What is NAMM and why is it important?

NAMM is a big deal for music brands. It’s the largest platform in the world for companies to demonstrate their products to dealers, distributors and most importantly, you, the consumer.

Cian Hodge

Cian Hodge

What is the NAMM show?

There are two annual NAMM shows (Summer NAMM and Winter NAMM), of which Winter NAMM is by far the biggest and most important. The show takes place mid-January in Anaheim, California. Here’s a brief summary of what it is:

  • NAMM stands for the National Association of Music Merchants.
  • Hundreds of musical instrument companies, big and small, congregate to share their latest product releases and prototypes.
  • Influencers, musicians and retailers get hands-on and test out the products.
  • Distributors and retailers can network and organise purchasing for the year ahead.

Why should you care about the NAMM show?

Typically, the event is an industry showcase, but in recent years our customers and fans have grown increasingly interested in the show – and with good reason! Here’s why you should care, and why we go above and beyond to bring you award-winning NAMM coverage year-after-year:

  • Brands, manufacturers and retailers from all over the globe congregate to ‘nerd-out’ about the latest and most exciting products in the musical instrument industry.
  • We bring you thousands of exciting, new products from your favourite brands as they are released. Hot off the press.
  • Winter NAMM is the pinnacle of the musical instrument industry calendar.
  • The show is packed full of your massive musical influencers, celebrities and stars. Artists congregate from all over the world to perform, demo and represent.
  • As a result of the above, Andertons creates loads of fun, entertaining and informative content for you to enjoy. Our team works tirelessly to make new products available to buy on our website, keep you up to date with the latest trends and of course make more videos than you can shake a stick at! You really are spoiled for choice.


What happens at NAMM?

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) brings over 100,000 like-minded people together every January for three days of non-stop musical action. Think of it like a musical instrument Comic-con or E3 geared towards industry professionals. It’s a chance for brands to showcase the very best of what they make.

The organisation was established in 1901 in Anaheim, California. It quickly grew into the most prominent music tech event worldwide, only rivalled by Musik Messe, which takes place in Germany.

Your favourite companies of all backgrounds and disciplines get a booth at the Anaheim Convention Centre to present their latest products. Every household name, from Fender to Zildjian and Roland to Gibson bring their ‘A’ game to one of the loudest, busiest places on earth. But it’s not just the big boys in the music industry who benefit. New and unfamiliar brands are able to boost their following through the massive amount of media coverage.


Who gets to go?

NAMM is only open to those who work in the music industry. It provides the likes of musicians, Youtubers, journalists, retailers, or even a sound engineer from the other side of the world with a platform to create content and test out products.

Influencers are an important part of the NAMM cog in demoing instruments and interviewing their creators. That’s why you’ll see so much social media coverage and an influx of Youtube videos posted on NAMM weekend. It’s the best way to keep followers in the loop with new guitars, synths and all other fantastic instruments without hundreds and thousands more people crowding the venue.

Video content attracts millions of views every year and provides brands with essential media exposure. Whether a guitar is great or not up to scratch, people are going to find out about it pretty quickly. Public reaction to a product can help shape its development in the future.

Lots of high-profile musicians attend NAMM to promote their signature instruments. Overall, celebrities and influencers make up a massive 13% of all people attending the show, so you’re sure to see a familiar face in a video or two.

And of course, you get to see a lot of talented players rock out on cool guitars, drums, keyboards and more. This is the dream holiday destination for gear nerds.

Captain Anderton and musicians


NAMM is as important for retailers and distributors as it is for you guys at home to glimpse what’s happening behind the scenes in the music industry.

Business-people who buy and sell instruments have a chance to browse what they’ll order over the next year. It also acts as a forum to make industry contacts so they’re on the pulse of the hottest upcoming products.

A smaller-scale Summer NAMM takes place in Nashville, with the main purpose of networking and discussing distribution and purchasing. Key product releases, meanwhile, are announced at the more glamorous Winter NAMM. Almost like a Christmas pick-me-up.

NAMM is an all-round winner for retailers, companies and fans. The event now attracts 7000 brands and 10,000 members, 29% from outside the U.S. The music tech industry is bigger than ever and it’s all down to an extremely passionate following.

Check out the latest NAMM Videos

If you enjoyed this read, check out more of our Learn articles!

Cian Hodge
Cian Hodge
Cian is a writer for the Andertons team. He shares his birthday with Muse frontman Matt Bellamy and believes he will one day reach the same level of stardom. Cian is a big metal fan so naturally loves Bare Knuckle pickups and pointy guitars.

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