Summer NAMM in Nashville…what a weekend!  Beginning on Wednesday evening, July 16, 2014 and ending on Saturday, July 19, 2014, The City of Nashville proudly welcomed the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and all of its industry brethren to its new and beautiful Music City Center with 350,000 square feet of exhibit space…and while I’m not sure how much of that space was swallowed up by our industry’s music exhibitors, it sure seemed like a big chunk was taken by our awesome manufacturers and industry lovers alike. Here’s a quote from an up-and-coming female singer/songwriter, Jenna Paone, when asked about her favorite part of NAMM: ”This is my first NAMM and I love the diversity of the people who come together here and just love music, all kinds of music and all genres…it is so electric!” 

There really was something for everyone. From retailers who could attend educational seminars to learn how to rev up sales through marketing and social media, to up-and-coming female artists who performed their songs in front of the NAMM audience at the She Rocks Showcase hosted by The Women’s International Music Network on the Acoustic Nation Stage, the Songwriter Sesson Live! from Acoustic Nation and SongTown USA where Nashville songwriter Clay Mills and Mad Sun Marketing exec Laura Whitmore conducted a workshop, and, of course, the new product innovations presented by exhibitors. There were so many new product introductions at the many exhibitor booths covering things like the re-invention of the acoustic guitar (Riversong Guitars) to the redesign of the acoustic guitar (Taylor 800 series), as well as other exhibitors showcasing innovations including lesson enhancers for chord formation (ChordBuddy), specialty products for hand cleansing and moisturizing (Guitar Hands), and callus protection (Rock Tips) for fingers jamming on the guitar for beginners and for hard rockers. And, how about this? Customized ear monitors (Ultimate Ears) for performers, yes, I said CUSTOMIZED!  These high-end ear monitors are designed to fit the individual performer’s ears and after the initial fitting session, it takes about a week to receive your custom designed monitors—in a color of your choice!  Once you receive them you will not have to worry about an “awkward fitting” or “falling-out-of-the-ear” plugs any more. Very cool! 

NAMM, which is usually for trade members only, opened their doors on Saturday, July 19, to the public. Musicians who attended were able to gain access to educational seminars held by industry professionals to help them learn to get endorsement deals, obtain secrets from the pros on hit songwriting skills, keys to marketing success for their act, and much, much more! 

All in all, this year’s Summer NAMM had the feel of a rejuvenating industry charging back from a dismal economy where perhaps bare necessities took precedence over qualitative indulgences like…well, okay, like MUSIC!  There, I said it, music is a qualitative indulgence and I love it!!! 

Stay tuned for more to come.

Photo credit:  Getty Images for NAMM

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