The program is asking some big questions and I think it ’ s going to deliver the answers our members are looking for , like : What does business success look like in a post-pandemic world ? What does transformation look like ? Maybe most of all , what ’ s changed ? So , it ’ s our intention to answer those questions across all the different education tracks .
In terms of NAMM U , we have this mix of new and perennially-important topics — marketing , finance , music lesson programs , technology , and management . I think many of those sessions will feature different strategies and tactics than a few years ago . So , in other words , the answers have changed . For instance , Alan Friedman and Daniel Jobe , two of our industry ’ s biggest financial experts , are offering what I think looks to be an excellent half-day retail Financial Summit the day before the show . And instead of offering an immersive training on all aspects of financial management , this year they ’ re going to focus specifically on managing inventory as we work through the supply chain issues , so that ’ s different . We ’ re going to have some fascinating online marketing sessions , which isn ’ t unlike previous NAMM U programs , but I think instead of focusing on websites and Facebook , for instance , you ’ re going to be hearing a lot more about emerging platforms like TikTok , or you ’ re going to be hearing a lot more about text message marketing . So again , a lot of new topics , some perennially-important topics , but the answers are changing with the latter .
We have NAMM U education on retaining staff , which was not as pressing of an issue five years ago but it ’ s a big deal now . And I think we ’ re going to look at the customer of the future a bit more , and also strategies for post-pandemic leadership .
We have a NAMM U Breakfast Session with Scott Stratten on the Saturday morning on post-pandemic leadership . Scott hosted a NAMM U Breakfast Session in 2019 and just brought the house down . So , we ’ re bringing him back because we thought that the industry would be hungry for strategies on that .
CMT : One of the big additions this year is the NAMM Show + online component . What will folks be able to get out of that ?
Phillips : Believe in Music probably offered a good preview of what NAMM Show + will look like . It ’ s going to start with many of the same features that we saw , like brand experiences , education , networking , and events . It will essentially be a digital extension of the show . Our strategy is to let people experience The NAMM Show who can ’ t be in Anaheim .
So , I think one of the biggest benefits of the platform will be the networking . For instance , we saw our membership really take advantage of that during Believe in Music . As far as the education goes , we ’ ll have a bunch of stages of the show streaming to NAMM Show +, like the NAMM U Breakfast Sessions and key sessions from the different programs . We ’ re also going to have a suite of on-demand educational content , particularly for global members — industry roundtables from certain global markets , for example . We ’ re excited about that . For brands , it ’ ll have opportunities to amplify their messages to a global audience .
CMT : How long is the content going to stay available after the show ?
Phillips : We ’ re still working on when we ’ re going to close the platform , but let ’ s say it will be available long after the show closes . We are going to give everybody an opportunity to check out what they missed .
CMT : Just in terms of highlights in the educational program , what are you most looking forward to ?
Phillips : I think there are a handful of standouts , like the Retail Innovation Summit with Bob Negen is going to give every attendee an opportunity to see what post-pandemic retail looks like . Bob ’ s really good at the nuts and bolts , and at the same time , I think he has a forward-thinking program that ’ s going to cover marketing , the post-pandemic consumer , and also some forward-thinking retail best practices . That ’ s going to be held the day before the show in the morning and then the Retail Financial Summit with Alan and Daniel is in the afternoon .
I think Scott Stratten ’ s NAMM U Breakfast Session will be one of the most exciting events of the show . Scott is an incredibly dynamic , entertaining , and insightful presenter , and he just has his finger on the pulse .
I think the pro audio and music technology track , in general , is going to be pretty fascinating . We have partners like TEC Tracks ,
AES , and A3E and they ’ re going to be diving into some really forward-thinking topics , like : What does artificial intelligence mean to the future of music creation and recording ? What do audio professionals need to know about immersive audio ? What ’ s the role of virtual concerts going forward ?
CMT : I ’ ll admit that I often look at NAMM U programming for inspiration on content and interviewees for the magazine . So , I ’ m often curious how you find the speakers for the show , particularly the ones who come from outside the MI industry ?
Phillips : That ’ s a good question and no one ever asks us that . I think we find our speakers everywhere , from contacts in the industry , to newsletters , to TED Talks , to even recommendations from other staff in the building who attended a conference and saw someone interesting . Really , it ’ s all over the map .
One thing I think that ’ s kind of interesting is that we ’ re in industry of musicians and authenticity matters to us . That ’ s the prerequisite for a presenter . There ’ s a certain understanding of business and small business that I think that any NAMM U presenter needs to come to the table with . At the same time , authenticity is everything . It ’ s a tricky thing to put my finger on , but I think you know what I mean ? Even with outside speakers , a lot of times we ’ re working with people who are musicians , and they ’ ve always wanted to attend The NAMM Show , or they ’ re music fanatics . We had a presenter , Mitch Joel , a fellow Canadian , and he ’ s running a bass player podcast . So , there ’ s a certain innate understanding of our industry and the passion of music making that comes with presenters like that . And funny enough , compared to most conferences , we probably use fewer outside-the-industry speakers , because it ’ s hard to find presenters with that right combination of industry knowledge in their field of expertise , an understanding of business and small business , and also a passion for music . But it is important to find outside-the-industry experts , even if they ’ re sort of the alternative to the main speaker roster , because we need those ideas . We don ’ t want to be in our own echo chamber .
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Music Trade .
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