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Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
#3037340 04/07/20 07:48 PM
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Ouch. The one show where I don't need plane fare or a hotel...I wonder if Nashville will cancel the epic 4th of July celebration that draws a quarter million people to downtown.

It must be difficult to try to figure out what to do in June and July when you have no idea how all this is going to play out. Well, not that you can play out, either...

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037347 04/07/20 08:06 PM
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been waiting for this official announcement. Better earlier than later

I'm downtown DC. Fireworks on July 4th are a big deal here also


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037382 04/07/20 11:35 PM
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I wonder what Sweetwater will do about Gearfest?

dB

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037415 04/08/20 02:27 AM
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I'm not sure they've decided yet, a lot of organizations are waiting to see if the "peak" happens, or whether the infection process gets pushed out further. Tough call.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037436 04/08/20 04:59 AM
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Gearfest is just a little over 2 months away. Everyone would love for this pandemic to be over by then, seems to be cutting it a little to close. JMO


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037459 04/08/20 11:56 AM
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Boy, I am grateful I got to go to NAMM in January and meet you guys. I'm not a pessimist, but I can't imagine Winter NAMM 2021 being much if there's not a vaccine by then.

I'm seeing some orgs postponing their shows and events for dates in the fall or early next year and I keep thinking, "I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath. Or maybe I should…"


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037515 04/08/20 03:31 PM
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Hopefully this doesn't shut down the NAMM show this coming January. I was planning to go to that one. Haven't booked my travel or hotel yet.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037555 04/08/20 05:44 PM
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I've been pushing the idea of doing virtual trade shows since 2005, which I think is inevitable in some ways. The virus thing is now causing people to actually do it, and start planning along those lines.

The objection has always been "but then we miss that all-important person-to-person contact." My response is that's compensated by virtual trade shows being able to reach far more people than physical ones, including an international audience. Also, the money saved by not attending a huge convention could be allocated to smaller, regional shows that provide much higher-quality interactions. I did a 50-city "hotel/store/school" tour for Panasonic years ago on digital mixing. It reached a huge number of people overall, and cost significantly less than a trade show presence.

The model for something like GearFest is you'd stream all the seminars and concerts, offer special deals, and then during the year, for the physical component Sweetwater could have like a "Roland Day" where people from Roland could fly in and talk with customers and do hands-on demos. That would be problematic only if 10,000 people showed up for Roland day smile but you could stream those proceedings as well, which would limit the number of physical attendees but still get the information across to interested people.

2 members like this: Dave Bryce, Dave Bryce
Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
The Real MC #3037613 04/08/20 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Hopefully this doesn't shut down the NAMM show this coming January. I was planning to go to that one. Haven't booked my travel or hotel yet.

You'll be shocked at hotel prices if you want to stay anywhere near the convention center. The moderately dumpy Travelodge and Ramada that I'd been staying at for the past several years last year jumped from about $85/night (still outrageous) to triple that, and this was back in June or July. I need a sponsor (or a GoFundMe).

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Mike Rivers #3037715 04/09/20 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
The moderately dumpy Travelodge and Ramada...

Moderately?!? Wow, you sure have lowered the bar!

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037765 04/09/20 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
The moderately dumpy Travelodge and Ramada...

Moderately?!? Wow, you sure have lowered the bar!

After 30+ years of attending NAMM shows, I'm getting a little fussier, but what's important to me, in approximate order of priority is:


  • Within walking distance to the Convention Center (3/4 mile or less) and free parking
  • A reasonably comfortable bed, and one bed rather than two
  • A couch or comfortable chair where I can sit and read the (dwindling amount of) literature I pick up at booths
  • A work desk and chair to set up my laptop computer, and of course a decent Internet connection
  • A coffee maker, or at minimum a microwave oven in the room (I bring my own coffee)
  • Free breakfast, even if it's just "continental."


