While the Summer NAMM show in Nashville was an obvious early casualty of the lockdowns and travel restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is now cautiously looking ahead to its big brother – January 2021's Winter NAMM in Anaheim, California. And its organisers are not planning to sit this one out.
“Now as much as ever, we need to plan on having our gathering of the musical faithful at The NAMM Show in Anaheim," says NAMM Chair and Martin Guitars CEO Chris Martin. "In 2021, the experience may seem different—indeed, life is different—our need to connect is more important than ever!”
Winter NAMM traditionally hosts the biggest gear announcements for the forthcoming year in guitar, bass, drums, tech and more.
The organisers noted the consideration had been made on whether Winter NAMM 2021 could happen at all. "Some have suggested we sit January out and wait until 2022 when the picture will be clearer," NAMM said in a statement released today. "However, the majority have shared the importance of getting the trade together to help the industry rebuild and recover."
For such a global event, it's hard to imagine we'll see the kind of numbers of previous years and it remains to be seen how the event will handle the possible issues of distancing that may still in place into next year. But the organisers' positive tone will certainly please many in the musical instrument industry – especially as NAMM acknowledges the need for a stronger digital element for those companies that can't attend…
"We also understand that for some, attending The NAMM Show will just not be a possibility this time," today's statement added. "We are building out a digital trade show experience that, while of course not the same as being there, will run concurrently with The NAMM Show and provide opportunities to launch new products, gain media exposure and feature enhanced match-making and customer meetups.
"We believe that an industry that comes together to face adversity head-on will be more resilient in the face of the many challenges ahead," the statement adds. "While The 2021 NAMM Show will be different than this past year, it is an important step in helping our members and the industry grow and thrive in the future. It won’t be easy, but as it was once said, “doing the easy thing isn’t always right and doing the right thing isn’t always easy.” With your support and leadership, we know that we can and will succeed together!
For more info on NAMM 2021 head over to namm.org