NAMM is the biggest trade show related to musical instruments, hardware and software. This year it was slightly smaller than the last few years, but is still one of the biggest shows in the country.
With the downturn in the economy, there was not a lot of new stuff to look at. Roland moved their setup off the main floor and into the old dome, which made them looks smaller. I'm not sure they were showing anything new.
The pro audio section had a lot of exhibitors. Handheld recorders seem to be popping up all over the place. Major hardware manufacturers did not have anything new to show.
Apple did not attend.
I'm always happy to see the number of booths related to acoustic musical instruments. For a while the show had become almost exclusively electronic, but now we're back to real music, which is heartening, although I really feel the drum manufacturers should be moved off site. Pianos have their own separate area upstairs, can't they do the same with drums?
The show is a lot of fun. I missed Day 1 as I arrived that evening. I think next year I will try to be there for Day 1 as it is the easiest day to get around. I've learned to avoid Saturday completely, it's too busy. Sunday is OK for avoiding crowds, but it's a short day and many reps leave the show early, so if you want to talk to people it can be tough.
This year we had three students attend from UC Denver. One was given both a NAMM Scholarship and a Presidential Award, another was given a NAMM scholarship, and a third was given a SPARS scholarship. This is a particularly good group of students, I'm very happy to have had a great lunch with them and talk about the show.
NAMM has a foundation which supports education. I attended their awards ceremony and their faculty mixer, both of which were excellent events. I hope to continue this relationship with our school as it is very beneficial to the students.