NAMM-ification

by George Petersen
in Editor's Note
George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine
George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine

If this is January, then the Winter NAMM show is just around the corner (Jan. 19-22, 2017), and the annual pilgrimage of some 100,000 music and audio industry pros to the (hopefully) sunny skies of Anaheim is underway. Assuming you can get your iced-over flights from the Midwest or Northeast to cooperate, NAMM presents an ideal environment to escape the bad weather blahs and get down to some business (and a little fun) in this campus-styled enclave, where most of the lodgings are a short walk from the action.

Bigger, Better

And recently, Anaheim has done a great job of enhancing this tradeshow-in-January experience, from adding the open courtyard with a selection of gourmet food trucks and live entertainment just outside the show doors — to plans for the major expansion of the exhibit hall to be unveiled at NAMM 2018. The latter will add some 200,000 square feet of space to the already long sold-out exhibition floors, and rumor has it that the new digs will provide a home focused on pro lighting and sound technologies. I like that kinda thinking!

New Directions

Already proven as a world marketplace for the M.I. and pro industries, NAMM has gone out of its way to court more involvement with the pro audio community. For the past few years, NAMM has expanded its badged offerings to include contractors, live sound and lighting entertainment technology users, buyers and influencers representing venues and houses of worship and music trade professionals.

And beyond the 1,500 or so companies showing their wares in the exhibit halls, NAMM has actively increased its offerings of educational programs, seminars and presentations — 70 sessions in all — for the pro live and studio attendees. In fact, the entire content of the first day’s free TEC Tracks sessions is focused on sound reinforcement topics. Taking this a step further is training and certification sessions for Dante audio networking technology. Held at onsite at NAMM and presented by Dante creators Audinate, attendees will have the opportunity to experience two days of hands-on training as part of the company’s Dante Certification Program.

Here at FRONT of HOUSE, we definitely see the value and encourage NAMM’s expansion into the pro audio realm, which is reflected not only by the new educational tracks, but also an increased interest in manufacturers exhibiting at the show. In this issue, we also provide an expanded New Products section (page 20) featuring a selection of some cool sound reinforcement products offerings to check out during your NAMM experience. Of course, if you can’t make it, we will feature news coverage from the show floor on FOH-TV and follow it up with a complete show report, both online and in the February print issue of FRONT of HOUSE.

Clear Skies Ahead

Right now, just 10 days out from NAMM, the Weather Channel predicts sunny skies for the show — so keep your fingers crossed on that point. Interestingly enough, that’s also the picture we see for the live sound industry in general. From all indications — ranging from new installations such as the club projects profiled on page 32; the new San Francisco Armory venue project on page 36; and the pulse of the touring industry, where we check into 2015’s Top-10 tours on page 24 — the live music market is, well… alive and healthy. All of which bodes well for sound reinforcement professionals everywhere, for both end users and manufacturers alike.

And if you’re in Anaheim for NAMM, stop by Booth #4607 and say hello to the FRONT of HOUSE and Timeless Communications crew. See you there!

For George Petersen’s video introduction to the Jan. 2017 issue of FRONT of HOUSE, CLICK HERE.