Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Wednesday, June 25th
AIMM Reception – Having the honor of an invitation to become members of an industry-related share group, we attended a reception at the famed Flying Saucer. Current members were enthusiastically welcoming. We got to see some familiar faces and meet some new friends that we will certainly become life-long friends. We’re very excited to be a part of this group and anticipate amazing relationships, sharing, and tremendous business benefits.
Thursday, June 26th
Opening Day – NAMM always opens the show with the wildly popular Breakfast Sessions! NAMM President, Joe Lammond, welcomes the thousands of members in attendance and sets the tone with anticipation and excitement for the 3-day event. This breakfast session was no different as we enjoyed live guest interviews including Cosmo Music, a 53,000 square foot music mall in Toronto (whose President happens to be a friend and fellow NAMM Board of Directors member). (We had found ourselves sitting by his wife, April, and asked, “Where’s Mark?” She replied, you’ll see in a few minutes!” Other interviewed guests were a darling couple who built their business, G-Brat Guitars, from literally nothing. We were so impressed with them, we found them outside the green room after the show and let them know how inspired we were.
The day at the show was not much different than the shows in years past - having wonderful meetings with our friendors (manufacturers and vendors turned friends). After warm hugs and greetings, we not only talk gear and new and exciting products, but also about personal stuff like, “How’s the kids?”
At the day’s end, we were fortunate enough to have VIP seating, (one of the many perks that come with serving on the NAMM Board of Directors) at the National Music Council of the United State’s American Eagle Awards. Legendary Jazz pianist, Chick Corea and equally legendary jazz vocal group, Manhattan Transfer, were being honored. It was a thrill to be able to sit just a couple of tables behind them. This experience was particularly special for Rand as he was a huge fan of Chick as a teen as he Chick Corea -
We headed back to the hotel for a nightcap. As we were preparing to leave and head up to our hotel room for the evening, many of our friends started pouring in to the hotel lounge. We spent the next several hours laughing and catching up with members of our NAMMily including other music store owners and the brass of iconic companies like Korg, Alfred Publishing, Martin Guitars, and Sabian Cymbals.
Friday, June 27th
After the breakfast session, we visited more friendors and ordered more amazing merchandise (and attended a few more NAMMU sessions) and went our separate ways. Rand to meet with more friendors and I to the Coalition of Coalitions meeting.
As we’ve been involved in advocacy for music education on local, state and federal levels, this was an incredibly important meeting as we’d learned that funding for music and arts as part of a well-rounded education had been almost fully funded! The original and approved amount was 1.6 billion but had been proposed at 0 with the new administration. The following year had been funded at 400 million, and in this meeting, we found at it was currently funded at 1.1 billion!
I also received some “inside” information that I plan to share with our state PED. New Mexico is to receive 8.1 million of that for our schools! I realized that we need to kick up our advocacy efforts to make sure every school district, principal, Superintendent, and music teacher is aware that these funds are available to improve and support our school music programs.
We then swung by the Music & Sound booth and picked up our Best Sales Staff and Single Store Dealer of the Year awards! It’s an amazing feeling to be called the best of the best when you’re voted to win by the people you call friendors.
The NAMM Top 100 Dealer Awards – has been dubbed the music retail Oscars by Music Inc. Magazine and they did not overstate with that comment. Summer NAMM attendees were treated to a star-studded evening, live music, great food and best practices from some of the world’s leading music retailers. Nashville radio host Kelly Ford hosted this special evening that was filled with memorable, humorous and inspirational moments.
The Dealer Awards began in 2012, recognizing these elite retailers. The Candyman is a handful of those who have won each and every year. We also hold the record for the most ‘Best Of’ categories including Dealer of the Year. This year we were thrilled to have added one more (bringing the total to 9), Best Customer Service!
Crystal Morris, CEO of Gator Cases, organized an amazing Top 100 after party at the Hard Rock Café. Everyone had an amazing time interacting and dancing and some stepped on stage to play along with the house band, including NAMM President, Joe Lammond.
Saturday, June 28th
Needing to be at the Board Meeting at 7:00am, was not easy after such an amazing and fun evening. Since this is my 3rd and last term on the Board, I was part of the committee that gathers all nominations for the next 8 board members and decides who will be the next incoming slate. It is a top secret process, so I can’t say much more other than it was an amazing experience and honor getting to be a part of selecting the next class of board members.
The regular board meeting began immediately after that, and I still marvel at the fact that I was witnessing the first Chairwoman in the organization’s 119-year history lead the meeting.
After the board adjourned, I went back to meeting more friendors and walking the trade show floor (with round 600 vendors) and Rand and I met one of our friends who owns a music store in New York to share best practices. After a few beers and a whole lot of conversation, we then left to meet other music store owner friends at our favorite Nashville spot, Mojo Broadway Brewhouse. It’s a great restaurant and if you sit by the window, the people watching is fantastic! If you’ve never been on Broadway in Nashville, it is certainly a sight to behold. Even without the whole “Bachelorette Part Capital of the World distinction.” It really is indescribable. It was an amazing way to toast to yet another successful Summer NAMM Show and bring it to a finale’.