The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) hosts two large trade events every year – ‘The NAMM Show’ and the ‘Summer NAMM Show’. Allowing manufacturers of musical instruments and pro audio to showcase their newest innovations, these huge occasions are attended by thousands of retailers, artists and industry insiders that are keen to learn about the latest and greatest gear.
However, while Winter NAMM is arguably the flagship event, Summer NAMM still draws established brands and a large audience. So, what are the main differences between these two seasonal events? Let’s find out!
Winter NAMM Show
Winter NAMM, which is often referred to as simply ‘The NAMM Show’, is the larger of the two events. In terms of venue space, the amount of exhibitors and general attendance, the Winter NAMM Show dwarfs its Summer counterpart.
Where is the Winter NAMM Show?
Taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, over 90,000 guests flock to the Winter NAMM Show every year. Its location can be attributed to its healthy attendance records, with Anaheim just a 45-minute drive from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This makes it very accessible to visitors from all over the world, not just to US citizens.
Unfortunately, members of the public cannot visit The NAMM Show. It is exclusive only to persons that work within the musical instrument and technology industry. Of course, many artists get invited on behalf of the brands that they are endorsed by too. And ultimately, Winter NAMM is an excellent networking opportunity for all guests.
When is the Winter NAMM Show?
The NAMM Show occurs during the last weekend of every January, spanning three days from the Friday to the Sunday. Its time of year is appropriate for the hundreds of brands that exhibit. This is because it allows companies to set the precedent for their launches over the following 12 months.
Some of the bigger brands even unveil their entire catalogue for the calendar year, and not just a handful of products. Ibanez is a prime example, overhauling most of its range and constantly developing its lines year-on-year.
Which brands exhibit at the Winter NAMM Show?
Speaking of bigger brands, most class-leading companies will have a stand at the Winter NAMM Show. There are exceptions of course, with Gibson infamously deciding not to exhibit at the 2018 event. Of course, smaller companies also use The NAMM Show as an opportunity to gain exposure, especially with the huge amount of YouTube coverage.
Here at Andertons Music Co. we pride ourselves on providing the best NAMM coverage around. Informative yet somewhat informal, we present our NAMM videos with the same light-hearted humour that makes our regular videos so popular. To make sure that you don’t miss a single launch during the 2019 event, subscribe to Andertons TV!
Summer NAMM Show
While The NAMM Show draws the most attention, Summer NAMM is still a significant event. Roughly a quarter of the size of Winter NAMM, the Summer trade show is still well-attended and features a number of renowned companies.
Where is the Summer NAMM Show?
The Summer NAMM Show is hosted at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee; “the home of country music”. Of course, this doesn’t exclusively make Summer NAMM a country-themed show! However, its location is fitting for music fans, who can appreciate the nightlife and the history of Tennessee’s capital city.
Just like its Winter counterpart, the public cannot attend Summer NAMM. As there is limited space at this particular venue, even more so than at the Anaheim Convention Center, there simply isn’t the capacity to sell tickets. However, you can qualify for a badge if you work within the industry. At the 2018 event, there were roughly 15,000 attendees.
When is the Summer NAMM Show?
Summer NAMM takes place six months after The NAMM Show, in June/July. Occurring over an entire weekend too, Summer NAMM is seen as an opportunity for companies to launch new gear at what is considered a less critical time of the year.
The Summer NAMM Show also gives brands a chance to release products that may have required extra development, which weren’t quite ready in time for the main Winter show.
Which brands exhibit at the Summer NAMM Show?
The smaller scale of the Summer NAMM Show means that there is limited exhibitor space. Therefore, not as many brands will attend the event for logistical reasons. However, lots of industry-leading manufacturers still like to have some presence at the event. Particularly if they have a number of noteworthy releases!
Although Winter NAMM is a fantastic hub for networking, Summer NAMM puts far more focus on this. This is another reason why high-profile brands will have a stand or at least members of their staff on the floor, available for meetings and professional collaborations.
The NAMM Top 100 Dealer Awards
Despite Summer NAMM being the more modest of the two shows, it does however feature the star-studded ceremony for the coveted ‘Top 100 Dealer Awards’. Recognising retailers that have made a difference, winners are chosen for seven ‘best of’ categories. This is conducted by an independent panel of judges and industry experts.
For the last two consecutive years, Andertons has received NAMM’s ‘Best Online Engagement’ award. This was predominantly for our work through our popular Andertons TV YouTube channel, and in 2018 we went one better!
Taking home the prestigious ‘Dealer of the Year’ trophy, the first for any non-US company, this recognition from NAMM has cemented our place as one of the world’s leading musical instrument retailers.
Want to learn more?
If you’re keen to stay up-to-date with other matters within the musical instrument industry, check out more of our ‘Industry’ articles by clicking here. And if you’re looking for news on 2019’s main event, check out our dedicated NAMM 2019 page!