Photo credit: Jake Klein
By Jake Klein – Guest Writer
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) did it again with this year’s 2017 Winter NAMM show, which took place January 19 – 22, in Anaheim, CA.
Recognized as one of the largest musical trade shows and most important music industry conventions, the NAMM show brings together from some of the top manufacturers to the smallest entrepreneurial companies to show off their latest and greatest music products to buyers and sellers from around the world.
For attendees, the show is four days, but for some of the vendors, it’s more like eight to 10 days. Hotels in surrounding areas begin planning and building for the show months in advance. Vendors and manufacturers begin planning for the next year’s show within days of its finale. With an estimated 95,000 attendees and 1,500+ exhibitors from 90+ countries, this is no small undertaking.
I must say the NAMM team who put together the mobile app are geniuses. I’d be lost without it! The app is like having a personal assistant. As a photojournalist, I needed help. not only to know who was going to be each booth, but also how to find my way around the massive show. The app even has a form of GPS to tell you where you are and where you need to be.
The winter NAMM show takes place every year at the Anaheim convention center just blocks from the famous Disneyland Amusement park.
The NAMM show is more than just your typical convention or trade show. This show is more of an experience. Three large floors of vendors from around the world are only part of the immense room the NAMM show takes up. Each hotel within a few blocks’ radius has several small to large rooms for private demonstrations and hands-on experiences of their products. In addition, each hotel has a stage of some sort with a nonstop lineup of incredible artists performing every type of music night and day.
In addition to thousands of musical instruments from the top manufacturers to small creative single-operation companies, there is quite a large amount of DJ equipment and innovative new products to check out and learn about. In fact, there is an entire “arena” section of the show dedicated to DJ and mobile entertainment products, although some of the bigger name companies are out on the main floor as well.
From DJ controllers to wireless mics and mic cases, NAMM is a great show to see the latest and greatest newest releases before they become available at your favorite local music store.
Being a DJ myself for over 25 years, I was in awe of all the amazing new DJ products, from equipment and controllers to trussing in every size color and shape. Every case, box, bag, crate, stand, and façade, and every light or lighting product from all the major companies were there for your hands-on experience to offer to your customers.
There were also some newcomers to the DJ industry. A newcomer that I had never heard of, but which had a large impressive booth, was a company called MIXARS, which after some research I found out is a subsidiary of the RCF group. They not only had a wide variety of controllers, mixers, and turntables, but also studio recording equipment as well.
Throughout the show, you will see/hear musicians playing instruments and DJs showing their skills on the latest equipment. DJs performing sets were found all over the show, including many of the hotel lobbies. Many of the show floor booths had featured DJ’s performing throughout each day.
As a DJ and photojournalist, getting exclusive looks and hands-on experience with the latest products was a great way to kick off 2017.