Last couple of years, I've modified the walking distance requirement by staying at a nice and affordable Best Western with an easy 12-15 minute drive to the Convention Center area. By getting to the show early, I've been able to park free on the neighborhood streets with a 10 minute walk to the show, but I fear that will go away any year now. Last year, I saw a couple of streets with "Parking by permit only" signs. I tried an AirBnB one year which was very meh, but it did show me the neighborhood where I've been parking the last two years. This year, I reserved the best deal I was able to find that met most of my requirements (mostly walking distance) but it's going to be just barely under $800 for four nights.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3037986 04/10/20 04:21 AM
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I know AirBnB is kind of a crap shoot, but I've had pretty good luck overall. The savings are considerable, and the wi-fi is usually a lot better.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3038057 04/10/20 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I know AirBnB is kind of a crap shoot, but I've had pretty good luck overall. The savings are considerable, and the wi-fi is usually a lot better.

I used to find WiFi going to pot when the smaller hotels I tend to stay in get full of writers trying to get their reports done, but most of them have figured out that ordinary guests (not during trade show loads) expect WiFi so they can watch movies on their own devices rather than watching the TV in the room.

The AirBnB I stayed in for NAMM a couple of years back was about 20% cheaper than the places where I usually stayed, so I took a chance. The suite was nice, but there was just a thin wall separating it from the main part of the house, so I was hearing the owner's family all the time, and because it was adjacent to the kitchen, smelling what they were cooking. The WiFi was fine, the host provided decent coffee and a coffee maker, and there was plenty of room to spread out. It was tolerable, once I figured out that what looked like a wall-mounted air conditioner in the bedroom actually had a heater in it.

But when I checked to see if I could get it again for the next year, the rate had gone up to about the same as the Ramada, which was a little closer. There are a bunch of AirBnBs near the Anaheim Convention Center that are apartments that look nice but their rates don't start to look good until you fill them up with a family. And they charge too much to park a car. I don't want three room mates when I'm at the NAMM show.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3038622 04/13/20 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I've been pushing the idea of doing virtual trade shows since 2005, which I think is inevitable in some ways. The virus thing is now causing people to actually do it, and start planning along those lines.

Well, here's NAB's virtual replacement for their cancelled show this year. It's a start, anyway.

I didn't see anything about free beer, though, unless they show a cooler full at the virtual press conferences.

Last edited by Mike Rivers; 04/13/20 09:32 PM. Reason: FreeBeer!
Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3038625 04/13/20 08:35 PM
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It really makes sense to do it virtually for something that's mostly one way, like Apple's WWDC where most of the info is coming from the one source (Apple) to all the attendees. With something like NAMM, there's a lot of sources and a lot of interaction. The virtual trade show idea can work for the former, but I think we'll lose a bit of the latter.

In fact, I'm sure there will be a bit of that lost with the virtual WWDC, as I bet lots of devs meet up, talk to each other about what they're working on, bounce ideas around, etc. But that's probably 10% of what you get out of WWDC vs. 50% or more of what happens at NAMM.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Joe Muscara #3038632 04/13/20 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
With something like NAMM, there's a lot of sources and a lot of interaction. The virtual trade show idea can work for the former, but I think we'll lose a bit of the latter.

In fact, I'm sure there will be a bit of that lost with the virtual WWDC, as I bet lots of devs meet up, talk to each other about what they're working on, bounce ideas around, etc. But that's probably 10% of what you get out of WWDC vs. 50% or more of what happens at NAMM.

Well, there's a tradeoff. About 110,000 people can interact at NAMM, which shuts out the other 7,599,890,000 people in the world smile

But seriously, Zoom et al have shown that people can interact virtually. At NAMM, the show hours restrict how many people I can interact with. There were lots of demos I wanted to see, TEC Tracks and A3E presentations I wanted to attend, and people whose schedules couldn't sync up with mine. Chat rooms (public and private), panel discussions, and one-on-one appointments could all happen virtually.

It's important to consider that the "rules" for a virtual trade show wouldn't be the same as for a physical one; for example, a company that makes mics could choose to make their "booth" in a studio. And Gibson could show off their new guitars in their factory - which would be a different, and I think probably more interesting, experience then seeing them on a show floor. True, you couldn't play them. But as I said, the money companies would save by not exhibiting at huge trade shows could be spent on local shows, particularly in secondary markets, where attendees would have higher-quality hands-on time with products than at NAMM.

Nor would this obsolete NAMM, quite the contrary. NAMM is about the music merchants, and NAMM's support for a virtual trade show, coupled with support for local shows, would make NAMM even more effective and useful than it is now.

