School Music Industry Convenes in Tucson…”Numbers slightly down from last year,” and “cautiously optimistic” are becoming two of the most oft-repeated phrases in the MI world this year. While such statements may not represent breaking news at this point, it would be fair to report that the tone at this year’s NASMD Convention truly was optimistic (despite those predictably “slightly down” figures).
Established in 1985, BG Franck Bichon is one the world’s leading producers of woodwind accessories, with agents selling its products in 80 countries worldwide. The company thrives with mom and pop store values and continues to grow, partnering with Yamaha and American Way Marketing. MMR spoke with Franck Bichon, founder of the Lyon, France based company, and discussed his thoughts on the MI industry, and BG’s future and philosophy.
Taking a break from the all too familiar “wow, the economy sure is awful” perspective on business, MMR took the opportunity to focus on microphone sales this month, surveying almost 3,000 of our readers to gauge the market. Not that microphone sales are exactly “booming” or “recession proof,” but it does represent relatively vibrant segment of the MI world. Why? Built-in customer base. For many, microphones aren’t a luxury or an option; they’re a necessity. If you’re a gigging or recording musician, you pretty much need to own at least one mic. Of course, if you’re putting on performances of any type at a venue of any sort (club, church, arena, school), or working in a recording studio, you also need mics – and plenty of them.
The recently concluded Retail Print Music Dealers (RPMDA) Salt Lake City convention was more typical of a “gathering of the clan” than a trade show and seminar session, as dealers and suppliers met and exchanged more hugs than handshakes during the three-day meet held April 29 to May 2nd. The official count was 233 attendees with 126 print dealers and 107 associate members. Typical of the times, attendance was down approximately ten percent from last year’s meeting in Boston. As in the past, the group had an international flavor with registrants from Canada, France, and Germany, as well as the U.S. Two of the highlights were a special performance for RPMDA members by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, arranged by local print dealer Ruby Beeson of Best in Music, and the appearance of “Sesame Street’s” Bob McGrath, who recently completed his 38th year on the PBS series. McGrath’s appearance was sponsored by NAMM, which is a major supporter of the “Sesame Street” show.
“It’s about impulse buys. Some days, it seems like [accessories] are the only things that move.” Orange may be the “new black” and, for stylish ladies, it’s possible that nothing tops off a fancy ensemble like the perfect purse or a pair of earrings, but in the world of MI retail, “accessories” has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with maintaining a steady profit flow, even in challenging economic times.