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29th January 2017

metal talk
Words: Steve Göldby, Pictures: Jesse Grant, Getty Images

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The world's music industries gathered in Anaheim, California last week for the annual NAMM Show, and some mind-boggling products were on display featuring the very best in current music technology and innovation.

Within the industry, new connections were made and current relationships strengthened, along with the creation and establishment of new business opportunities between passionate, established, and entrepreneurial exhibiting brands, registrants and artists.

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An aerial view from the MetalTalk helicopter

Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO, told us:

"The NAMM Show gathers our industry as a global community, which in turn drives opportunity. This event once again proved to be a stable, reliable platform for growth, both in business and in professional development, as well as in solidarity to share our common vision in creating a world of more music makers."

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Robbie Robertson speaks onstage with NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond during the 2017 NAMM Show Opening Day after receiving the Music for Life Award

Over 7,000 brands and a record 1,779 exhibiting companies could be found across the robust three show floors.

"NAMM is the single greatest spot to get in touch with the people we need to connect with and show them the products that matter," shared Paul Nunn, of Ultimate Support.

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Richie Sambora and Orianthi of RSO perform onstage during the 2017 NAMM Show Opening Day

The 3% increase in exhibiting companies is a direct reflection of the expanded capabilities, innovations, and new ways in which people and companies are making music today. This trend was also demonstrated in new exhibiting brands, which accounted for a growth of 2% over last year. The energy was palpable and provided a wealth of opportunities to set products before an international stage of artists, media, and attendees.

Alex Auxier of Orange Amps told us: "NAMM is the only place in the world where all the distributors and dealers come together, so we get a huge chunk of business done every year here and it gives us a strong way to kick off the year."

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Brad Whitford, Alice Cooper, Robert DeLeo, Johnny Depp, Joe Perry and Glen Sobel backstage at the TEC Awards during NAMM

"We're always on the lookout for new brands we can take into distribution, fun and unknown brands to come into the European market," said Julien Bitoun of Woodbrass, France. "NAMM is the place to do that."

Joy Cafiero of Kala says that it's all about the connections: "It's the largest music trade show to be part of. We come mainly for the connections; everyone comes to one place and we can all do business together."

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Ronnie Spector performs onstage

Tom Sumner of Yamaha echoed the positive sentiments: "Yamaha had its best NAMM show ever. The Yamaha display was packed with attendees including dealers, educators, artists and members of the press. Attendees were wowed by our booth and most of them stayed to catch individual demonstrations play with our gear and see a performance on our stage. We exceeded every goal we set for the show and were happy to see our dealers' positive mood."

For Conn-Selmer's Renee Jones, this year's show again proved to be the ideal platform for launching new products, and the ideal place for getting business done. "NAMM is a great opportunity for us to launch new products and get together with our dealers, both domestic and international. This has become more and more an international show, so we can use it as a place to share new information while also building the relationships that are so critical to the industry."

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John Petrucci, Steve Morse and Steve Lukather

Ben Parker of Teton Guitars said: "The reason we always come back to NAMM is that we get to see so many people that are interested in our products, meet new dealers, and find opportunities to sell our guitars in new markets."

Craigie Zildjian shared the same sentiment: "The connections we make and the energy we feel at NAMM is nothing like any other place we go."

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Bet you never thought you'd see Stevie Wonder on MetalTalk

For both domestic and international buyers, the show continues to serve as a one-stop shop to meet with exhibitors, reaffirm relationships, and enthusiastically stock stores with products that music-makers are seeking.

NAMM U offered more than 50 sessions focused on transformative business know-how, leading strategies, and tips for music industry professionals and businesses of all sizes.

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Holy Guitars... The Powerchord Due

In a week of rare wild weather in Southern California, the industry came together in the spirit of creating more music-makers. Jim DeBardi of Moog offered his perspective:

"NAMM is not for us, it's for them, the people we get to speak to face-to-face. Everyone is here because of a common connection on how to express ourselves. It is about having some sort of tool or process to express yourself."

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Big names, big noise, big days...


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