What is NAMM???
NAMM, or the National Association of Music Merchants, is the largest and longest-running musical instruments and products trade show in the United States held yearly in Anaheim, California. For those that have never been, it is a hard experience to describe. Last year there were over 90, 000 registered attendees and 1417 exhibitors showcasing anything and everything to do with music. Most of these exhibitors had instruments. Imagine all of them cranking it up to 11 to be heard above the din! OK….now imagine being there for 4 straight 8 hour days in that soup of sonic sound waves. Hopefully this helps you understand why the word “intense” describes the experience. NAMM…”Not A Mellow Moment”
Developing New Instruments
Luna is in low gear for the event all year by developing new products to showcase. Each new Luna instrument involves :
1. Coming up with an innovative idea. Depending on the instrument, this is done by myself (Yvonne) or by our UK artist in residence, Alex Morgan.
2. Sending artwork and specifications halfway across the planet to our partners in Korea and China
3. Exchanging a ka-zillion emails and photos with our overseas partners until we are satisfied we have a winner. Receiving and opening a box with a new prototype inside is like Christmas morning every time! We have had 28 such boxes arrive at Luna headquarters this year! You can read about the inspiration for two of them, the AMM 100 and AMZ 100.
Things shift into high gear around October as we start to get our new catalog together. This year was even more challenging than usual but we managed to throw a Hail Mary pass over the printer’s deadline!
Take a peek here!
Compiling Show Instruments
The next quest is stockpiling one of each Luna instrument for the show. This may seem simple, but because we have been so massively back ordered this year it was quite a feat. Especially during the holidays when customers were calling in to say that the only thing their son, daughter, husband, wife, mother, father, etc. had their heart set on for Christmas was a specific Luna, and the only one in the warehouse was on a NAMM pile. Hard to hang tough when the heart strings are being tugged! Every instrument on every pile then has to be set up by our instrument technicians before being placed in crates and trucked from Florida to California.
Planning for Booth
Our booth is 20′ x 20′, yet every year we have to figure out how to fit more instruments into the same space. This year we made the decision to bring acoustic instruments only. Instruments tags and booth signage are designed. Our staff flies out 2 days ahead of the show start to set up our booth and place instruments. Here are some pics of this year’s signage and last year’s booth.
The main reason that we fly across the country and go through all of the above steps is to foster relationships with our dealers. It’s a chance to meet with them face to face and gauge their first hand response to our products as well as gain their input. We put together gift baskets for our top dealers as a personal thank you. This year we’re giving them a basket that will hopefully soothe their body as well as their spirits. The traditional offering of wine and quality snacks is being augmented by a NAMM SURVIVAL KIT consisting of ear plugs, Airbourne Immune Support, hand sanitizer, mints, herbal throat lozenges, aspirin and a nice bottle of sea salt bath soak!
Packing!!!!!!! Please stay tuned for updates from this year’s NAMM show.