Canadian Music Trade - April-May 2022 - Page 24

of our education . Two is that I think it ’ s going to be real enhancement to those who are at the show . It ’ s almost a digital tool to make your time more effective while you ’ re there . The scheduling , the meetups , the education that can be streaming while you ’ re doing something else , it ’ s actually going to enhance your planning , enhance your ability to be in two places at once , even while you ’ re there .
But I also think one of the things I learned in 2020 at the show is [ that ] it ’ s gotten so complicated , that it ’ s hard to be every place at once . I needed to clone myself to actually see all the things I wanted to see . NAMM Show + is going to allow you to be two places at once …
To me , the trickiest part is merging the two . They ’ re not equal , and so creating a virtual event makes it very difficult to make everybody happy . I think that ’ s the struggle for everyone who ’ s trying to combine these events is that virtual is not the same as being there . So , you can ’ t say that virtual is going to get the same experience because you ’ re just not . That is yet to be solved . But virtual is being perfected every day , and we all know what physical is like and it feels really good , but merging the two together is a tricky one . We ’ re watching carefully to see who gets it right so I can copy them [ laughs ].
CMT : Is The NAMM Show + just here for this pandemic era , or do you plan for there to now always been a virtual component to the show going forward ?
Lamond : We ’ ve spent a lot of time , as everyone has , I ’ m sure , really trying to predict what ’ s permanent versus what ’ s temporary . In my opinion , this is permanent , but may be too soon to tell . I think that is the question on everyone ’ s minds ; what are the behaviors that have shifted that are now permanent , versus which ones are temporary and may roll off as the world truly opens up again ? It ’ s a new world for sure . We ’ re going to be impacted , as everyone is , with how products come to market , how we communicate , what is the role of an association as an educator in bringing up the professionalism of an industry , and as a representative to policymakers ? There ’ s just a lot in flux here . It ’ s actually a pretty amazing time .
CMT : You ’ ve obviously seen the news about Musikmesse stopping the B2B component of its annual trade show . I ’ m sure that benefits you somewhat by further enhancing the importance of The NAMM Show in the MI industry , particularly for European companies . But what does it tell you about the state of the industry overall ?
Lamond : It ’ s too soon to tell . I mean , there will be a gathering in Europe , it ’ s just about what it ’ s going to look like . I think that ’ s yet to be seen . There ’ s lots of movement in that area . As we ’ ve seen , it ’ s more related to market conditions , I think , and the way distribution is changing .
NAMM has become the international show . I mean , there ’ s just no question about that over the last decade . If you come to The NAMM Show , you will see every distributor , every large and small element of the industry that you could possibly see . You could do it all in a few days at NAMM . We benefited a lot from simply being in California and the gravitational pull there [ in winter ]. But it ’ s a fact that everyone in the industry , globally , came to The NAMM Show , so you could do all your business in one week . But there ’ s still going to be a need for Europe to have a gathering . It ’ s important ; it ’ s a strong industry there and there ’ s some great leadership there . That ’ s going to happen , I guarantee it , I just don ’ t know what it ’ s going to look like yet .
CMT : Looking ahead , you ’ ve announced that the next NAMM Show will be in April 2023 before returning to its usual January dates for 2024 . What ’ s the thinking behind that plan ?
Lamond : In 2020 we had a great gathering for the industry . We achieved the vision of putting the entire industry together , from kids ’ first instruments all the way to the largest touring professionals and installations ; we put the whole industry under one roof and that was the vision we achieved in 2020 . Then the pandemic hits , so we canceled ‘ 21 and had to move ‘ 22 off-cycle to June . So , ‘ 23 is off-cycle again so that April is a bridge to get back to ‘ 24 . In other words , it ’ ll take us four years to get back to January …. The rationale for April is it ’ s the best of the worst choices , right ? It ’ s nine months to another show , and then nine months again to get back to January in 2024 . Companies need time to retool , think of some new products , and for many , it was a helpful thing for their fiscal years . But we didn ’ t see a path from June of ’ 22 to get right back to January of ’ 23 because of COVID and the short timeframe …
Members really gave us some great feedback . Like January , we owned the month — there was no other conflicting shows that we had to deal with . We were first of the year , dealers were coming to the show after the holidays with empty shelves and hopefully good balance sheets . Manufacturers and engineers hated it because they had to work through Christmas to get everything ready , but it forced everybody to have their products ready to go . Though , a funny thing I heard was so many products came to NAMM about 99 % done and they ’ d leave a little bit of room because they ’ d receive so much input from dealers or artists . They ’ d go back and make the final last tweaks because they just had this huge market study that they would have never had any place else to make the product just perfect . But January , that was NAMM ’ s month , and so it just became so evident that we needed to get back there as quickly and safely as we could .
CMT : Can you give a general overview of the educational tracks for the upcoming show ?
Zach Phillips : Everybody ’ s emerging from the pandemic with big questions and I think The NAMM Show is where they will find answers . This show is all about transformation , we ’ ve even called it “ transformation awaits ,” and by that I mean transformation in business , in life , and I think most of all , in terms of mindset as we emerge from this period . We aim to deliver a NAMM education program that ’ s really dialed into that .