Since Joe Lamond took over, I haven't heard grumbling about NAMM "doing nothing." I think NAMM could make this work.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3038639 04/13/20 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
At NAMM, the show hours restrict how many people I can interact with. There were lots of demos I wanted to see, TEC Tracks and A3E presentations I wanted to attend, and people whose schedules couldn't sync up with mine. Chat rooms (public and private), panel discussions, and one-on-one appointments could all happen virtually.

Interacting has to be done on schedule, just like at the real show. For tech talks, panel discussions, product demos, and such, those could (and at past shows, often have been) put on line for viewing whenever you wanted to take the time. But for talking about how a process works, or what does this button do, that needs to be scheduled.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Mike Rivers #3038642 04/13/20 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Anderton
At NAMM, the show hours restrict how many people I can interact with. There were lots of demos I wanted to see, TEC Tracks and A3E presentations I wanted to attend, and people whose schedules couldn't sync up with mine. Chat rooms (public and private), panel discussions, and one-on-one appointments could all happen virtually.

Interacting has to be done on schedule, just like at the real show. For tech talks, panel discussions, product demos, and such, those could (and at past shows, often have been) put on line for viewing whenever you wanted to take the time. But for talking about how a process works, or what does this button do, that needs to be scheduled.

Yes and no. I've done webinars where if you wanted to ask questions afterward, you had to pay to attend, and attend on a schedule. But, the recording of it was posted online for later viewing. You couldn't ask questions, of course, but the material was there. So even if there was a scheduling conflict between two events, I could decide which was more important, check that one out in real time, and check out the other one when convenient. At a physical trade show, I'd have to miss one of them entirely.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3038716 04/14/20 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I've done webinars where if you wanted to ask questions afterward, you had to pay to attend, and attend on a schedule. But, the recording of it was posted online for later viewing. You couldn't ask questions, of course, but the material was there. So even if there was a scheduling conflict between two events, I could decide which was more important, check that one out in real time, and check out the other one when convenient. At a physical trade show, I'd have to miss one of them entirely.

I haven't done any paid webinars, but I've done some free ones. Some have a window that you can open and type in a question. They don't interrupt the speaker in real time to answer a question, but sometimes will make pauses to respond to questions and sometimes go through them at the end of the prepared talk. That's worked for me, and more than once has initiated e-mail exchanges with the presenter or someone from tech support that's given me good answers. And many of these are archived so you can watch them (without adding new questions, of course) whenever you choose.

Thing is that I find myself spending half an hour with some of these webinars and either not really learning anything useful or learn one little thing and it's taken up half an hour of my time. It's not as useful as stopping by a booth at a trade show, grabbing someone, and asking what I want to know. The only problem with this is that usually what you get is "Oh, Frank can help you with that, but he's in a meeting now. Stop by later (of course I'm not important enough to schedule an appointment)."

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3038748 04/14/20 03:44 PM
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Speaking to Craig's idea that merchants could have smaller, more local shows - several years ago I went with a couple of friends 25 miles south to Mount Vernon WA.
Gibson had a trailer, a nice big one - well stocked with a variety of their guitars. They parked it outside of Hugo Helmer's, a longstanding local music store that is still in business and has twice the inventory of the Bellingham Guitar Center.

Very casual, I could try the guitars, have a conversation with the rep, etc. I'm just a guy who likes guitars, not a rep from Sam Ash or GC who might order a pile of Gibsons. Everybody was charming and respectful, I enjoyed that experience a great deal. There was even a little jam going on for a bit, some locals having fun with some nice Gibsons. You could hear it, not loud but not competing with the din of hundred of nearby talkers.

I've been to NAMM in Anaheim 3 times. The Gibson booth was a swarming mass of insanity all 3 times. Gibson reps were attempting to maintain conversations with 3 people at once and failing. Guitars were (rightfully so), mostly out of reach and there's no way you could have heard yourself at regulated NAMM levels even if you could play them. If play time had been available, I'm sure the line would have been out the door and down the hall.

