NAMM Day One was…awesome! It never ceases to amaze me the adrenaline charge you have whilst at NAMM and so like Christmas morning, I sprang from the bed for Day Two (OK, maybe more like, “Morning already? Get the defibrillator!). 

Let me take a second to mention how where you’re staying and parking can affect your NAMM experience. Admittedly, I was super lucky to be staying at the Anaheim Hilton which is immediately next to the Anaheim Convention Center where NAMM is held and where a lot of NAMM festivities occur. And the Marriott is right across the street. Stages are set up in the lobby of each hotel and in the courtyards in between, so non-stop music is everywhere. Bottom line, if you’re at one of these two hotels, you are right there at NAMM and you don’t have to worry about parking – which is a nightmare. If at all possible, try to stay at one of these two spots – or at one of the other nearby hotels. Even crashing on someone’s floor is surprisingly comfy. 

Again, the NAMM U Breakfast is the free meal deal of the day and for Day Two, author and jazz guitarist Josh Linkner’s topic of the day was “Unleashing Innovation – Turn Big Ideas Into Results” and we could all use more of that. Linkner is a four-time tech entrepreneur, a New York Times best-selling author, and a jazz guitarist. His presentation was geared toward the retailer with practical advice and creativity to start using immediately to get your business on the right track for 2016. 

Inside NAMM ShowWith a happy tummy and words of wisdom ringing in my ears, off I went to once again to begin the adventurous trek through the halls of NAMM. 

Day Two is total Game On! By this point, Day One is so yesterday, that Day Two you want to make every second count. One thing that really helped me in navigating the show was downloading the NAMM App. It cost me a $1, and was worth every penny (times a million). As you’re still getting your bearings straight, it helped me countless times find what I was looking for. As recommended, have some kind of plan for what and who you want to see. For me, I had things big and small to see from the major music manufacturers to the boutique guitar and accessories companies, as well as enjoying the many talented performers and catching up with music industry professionals. 

Early in the day, I was able to catch up with Sarah Burch of Rock and Roll High Guitars. She, together with luthier Paul Janowski and brother Aaron Burch, make lightning bolt shaped guitars actually designed for kids! Not only do they look super cool, they’re largely kid proof and are easy and fun to play. What else could an aspiring rocker want? Next, I caught up with guitarist Shian Hirsh who was performing at Relish Guitars. 

At this point, it was off to see the vast awesomeness of NAMM as I checked out the latest from industry shakers Alfred Music, Hal Leonard, Orange Amplifiers, Gibson, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, PRS, Taylor, Kay Vintage Reissue, Danelectro, Rickenbacker, Traveler Guitar, Nik Huber, Warrior, Cigar Box Guitars, Daisy Rock Guitars, Fret King and Tiptonic to name a few.  So many new and exciting products were introduced this year – a guitar lover’s dream! To check out some of these products, visit our NAMM 2016 link HERE.  

For the day’s interviews, I was able to chat with the exotic Amy May, the outlaw Glitter Rose, and the sultry Ali Handel about what brought them to NAMM, what they have going on, and how people can find out the latest information about them. 

For me, the crown jewel of Day Two was without question, the She Rocks Awards hosted by Women’s International Music Network founder, Laura B. Whitmore, and Alice Cooper’s guitarist, Nita Strauss.  What made the awards show even more glamorous was the Red Carpet event beforehand. A number of music industry legends and stars stretched their legs and paused for the copious flashing cameras. From Laura Whitmore herself to NAMM President, Joe Lamond, NAMM Director of Public Affairs. Mary Luehrsen, Dinah and Fred Gretsch, Jennifer Batten, Chaka Khan, Maricela Juarez of Seymour Duncan, Mindy Abovitz of Tom Tom Magazine, Cathy Carter Duncan, Amy Heidemann of Karmin, Chalise Zolezzi of Taylor Guitars, Pauline France of WIMN, Gaby Moreno, Paula Salvatore, Mary Desmond from American Idol, Serena Laurel, author of 108 Rock Star Guitars, Lisa Johnson, and many, many more.

RELATED STORY:  2016 She Rocks Awards Honor Women in Music During NAMM Show 

Suffice it to say that The She Rocks Awards was spectacular! The speakers, the awards, the silent auction, and the performances were inspiring, heartfelt and, as the name says, “She Rocks”!  It was truly inspiring to see and hear from so many amazing women that have contributed greatly to the music industry and to see them being acknowledged for the legacies they have created.  I left with such a wonderful feeling and it was an absolute pleasure to attend. The She Rocks Awards is a definite “must see” while at NAMM and it is growing every year! 

As you can only imagine, when you’re at NAMM you do a lot of walking. I brought a more sturdy “man bag” with me this year as last year’s internally combusted! You also remember to carry water, snacks and a gabillion business cards because you’ll need all of these items. And lunch? What’s that? 

To finish rocking out the evening was the Van Halen tribute band, Hot For Teacher, in the Anaheim Hilton NAMM Stage…needless to say, they erupted! 

Lucky for me I just had to navigate the elevator with the opening and closing doors and all those buttons to get back to my room. 

NAMM Day Two was a…WINNER!

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