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KNAC.COM Recaps The 2023 NAMM Show

By Krishta Abruzzini, Pacific Northwest Writer
Monday, May 15, 2023 @ 9:59 AM

April 13-15, 2023

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All Photos By Krishta Photography

As we are seeing the pandemic getting further away with each new day and year, The NAMM show continues to inch its way back into normalcy. The music products, pro-audio and entertainment technologies trade show held yearly had nearly 46k attendees in 2022 and over 46k in 2023, which is more than half less of the usual attendance in pre-pandemic years.

"This year will be 20-percent bigger for us than June 2022," says outgoing president and CEO of Carlsbad-based NAMM - short for National Association of Music Merchants. He says, "But it will by no means be the traditional NAMM show size. When we get back to January 2024, we'll be back to normal size."

The 3-day event this year saw the launch of several new products, educational sessions and networking opportunities along with the much loved live performances and concerts. It was an easier show to navigate and many of the smaller vendors made the comment that it was better for them to not compete with the giants, as they were getting several more buyers to their booths.

The show welcomed more than 1200 exhibiting members representing 3500 brands across the campus of the Anaheim Convention Center. 46,711 invited members and attendees representing 120 countries and territories. International attendees, previously restricted by pandemic measures accounted for a 64% increase in attendance.

As an attendee of NAMM for several years, it was both a refreshing and somewhat bittersweet experience this year, as it has been in the following post-pandemic years. The ease of navigating through the aisles was effortless. I was able to see more of the actual show and meet vendors, buyers and attendees and see the booths without a swarm of crowds. I didn't see any of the long lines around booths for signings. The general consensus from all attendees was that it was a much more enjoyable experience, but I personally miss the pre-pandemic NAMM. Gibson, Fender and many of the other music giants were not in attendance once again. There was a Stevie Wonder sighting this year however and I'm hoping that's a clear sign that January 2024 might bring the NAMM show back or close to normal. When Stevie is in attendance, all is good in the world.

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