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NAMM Opens to Cheer

Amidst reports of very good sales news for musical instruments and products, the 101st NAMM Show opened today:

    the 101st NAMM Show opened today, bringing together a record 1,309 exhibiting companies, a record number of international attendees and thousands of retail buyers for the music products industry’s largest annual event in the United States.

    Show organizer NAMM, the International Music Products Association, expects to attract approximately 65,000 attendees over the four-day period, possibly exceeding its record attendance last year. The show, which runs today through January 19 at the Anaheim Convention Center, is open to members of the international music products industry and media who cover musical instruments and products.

    After a solid sales year fueled by increasing positive perceptions about the value of making music, attendees of this year’s NAMM Show can preview the latest music products headed for retail shelves in 2003, and learn ways to make their businesses more successful in the coming year through NAMM University seminars, roundtable discussions and conversations with others in the industry.

    “In a year filled with challenges, more people around the world turned to music and music making,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “Research has shown that making music can help a child reach their full potential in school, help older adults achieve significant health benefits and provide meaningful fun and recreation at all ages. They say you can tell the relative health of an industry by the strength of its trade shows,” Lamond continued. “By that measure, the future of music making is bright indeed!”

    New in ’03
    This year’s show will include a special concert to benefit NAMM’s music education charities on January 17 at the Anaheim Pond featuring Sir Elton John, hosted by “Will & Grace” star Eric McCormack and a wealth of artists including, Vanessa Carlton, Ray Charles, Nikka Costa, Amy Grant, Bruce Hornsby, Jewel, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, John Mayer, Michael McDonald, Brian McKnight, Randy Newman, Take 6, Rufus Wainwright and Brian Wilson. Out on the floor, NAMM Show attendees can also expect to see a very diverse collection of musical gear, from traditional band instruments to the latest computer hardware and software for home recording enthusiasts.

    About NAMM
    The International Music Products Association, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $16 billion global musical instruments and products industry.

Regarding industry sales figures:

    Tough times may have hit the record business, but sellers of musical instruments and products are humming.

    “It looks like we got back to the high water mark of $7 billion in annual U.S. sales in 2002, and I’m very bullish about the next 10 years,” said Joe Lamond, president and chief executive officer of International Music Products Association, representing nearly 8,000 retailers and makers of musical instruments and products in 85 countries.

    The estimated 2002 U.S. level would represent an uptick from $6.7 billion in 2001, which had fallen from the industry’s record $7 billion in 2000. The latest global figures available peg industry sales worldwide at about $16 billion in 2001.

    Lamond thinks 2002 global sales will match the 2001 figures, with gains in the U.S. and elsewhere potentially offset by economic weakness in Japan, which is the No. 2 musical products market behind the United States.

    ….Lamond said the business has benefited from moves to diversify its target audience, aiming at new demographics like aging baby boomers, senior citizens, pre-schoolers and girls.

    “A few years ago, a guy with a tie would walk into a store and be ignored by the clerk who was helping the long-haired guy playing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on the keyboard,” said Lamond.

    “Meanwhile, the guy with the tie was the one with the gold card,” Lamond said.

    By diversifying, retailers are “no longer at the whim of the pop music business,” Lamond said. “Guitar retailers used to bemoan the fact there was no new guitar legends to spurn sales. They were in such a vulnerable place,” he said. [Reuters]

It makes sense of you think about it: in difficult economic times, and especially in times of great uncertainty, people can take measure of control of their lives by playing an instrument, by creating their own music.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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