Highlights Of Summer NAMM’s Largest Show In Six Years

NAMMNAMM members rolled into Nashville’s Music City Center July 17-19 finding the largest Summer NAMM in six years.

“NAMM members who attended Summer NAMM are leaving Nashville with a competitive edge to succeed in the second half of the year,” said Joe Lamond, President and CEO of NAMM. “We are grateful to the members who shared their paths to success with their peers during breakfast sessions and the Top 100 Dealers Awards. Together we will continue to strengthen our industry.”

This year’s Summer NAMM featured the most exhibitors since 2006. When the show opened on Thursday (July 17), 438 exhibitors representing 1,510 brands debuted new products. An increase in exhibiting companies expanded the show to two full halls, 25 percent larger than the footprint of last year’s Summer NAMM.

Adding to the convention were 103 new-to-Summer NAMM companies including Hang Over Guitar Straps, Blakhart Guitar Company, and Emerson Custom Guitars. Another 112 companies including Pearl Corporation, KHS, and Orange Amplifiers returned to the showroom after a hiatus. The number of buyers attending Summer NAMM increased 5 percent over 2013, which saw an 8 percent increase over 2012. In total 12,442 people registered for the event.

Singer/Songwriter/Actor Jonathan Jackson and brother Singer/Songwriter Richard Jackson attend Music Industry Day At Summer NAMM. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for NAMM

Singer/songwriter/actor Jonathan Jackson and brother singer/songwriter Richard Jackson attend Music Industry Day At Summer NAMM. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for NAMM

Leading retailers from Japan, Venezuela, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and exhibitors from 12 countries including China, Sweden, and Germany added to the global business opportunities at Summer NAMM. Overall international attendance increased 19 percent over last year’s event.

Recording Artists Chase Bryant and Greg Bates attend Music Industry Day At Summer NAMM. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for NAMM

Recording artists Chase Bryant and Greg Bates attend Music Industry Day At Summer NAMM. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for NAMM

Similar to January’s NAMM Show, the exhibitor mix reflected the full spectrum of music products including woodwinds, percussion, pro audio, recording, publishers and as to be expected in Nashville, a strong showing of fretted string instruments. Pro audio and technology driven exhibitors grew 23 percent, filling up much of the expanded floor space.

Perennially popular acoustic string instruments remain one of Summer NAMM’s star attractions. Attendees crowded C.F. Martin & Co., Taylor Guitars, Gibson Brands, Cordoba Guitars, Deering Banjos, Eastman Guitars, Breedlove, Bedell and Weber Acoustic Instruments to strum the latest instruments. Just off the show floor, NAMM’s new Acoustic Nation stage featured acoustic performances by dozens of artists including Greg Bates, Jonathan Jackson and Enation, The Ukedelics and more.

“Insight,” Wednesday night’s pre-show opening party featured country music icon Vince Gill, his band The Players, and Two Old Hippies’ founder Tom Bedell. They combined musical performances and a lively discussion on the relationship between musicians and their musical instruments.

The world’s best retailers packed Davidson Ballroom Friday night for the Top 100 Dealer Awards. The industry celebrated excellence and innovation as host Ira Dean of the Country trio Trick Pony awarded trophies in eight ‘Best Of’ categories. Enlisting flourishing forward thinkers of music retail, NAMM U’s breakfast and Idea Center sessions tutored attendees on making the most of the industry’s current opportunities.

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Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.

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