2020 Winter Namm
Thursday, January 16th – Sunday,
January 19th 2020
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA
Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
The multi story Anaheim Convention Center was over flowing with musical buzz recently as the venue once again played host to the annual Namm (Nation Association of Music Merchants) Convention. The trade show which showcases the latest and most innovative editions to the music instrument market is the place to be for dealers, vendors, artists and anyone else lucky enough to be able to attend the industry only event. Over the course of four days the biggest companies in music instrumentation pull out all the stops to ensure their respective products and brands get noticed amongst the ever growing sea of competitors.
As we made away into the towering Anaheim Convention Center we quickly devised a plan as to how we were going to tackle this at times overwhelming environment. This year we decided to work our way from the top down. Housed on floors two and three were some of the industry’s biggest companies which consisted of Fender, Gibson, Paul Reed Smith and Marshall to name just a few. The Gibson area was easily the most impressive as not only did it sport rows and rows of guitars from its three brands Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer, the large space also sported multiple player stations complete with headphones allowing attendees to check out the instrument of their choice in a somewhat isolated space. Having set ups like this are a must in an environment where the outside din of noise causes even standard person to person conversation to become difficult. At the end of the room was a full performance stage which over the course of the four days was graced by several Gibson artists including Slash, Lzzy Hale and Phil X of Bon Jovi.
Fender also sported a noteworthy space which took on more of a museum type approach complete with velvet ropes and ornate framing of some of its premier instruments. Attendees also could catch a glimpse on the new George Harrison “Rocky” Stratocaster guitar which was showcased upon a spinning day-glow background which teased the viewer’s senses. Making our way down the escalators to the main floor we casually passed the likes of Dave Amato of Reo Speedwagon and Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult talking with attendees about some of their latest projects and happenings.
Floors two and three are tame compared to the main floor which houses not only stringed instruments but also percussion, brass instrumentation and various other musical odds and ends. You never know who or what you will stumble upon when wandering around the cavernous hall. Trekking from front to back we took in displays by companies such as Ace Products Group, Keisel guitars, Kemper Profiling, SJC Drums and Zildjian cymbals. While navigating the semi-chaotic walks ways to each of these booths we inadvertently bumped into the likes of Skidrow bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave “Snake “Sabo, as well as Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, guitarist Devin Townsend and bassist Victor Wooten who was dazzling onlookers during one of several demo’s he had scheduled.
As the weekend slowly came to a close we left the Anaheim Convention center with tired legs, ringing ears and wish list’s a mile long. Year after year Namm continues to raise the bar not only with the amount of exhibitors they showcase but also in how the event organizers handle the ever growing crowds. Security checks were fast and efficient as was badge registration and pick up resulting in very few if any lines to wait in. You would think with an event this big there would be a few hiccups along the way and, if there was anything like that attendees were unaware as the event had a comfortable, somewhat stress free feel that even the city of Anaheim itself was in on as many area business’s were offering discounts to convention attendees which was really great.
Needless to say MediaMikes.com had a great time covering this year’s event and the only thing we would change is to be able to find more time during the next event to take it all in as there is just so much cool stuff going on you don’t want to miss anything.