NAMM Report(s)

Cagey

Senior member
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24,425
hannaugh said:
It's funny how some booths are all business, mostly private rooms for big corporate deals, then other booths have entertainment set up for the commoners.  Dunlop was no doubt doing some very serious business there just like Marshall, but their booth had a bunch of listening stations set up with guitars, basses, and their pedals.  Guess which booth was more fun.  I did get a Marshall bag though. 

I've never been, but it's my understanding is that NAMM is a trade show. That is, it's mostly for business-to-business marketing (the "trade"). So, no surprise that you'd see a lotta "dealing" going on rather than showmanship aimed at consumer trickery. Even then, most of the interesting stuff happens after hours in places your average Joe wouldn't be invited to. Depending on what you'd call interesting, of course.

Back 100 years ago when I was involved in such things with Westinghouse, we saw very few users show up. It was always your competitors and distributors looking to form alliances, make agreements, steal ideas, etc.. You were mainly strutting your stuff to impress/scare everybody, and the more money you spent the scarier it was. Your booth(s) would be full of guys from IBM, GE, Fanuc, Rockwell, etc. scoping out what you were doing, not looking to buy anything. But, on the plus side, you had the international distributors who were looking to see what was going to fly in the future so they could fill up a warehouse in anticipation. They're the ones you took to the titty bars and got snot-slinging drunk <grin>
 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
Cagey said:
hannaugh said:
It's funny how some booths are all business, mostly private rooms for big corporate deals, then other booths have entertainment set up for the commoners.  Dunlop was no doubt doing some very serious business there just like Marshall, but their booth had a bunch of listening stations set up with guitars, basses, and their pedals.  Guess which booth was more fun.  I did get a Marshall bag though. 

I've never been, but it's my understanding is that NAMM is a trade show. That is, it's mostly for business-to-business marketing (the "trade"). So, no surprise that you'd see a lotta "dealing" going on rather than showmanship aimed at consumer trickery. Even then, most of the interesting stuff happens after hours in places your average Joe wouldn't be invited to. Depending on what you'd call interesting, of course.

Back 100 years ago when I was involved in such things with Westinghouse, we saw very few users show up. It was always your competitors and distributors looking to form alliances, make agreements, steal ideas, etc.. You were mainly strutting your stuff to impress/scare everybody, and the more money you spent the scarier it was. Your booth(s) would be full of guys from IBM, GE, Fanuc, Rockwell, etc. scoping out what you were doing, not looking to buy anything. But, on the plus side, you had the international distributors who were looking to see what was going to fly in the future so they could fill up a warehouse in anticipation. They're the ones you took to the titty bars and got snot-slinging drunk <grin>

Well it is pretty obvious that NAMM is a trade show and a ton of big time business goes down there.  That's the main purpose of the show.  But there are thousands of people there that like to play with the new toys (or at least hear a pro playing them), so I still think it's a nice gesture to actually have your products out for demo instead of just building a fortress out of them... at least make it seem like you care about the consumers at the show rather than just the middlemen.  That's what Dunlop did.  90% of their space was private room for big deals, but they had a spot to "entertain the kids" AKA listening stations, and I think a lot of people had fun with their stuff.  It's just good PR, even if it's on a small level. 

Of course I think that with certain brands that are as iconic as Marshall, they probably figure that everyone knows what their products are like already.    :laughing7:
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
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1,156
great to have met Hannaugh :)

I definitely wish I'd have had time to visit more booths, but I'm not complaining about being too busy to have gotten out of the booth except for bathroom breaks. I managed to make it to Hipshot, Nordstrand, SKB, and a company we're considering for custom straps. thankfully, many of the vendors I was hoping to meet this year had time to drop by our booth so we could initiate a discussion, show the bass/guitar their hardware is being considered for and why, exchange cards, and set a schedule for follow-up in the coming couple of weeks

Our typical daily schedule went something like this:
- up at 6:00A to get ready
- breakfast and team meeting at 7:00A
- hit our booth in Hall E by 8:45 so we could have everything polished and tuned up, strings changed, and ready to start in time for the 9:30A door opening
- referee the masses waiting to discuss business and play a bass/guitar, meet contacts our artists invited to the booth, ensure the guys working the booth took smoke/bathroom/coffee breaks, schmooze with the sound police to avoid getting fined, and coordinated with booths around us as best we could so that our volume level dropped when they had an artist performance
- grab something to eat around 3:00P and bring back food for the team
- clean-up the booth at 6:15P, and debrief on the day's business
- grab dinner over in Orange and away from the NAMM crowds around 8:00P
- take care of urgent emails and any last minute scheduling from 10:00P until completed (often working past 11:30P)
- lights out until the alarm

I lost the capacity to commnicate right about 6:00P each day, and found myself uttering partial sentences to object that don't breathe  :sad:

it was a great show ... and I'm going to have an near overwhelmingly busy year with just the business from NAMM. not yet sure how I'll be scheduling deliveries for business sealed after NAMM deposits have cleared

all the best,

R
 

hannaugh

Senior member
Messages
4,230
I was gonna come play your guitars you had there, but literally every time I came by, there were insane crowds checking your stuff out.  I'm so glad you guys did so well!  And that is a crazy schedule. 

I found out after the fact that my boss from the high school was there one day and I didn't even know.  He said he was there for 3 hours and it was exhausting.  Having gone 4 days in a row from 10:30 to 5:30 myself, I laughed. 
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Mike Matthews.... oh VERY cool.

I last spoke to him in .. .oh... 1998 or so, maybe 99.  He sent me a pair of KT66's to try, evaluate.

Mike was very good friends with my old guitar teacher, and used to come to our school once or twice a year and show off stuff to the class of high school guitar students (we had guitar as an elective).  So, as a kid I got to know him a little... crazy guy he is... then again as an adult decades later got to be a dealer for him.  Funny how that all works out.

 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
He seemed like quite a character.  He sat there with in a tee shirt with cigar in hand doing business with guys in suits all day.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Oh yah... I remember when he brought the original "Freedom Amp" into class- it actually had a decent tone, and if you ever find one of those little wonders from the first run of 'em back in the mid-early 70's latch onto it.

Had three controls - vol, tone, bite, and ran on D cells, or AC adapter.  It put out ungodly volume too for such a little box.  Enough to keep up with a sane drummer (but not insane).
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,771
Namm was hell. absolutely. It was amazing to see so many great people (hannauhg, eric, MJ, Seymour etc etc). but on the other hand it was SO TIRING! I got up at 9 every day, took the bus and arived around 1130. I really couldn't handle being there from 8 till 6. I know Hannaugh had a rough time, but I had to go to Santa Barbara afterwards, converse with the guys at Duncan about my views and how sales are going on in Europe etc etc. Only now I realize how hard and fatiguing it all was (though I wouldn't change one bit about my trip). I also made pics but not as nice as Hannaugh's. just for my own memory
 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
I dunno, we never really got around to taking a group photo.  :dontknow:  I'm not huge on taking pics of myself anyways. 
 
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