The 2010 NAMM Show: Rebounding Numbers
Rebounding Numbers, New Exhibitors, and an Overall Upbeat Vibe in Anaheim
“While no one is predicting a quick turnaround, our Members who attended NAMM seized the high ground of the highly anticipated recovery,” notes NAMM CEO Joe Lamond, and his thoughts are echoed by many of the exhibitors whom we spoke with in Anaheim.
“Many of us walked into NAMM still nervous about the economy,” observes MXL Microphones’ Mary Ann Giorgio. “But four days later, we walked out of the show feeling better about the future. Our booth was consistently busy and attendees seemed more optimistic and inquisitive about new product than the previous year. It’s naïve to say that we’re out of the woods but if this year’s NAMM is any indication, we may all be breathing just a little easier in 2010.”
Marc Boomer of Dana B Goods adds, “I agree that the vibe was more upbeat and positive. There was more interest in our pedal and mic lines than in the past. But there were less new dealer inquiries this year. It was good to see our old friends and dealers ordering up, though, for sure.”
For the most part, numbers back up these cuatiously optimistic sentiments with NAMM reporting 87,569 registrants (up two percent from 2009) and 1,373 exhibitors at this year’s winter gathering (including just under 250 first-time exhibitors — a NAMM show record).
While most seemed to be in agreement as to the overall “tone” in Anaheim (“positive” and “upbeat” were already the most overused words by dinnertime, Thursday), many did note that actual dealer presence on the convention floor seemed lacking. Peter Choi of Kahler International says, “The only reason our company attended Winter NAMM 2010 was to show the industry that we were still alive and that we had made it through the Economic Recession of 2009. We were expecting a very low turn out and no new interest in our line, much like Summer NAMM 2009. On the contrary, this show ended up being one of our best shows. We picked up two huge international Distributors in China/Malayasia. Our product was seen in more booths than ever before and our future looks bright. However, buyers and retailers were pretty much non-existent. The traffic at our booth was very slow and no one placed any orders within the USA. This is the first time at a NAMM show that this has happened for us.”
But, as Grace Newman of Connolly Music adds, even shifting attendance trends can be taken advantage of and, again, the overall picture seems to be looking up: “While dealer attendance did seem to be down, we felt that what we might have missed in quantity, we gained in quality as visitors were committed, positive and purchasing. Optimism appeared to reign supreme, and were able to generate significant interest around our programs and new products. 2010 is already off to a pretty good start and we’re hearing the same for many of our dealers as well.”