REVIEW: NAMM Show 2016

The annual NAMM Show was held at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 21-24, 2016. For those of you who aren’t familiar with NAMM, it stands for the National Association of Music Merchants. The non-profit organization is known for their popular trade shows in support of the music products industry. The NAMM Show 2016 was yet another success, featuring the newest innovations in the music instrument industry and giving recognition to the people in the music industry who are currently making a difference.

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The NAMM Show was the perfect way to begin my last semester of college. When I decided I wanted to work in the music industry, I knew I was consciously signing my life away to a busy work schedule with long hours and little free time. So why do it? Getting to attend this convention reminded me of exactly why I knew I as destined to make an impact in this industry.  Although I could only attend the last two days of the convention since I had school during the first half of the NAMM Show, I made sure to intake all that I could from the rest of the weekend.

While entering the convention, it was like I got hit with a wave of equal excitement and confusion. I didn’t know where to begin! Wherever you walk through, you’re surrounded by exhibitors and like-minded people who are trying to share how their products are there to revolutionize the industry in some way. You meet some incredibly talented people by just walking through the guitar section or the saxophone section. You’re surrounded by a flurry of polyrhythms as you walk through the percussion section. And for musicians, you suddenly acquire this itch to make music as you walk through the recording equipment section and much more.

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Photo courtesy of Ghetty Images.

After a long day of walking around, I had the chance to enjoy the live music performances. Saturday night I was treated to one great act after another. The Legends Concert featured artists formally from iconic bands such as Chicago, Toto, and more. The NAMM Hilton Stage had a crazy good start of the night with some funk and soul from LMT Connection. Following right after was Muriel Anderson and Mino Cinelu with some soulful classical guitar fusion and Union Hobos who brought me back to some rock & roll. I ended my night seeing Scott Wilkie, whose stage was packed with people who wanted to see his incredible keyboard skills and contemporary jazz sounds.

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From the perspective of a college student trying to find her place in the music industry, I got the most out of the NAMM Show via the great panels and guests speakers throughout the weekend.  From Success Strategies for Women, Career Advice, Making a Living, and more, there was a never ending hub of knowledge everywhere I went. At one of the panels, a speaker stated that “The best people you’ll ever meet are in the music industry,” and after attending this convention, I believe it! I was surrounded by like-minded people who I could look up to and learn from.  I left the NAMM Show that weekend feeling revitalized, reminded of why I was drawn to work in this industry.

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