No comparison, the local trailer show was hands down a much better overall experience. Not sure how the numbers played out, advertising has always been a write-off for business anyway. Still, a mediocre and/or annoying experience vs a great one? Not even a choice... Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Mike Rivers #3038758 04/14/20 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Thing is that I find myself spending half an hour with some of these webinars and either not really learning anything useful or learn one little thing and it's taken up half an hour of my time.
But that would happen if you were sitting at a seminar in a physical trade show. It's a problem with the content, not the venue.

Quote
It's not as useful as stopping by a booth at a trade show, grabbing someone, and asking what I want to know. The only problem with this is that usually what you get is "Oh, Frank can help you with that, but he's in a meeting now. Stop by later (of course I'm not important enough to schedule an appointment)."

This is why I mentioned chat rooms. It could have a product specialist in attendance. The other advantage of a virtual trade show is, let's face it, when you grab someone at a physical trade show they've probably answered the same question hundreds of times. Being able to catch a product demo would eliminate the need for a lot of those questions. In a chat room that's text-based, the main answers could be cut and pasted into an ongoing FAQ.

Trying to do a one-to-one correspondence between a physical and virtual trade show won't work, because they're not the same thing. The trick is to design a virtual trade show around what people need from a trade show, which is not always what a physical trade show provides. For starters - with a virtual trade show, YOU get to control the sound levels!

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
KuruPrionz #3038762 04/14/20 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
No comparison, the local trailer show was hands down a much better overall experience. Not sure how the numbers played out, advertising has always been a write-off for business anyway. Still, a mediocre and/or annoying experience vs a great one? Not even a choice... Cheers, Kuru

That is exactly what I'm talking about. Having done many local shows, which unfortunately aren't really being done much these days, I can tell you that by and large, the sales more than justified doing the shows. When I was doing the digital mixing seminar for Panasonic, people went to learn about mixing, but when they realized much of what I was doing could be done only with a digital mixer, they bit the bullet and bought.

I did a workshop on sampling once at a Swedish music store that had 20 Ensoniq EPS samplers in stock. I went by the next day to thank them for their hospitality, before moving along to the next workshop. The EPS keyboards were all missing. I asked what had happened..."We sold them."

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Anderton #3038783 04/14/20 07:11 PM
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I remember when the music manufacturers came around to local music stores to do demos and clinics. These were really good - the presenters really knew the gear in and out, could play well enough to demonstrate what they were peddling, and could get technical, too. I recall attending one that Roland presented when the TB-303 came out. After the formal presentation, a couple of attendees asked whether some mods to the TR-808 to provide a MIDI output that were floating around the forums (pre-WWW) might be adaptable to the Bassline. Darn if the Roland guy didn't know just what they were talking about, and explained some of the differences between the two units and what changes might have to be made to get MIDI out of a TB-303. Unofficially, of course.

Re: Summer NAMM 2020 Officially Cancelled
Mike Rivers #3038786 04/14/20 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
I remember when the music manufacturers came around to local music stores to do demos and clinics. These were really good - the presenters really knew the gear in and out, could play well enough to demonstrate what they were peddling, and could get technical, too. I recall attending one that Roland presented when the TB-303 came out. After the formal presentation, a couple of attendees asked whether some mods to the TR-808 to provide a MIDI output that were floating around the forums (pre-WWW) might be adaptable to the Bassline. Darn if the Roland guy didn't know just what they were talking about, and explained some of the differences between the two units and what changes might have to be made to get MIDI out of a TB-303. Unofficially, of course.

I saw Billy Cobham in Fresno doing a seminar on Tama drums.
Steve Morse played at the same local music store, demonstrating Lexicon effects racks, showed us how he used two amps and a volume pedal to feather in delays and reverbs. Followed with a solo club appearance that evening.

I don't remember the name of the presenter now but he had several Yamaha DX7s - which had just come out - running off of MIDI programs.
Last but not least, Richard Smith did a guitar seminar at a small local shop. I forget now what product he was endorsing but I've seen him twice in concert since then, one of the great fingerpickers of all time.

All of that was fantastic, I recall it decades later. I asked Steve Morse a question at the end and he spent several minutes explaining his answer.

In balance, I saw Adrian Belew demonstrate the Roland Synth guitar system at NAMM and the guy demonstrating the E-Bow was incredibly talented. There were others, all great experiences.

But for hands on face to face, local seminars cannot be topped.


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