we weren’t ready to embark on a major stand presence, but we were keen to be able to demonstrate our products. As a result, the organizers were supportive of us participating in The Loudspeaker System Showcase in the Arena—which this year will feature our WPS line array and new BlacklineX powered systems—all without the need for a booth.

This year they were also helpful in accommodating us with a meeting room, no. 19317, off the show floor so we could more easily meet with clients and have meaningful discussions away from the louder parts of the show. The show is also the perfect opportunity for brand partnerships and so we have once again tied up with D’Angelico Guitars and their wonderful showcase of established artists and new talent.

Another of our Wavefront Precision models, WPM, will provide sound reinforcement for all performances while in their smaller demo area, BlacklineX Powered will be utilized. We know from conversations with other exhibitors that 2020 will see a record level of attendance internationally as many brands are using both the timing of this event and its growing reputation to be a launch platform for the year and are therefore encouraging their international customers to attend.

John McMahon, SVP president of marketing, Meyer Sound

Meyer Sound has increased its presence at NAMM this year. The dedicated audio hall has been a great draw, so we are expanding with a demo space in 2020. The timing of NAMM is ideal for many of our customers before the 2020 touring and festival circuit begins in earnest. It also gives our North American team a chance to jumpstart the new year ahead of our major European show, ISE, which takes place in February.

Between these two shows, 2020 will launch with incredible momentum, building on the great success of our new ULTRA-X40 point source loudspeaker in 2019. In the demo room, there will be listening opportunities with our ULTRA-X40 point source loudspeaker, the UPQ-D1 loudspeaker, the LINA compact linear line array loudspeaker, and the Amie precision studio monitors.

Since we will be in Southern California in January, we decided to take advantage of the typically beautiful weather with an outdoor terrace space for hospitality. We will welcome attendees to our Sonic Lounge following the demos. We will also be offering a pair of Amie precision studio monitors for show attendees to enter to win. With both the Parnelli Awards and TEC Awards happening alongside NAMM, we can celebrate the successes of the previous year as we launch into the new one. We are honored this year to be up for the Indispensable Technology Audio award for the ULTRA-X40.

Additionally, several of our collaborators are up for recognition. Trade shows in general are a great place to connect with customers from around the world. In a digital world, there is still nothing that generates business like quality face time and listening opportunities. We always welcome the chance to provide listening experiences and find that demos at trade shows can get our latest product heard by a large number of existing and potential customers in a short timeframe.

Paul Tapper, CEO, NUGEN Audio

NAMM represents our single best opportunity annually to connect with our pro audio customers—to hear what’s important to them and showcase the unique technology and tools that NUGEN Audio can offer. We aim our products, support and sales primarily at professionals and semi-professionals within the music industry. NAMM delivers a fantastic, concentrated burst of meetings, planned and unplanned, with exactly those we’re aiming at serving. It is always an amazingly exciting and stimulating time, which generates ideas that take the rest of the year to explore and realize.

At NAMM 2020, the NUGEN Audio booth (14101) will once again be in the ACC North Hall, in the newly created pro audio area. The focus of this area generates considerable benefits for attendees and exhibitors, making it easier for people to find what they are looking for by bringing related solutions together in one space.

Maurice Patist, president, PMC USA

Apart from the fact that January in Southern California is much warmer than it is in the UK, there are many good reasons why it pays for a company like PMC to be at the NAMM show. It is a very well organized show that has become increasingly attuned to the pro audio market. It now attracts a really good cross-section of professional equipment manufacturers and that, in turn, makes it more appealing to a wider range of people. Many of today’s musicians have their own project studios so it makes sense for a big convention like NAMM to cater for all their needs, whether that’s a new guitar or drum kit or a new pair of studio monitors. Also, people come from all over the world to attend NAMM and that’s another advantage for a manufacturer like PMC.

At this show, we can be visible to a much larger audience and meet customers that we might not otherwise reach. As our loudspeaker products are very high quality, we always have an acoustically controlled demo space on our booth (16117) so that visitors can hear how good they are to work with and how quickly you can get ideal results.

As we are working closely with Dolby as a strategic partner for its Atmos immersive audio solution, our NAMM demo room will feature a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos enabled PMC monitoring system that will allow visitors to hear the full benefits of Dolby Atmos music mixing. Indeed, NAMM’s West Coast location is genuinely important to PMC, and for much more serious reasons than just the warm weather.

Matt Czyzewski, president, Renkus-Heinz

NAMM is unique thanks to the intelligent, engaged, and broad audience it serves. While NAMM has always been about the music, its base today is broad thanks to the fact that we experience music in our lives in many different ways: the car, the coffee shop, the office, the local pub, arenas, and on our own personal devices and home systems. Because of this, NAMM serves as a chance to listen to the needs of musicians, integrators, and end users across retail, hospitality, house of worship, and more. It’s an opportunity to find a shared focus on how we all serve the same client: the audience that consumes sound and music. Renkus-Heinz is right in the middle of that shared goal of putting the audience at the heart of professional audio.

At booth 17907, we will be highlighting the ICLive X Series and Directivity Control Series. The reason those two series will be featured is that we see them as collaborative products designed based on feedback we’ve received from the musicians, integrators and end users we’ve met at past NAMM shows.

Mick Olesh, EVP sales and marketing, Waves

Our booth (15302) welcomes all visitors and users, and we recognize that they relish and value the benefit from having Waves product specialists on hand, offering one-on-one demonstrations of new products as well as catalogue items. In addition, Waves features daily presentations by top artists, producers and engineers from every genre out there, that engagingly elaborate on the tools of the trade and invaluable “behind the scenes” tips and tricks.

On the studio front, being able to demonstrate in real time, such products as the Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 plug-in, Waves’ expanding line of virtual instruments and a new line of all-encompassing distortion plug-ins to name but a few—offers an opportunity for users and media contributors to receive first hand in-depth explanations and a rare setting for asking questions on how these tools function and how they benefit the users requirements and workflow. From a business point of view, while today’s phone and video networking technology enables working with people the world over, face-to-face personal meetings have an undisputable added value. Waves’ business involvement with third party brands, especially its technology being used and embedded in numerous branded audio products, makes personal meetings all the more productive. NAMM has become a decisive format for introducing new products and we are excited to introduce an impressive choice of new Waves developments and tools at the January 2020 show. In addition, we look forward to, and cherish, meeting personally with the community of Waves users, learning from the essential feedback they offer us and meeting up with our colleagues within the pro audio industry.

Robert Hofkamp, director of U.S. operations, Void Acoustics

Void Acoustics is again looking forward to showcasing some of its touring, commercial and club professional audio system ranges at NAMM 2020. In its third consecutive year exhibiting at this show, the US team will be based at booth 17603 and deliver daily live demonstrations in the demo hall. NAMM forms an integral part of Void’s annual marketing strategy.

As the first audio industry show of the year, NAMM serves as a great launchpad for releasing new products. The audience turnout is always impressive, with attendees present from all over the world. Year on year, the show continues to grow, and with that growth all exhibitors benefit from exposure to an ever-increasing new customer base and the latest technological developments in the audio industry.

Given NAMM’s popularity and optimal timing at the start of the year, Void uses this show as an anchor point for connecting with existing clients, as well as attracting new customers. The recent addition of the dedicated pro audio halls has made NAMM our number one US show of the year. The timing is brilliant and the show offers us maximum return on our investment.


This story originally appeared on Pro Sound News sister site Pro Sound News Europe with the headline “‘An unparalleled event’: Top pro audio exhibitors talk NAMM 2020.”