New Pro Audio Segment Propels The 2018 NAMM Show

[![Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images Getty Images for NAMM](/content/images/2018/01/ADD3-NAMM-a-300x200.jpg)](/content/images/2018/01/ADD3-NAMM-a.jpg)Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images Getty Images for NAMM
The musical instrument, pro audio, and event technology industries came together in Anaheim, CA for The NAMM Show 2018, which was held from Jan. 25-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center and surrounding area. With an increased presence from production technologies exhibitors and attendees, this year’s show was crossroads of business opportunities with countless product debuts, over 500 educational sessions, and 115,085 registered industry professionals roaming the halls, marking a nine per cent increase over 2017.

“NAMM members, alongside our partners and guests, deserve all the credit for creating such an incredibly powerful industry gathering,” says Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. “The ‘crossroads’ of industry pros, coupled with the passion and dedication to drive business forward in new and innovative ways, ensures an exciting year ahead for all aspects of music making and production.”

The 2018 NAMM Show boasted an eight per cent increase in international attendees with representation from over 100 countries totaling 19,356 registrants. Across The NAMM Show Campus, including the new pro audio-focused ACC North hall, about 7,000 brands and nearly 2,000 exhibiting companies were on display. The expansion into the new building saw increased pro audio and event technology participation, contributing to a nine per cent overall growth of exhibitors at the show.

Lin Buck, director of U.S. sales for Canadian speaker manufacturer Adamson Systems Engineering, which exhibited in the ACC North building, says, “For years I’ve wanted something like this to happen. The expansion to pro audio and technology is so important because it’s a different market but here at the show, it brings us together.”

Sabian’s Andy Zildjian adds, “You have four days to meet the world. Anybody who has a stake in the industry is here: whether it’s distributors, manufacturers, retailers, players, everyone.”

ADD3 NAMM bFrom peer-to-peer networking events and best-in-class education, the show set the stage for inspiring participants over the course of the four days by offering over 500 educational sessions. NAMM Show attendees had the opportunity to participate in education provided by several NAMM partners at the new NAMM U Education Center in the Anaheim Hilton. Education partners and opportunities included sessions from A3E: Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange; Audinate Dante Training and CertificationMusic Education Days, GenNext career development and the Nonprofit Institute from The NAMM Foundation; AES@NAMM: Pro Sound Symposium Live and Studio, curated by the Audio Engineering Society; NAMM UTEC Tracks; and event technology sessions curated by ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association), The Pro Production Sessions presented by Front of House and Projection Lights & Staging News magazines, as well as Lighting&Sound America/PLASA.

The inaugural AES@NAMM program, which included a mix of AES members and prospective new members, was popular with attendees. The program included four training academies, a variety of tutorials and sessions, as well as whitepapers, resulting in more than 300 total sessions. David Scheirman, President of AES shared that, “With the professional audio industry growing and changing rapidly, we believe it makes sense for our Society’s in-person gatherings to evolve as well. Considering the rapid advances that are taking place in the technologies and tools we use as audio professionals, there is nothing like direct, in-person exposure to the latest advances in audio equipment and workflow processes. This event was designed to provide a sampler of knowledge and hands-on training across the entire signal path, from microphone to speaker. We’re grateful to see the enthusiastic response and solid support from across the audio equipment manufacturing industry in support of this inaugural event.”

“For audio professionals, networking is typically first thought of in a technical sense, but networking with people is more important than ever. From my perspective, The NAMM Show is one of the biggest networking opportunities in our industry,” commented AES@NAMM Executive Chair and ATK/Audiotek President Michael MacDonald. “The AES@NAMM Pro Sound Symposium was designed to help AES members and non-members alike expand their ‘human network.’ Our program was formatted to merge in-person networking opportunities with hands-on training and expert tutorials about relevant topics affecting our industry today.”

The Event Technology sessions, as curated by ESTA (Entertainment Services Technology Association), The Pro Production Sessions presented by Front of House and *Projection, Lights & Staging News *magazines, as well as programming from Lighting&Sound America/PLASA, gave emerging and established professionals the opportunity to learn from industry luminaries in a series of sessions and tracks. Lori Rubenstein, Executive Director of ESTA said that, “ESTA members are extremely pleased about the partnership with NAMM. Attendees are overwhelmed with the number and variety of free professional development opportunities. Member exhibitors have said they are seeing people here they have never seen at other shows. They are mining new markets, and most have already signed up for space in 2019.”

Next year, The NAMM Show returns to Anaheim from Jan. 24-27, 2019.

For more information, contact NAMM: 760-438-8001,

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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