GroMusic Visits NAMM, the World’s Largest Trade Show in the Music Industry
The National Association of Music Merchants, more commonly known as NAMM, is a nonprofit that has been supporting and strengthening the music industry since 1901 in an extremely successful effort to being a passion for music to the world. Both nationally and internationally, NAMM now includes thousands of companies that make, buy, and sell instruments, gear, and educational tools. This year, GroMusic’s founders, Dominic Melanson and David Franklin, were given the incredible opportunity to attend NAMM’s latest trade show at the Anaheim Convention Center here in Orange County, California.
To say the Anaheim Convention Center is huge would be a massive understatement. It consists of three floors of dozens of halls each, an entire arena, and an additional auxiliary building. The NAMM show overtook the entire expanse of the venue, along with the surrounding hotels. Even with 4 days to roam the halls and buildings, it was impossible to visit every individual booth, panel, and performance. As Dominic described it, “On the first day, we barely got through the first floor of the show. It wasn’t until the end of the day that we realized we had SO much more to see. That was a little daunting and though we were exhausted from the first day, we were still excited to plow through the rest of the show.”
Just how chaotic is such an enormous production? David explained, “While it wasn’t exactly shoulder-to-shoulder crowded everywhere, large groups tended to form at many booths which all had something to show off like a new instrument or piece of technology that begged for attention. The sounds emanating from the various booths gave the impression of a chaotic environment. It took a few minutes to be able to focus in on the different melodies but once I did, it was beautiful. The many instruments there gave the place the aroma of fresh cut wood. Everyone seemed to be excited to be there. It felt like home.”
With so much to see, hear, and experience, Dominic and David focused on companies that dealt with music and educational programs, instruments, and gear. They visited over 100 booths and spoke with over 150 individuals. In the process, they discovered several innovative creations that are changing the face of music education for both adults and children, including toys, speaker building kits, and technological devices that work in conjunction with instruments to help musicians hone their skills and learn new ones. They also had the opportunity to visit a unique panel of “Women in Production” which featured David’s own aunt, Deanne Franklin, an accomplished sound engineer.
While speaking to so many passionate and talented individuals, Dominic and David were also able to share their own passion for GroMusic and were thrilled to find so many members of the industry, both veterans and newcomers, that shared their excitement and were eager to learn more about GroMusic, its current projects, and future endeavors.
What’s the plan for next year’s NAMM show? Although only merchants with products or services to sell can participate as a vendor, GroMusic is aiming to make that a reality by creating a product in which 100% of the profits will benefit GroMusic, while simultaneously hosting a 4-day jam session, contributing not only to the merchant side of the show, but also providing hours of entertainment. So keep your eyes and ears open, because GroMusic is here, loud and proud, with many more experiences, projects, and events that you will not want to miss!