2011 NAMM Show Features Best In Show on Day Four

The fourth day of the NAMM Show featured the much-anticipated annual “Best In Show” breakfast session, with Frank Alkyer, publisher of Music Inc. magazine and panelists Brad Boynton of Rhythm Traders; Gordy Wilcher of Owensboro Music; Brian Reardon of Monster Music; John Grabowski of Sweetwater Sound; Alan Friedman of Friedman Kannenberg & Company; Gayle Beacock of Beacock Music and Greg Billings of Steinway Piano Gallery.

“This morning’s session was pretty interesting to see what the panel had to say about the best in show, and all the different perspectives,” said Scott Leonard of Playground Music Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. “There’s still a lot of fishing to do out there, still a lot there to see, so it is some good guidance from them. I’ve been to two of the Idea Center Sessions. I got a lot out of the e-mail education class, it was very helpful to get some strategies for e-mail. I think that will actually make a real difference.”

Also at the Breakfast Session, NAMM announced the recipients of the 2010 Wanna Play? Awards, honoring companies outside of the music products industry whose advertisements inspire more people to make music. The recipients are:

• Honda for its “The Van Beckons” TV ad

• Hertz for its “Journey On/Amy’s Journey” TV ad

• Freecreditscore.com for its “Check It” TV ad

• Time Warner Cable for its “Band” TV ad featuring “The Mommyheads”

• Wonderful Pistachios for its “Get Crackin’ ” TV ad featuring Keyboard Cat

• Lexus for its “2011 Lexus IS: Music Track” TV ad

• American Express for its OPEN/Alto Music-Plum Card” TV ad

• Wheat Thins for its “Air Guitar Jam Session” TV ad

An Honorable Mention was awarded to NAMM Member companies GE Capital and Taylor Guitars, for their collaboration on a TV ad called “Invested in Taylor Guitars.”

On the show floor, exhibitors expressed their enthusiasm for business at this year’s show.

“This has been a really good show this year,” said Larry Urie, national sales and marketing manager at PRS Guitars. “I’m sensing a lot of optimism in the market. It’s been surprising. But we’ve been very crowded, we’ve done very, very well and I really see a shift coming.”

“This is the first show we’ve presented the products in a unified format and we’ve had the best reception to the product line we’ve ever had at any other show we’ve ever done,” said Ed Sachs of DJ-Tech Professional. “We look to be here next year bigger and better.”

The NAMM Foundation continued its “Music Education Days,” providing numerous educational sessions for music educators to enhance their profession. Today’s program highlight was the “Best Tools for Schools” presentation by SBO Magazine/Symphony Publishing. The program was developed to allow music educators to identify music products and materials that provide innovative solutions and opportunities for music learning.

NAMM University continued its professional development sessions at the Idea Center on topics including “Songwriting Boosts Your Business? Believe It!” and “Create a High-Impact Home Page.”

“We’re here to get re-inspired,” Sheila and George Burnham of The Music Center in Live Oak, Fla. “We’d like to thank NAMM for having the Best in Show at the summer and winter show, and all the people that spend all of that time to find these products. We’ve gone back and bought two or three based on Best in Show. That is a very, very good service that NAMM’s providing. We spent all our time looking—three of us—and we didn’t carve out those things. We didn’t find those things.”

The Hands-On Training (H.O.T.) offered more tips and advice to professionals in the recording, live sound, DJ, houses of worship, and stage and lighting industries. Today’s lineup included sessions on “Teaching Audio In Your School or Music Store,” and “New Rules: Rethinking Audio from a Gaming Perspective.”

The show wrapped up with NAMM’s Wanna Play? Uke Circle presented by Kala Brand Music. Everyone was encouraged to experience the joys and benefits of making music with ukuleles through this interactive music-making experience.

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants, 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 $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of more than 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM, interested parties can visit www.namm.org or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).