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The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
#3050657 06/24/20 12:26 AM
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NAMM Announces Plans To Hold 2021 Trade Show

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The National Association of Music Merchants announced its plan to host The NAMM Show on Jan. 21–24, 2021, in a recent letter to exhibitors.

[snip]

“We are also working with federal, state and local health agencies and have retained a medical doctor on our planning team to ensure that we take every possible precaution and follow all known best practices for social distancing, hygiene and enhanced facility cleaning,” the letter stated.

I've only been to NAMM once (but I have been to other large trade shows), but this seems pretty absurd to me.


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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050659 06/24/20 12:51 AM
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Not to be negative...but I'll believe it when I see it. idk

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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050661 06/24/20 01:05 AM
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Think I’ll pass on the melodica vendors.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050676 06/24/20 02:38 AM
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Who knows where we'll be in January. I think just as it's prudent to cancel in advance "just in case" (e.g., GearFest), it's also prudent to plan in case things are all right, "just in case." In any event, I'm quite sure NAMM will pull the convention if things don't improve over the late summer/fall.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050712 06/24/20 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
The National Association of Music Merchants announced its plan to host The NAMM Show on Jan. 21–24, 2021, in a recent letter to exhibitors.

“We are also working with federal, state and local health agencies and have retained a medical doctor on our planning team to ensure that we take every possible precaution and follow all known best practices for social distancing, hygiene and enhanced facility cleaning,” the letter stated.

In the "...Coronavirus not going away" discussion, I recently posted a bit about a survey I received about many things, some rather scary, invasive, and aggressive, that they are considering implementing in order to allow the show to go on. It didn't occur to me to take some notes while filling out the survey and now that I've filled it out I can't get back to it, but here's a news article with a slightly more detailed description of some of the things they're looking at.

NAMM is a little different than CES in that it's not as large a show, and that registration requirements for attendance are a little more strongly controlled than CES, plus the venue is different and the show isn't as spread out over the area and town as CES, but it's clear that they really want NAMM to go on.

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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Mike Rivers #3050715 06/24/20 12:38 PM
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Worth noting that CES is pointedly international.

https://www.ces.tech/international.aspx

"CES 2020 is expecting more than 60,000 international attendees. Make the most of your CES experience by learning more about the services provided."

The worst part of a trade show is the off-floor exposure in booths and suites.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050762 06/24/20 04:46 PM
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It is an evil plot to kill all musicians!


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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
KuruPrionz #3050775 06/24/20 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
It is an evil plot to kill all musicians!
Maybe. But I'd like to go one more time.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050801 06/24/20 07:31 PM
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I promise I won't bring up virtual trade shows again smile

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050835 06/24/20 10:18 PM
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"Social distancing"?!? Have these idiots SEEN the NAMM shows on Fridays and Saturdays?!?

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
The Real MC #3050843 06/24/20 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
"Social distancing"?!? Have these idiots SEEN the NAMM shows on Fridays and Saturdays?!?


Which Idiots? The ones who have been putting on the show for the last 50 years? if yes, then probably they have. wink


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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Markyboard #3050847 06/24/20 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
Think I’ll pass on the melodica vendors.

You should be avoiding them anyway grin


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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
nursers #3050880 06/25/20 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Holloway
Originally Posted by Markyboard
Think I’ll pass on the melodica vendors.

You should be avoiding them anyway grin

Look on the bright side: Instant social distancing by visiting accordion booths.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Anderton #3050903 06/25/20 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Instant social distancing by visiting accordion booths.

I always keep a social distance from the drum section. To me, "social" is saying hello to a neighbor from down the street when I pass his house and he's out in the yard.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Anderton #3050949 06/25/20 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I promise I won't bring up virtual trade shows again smile
You may have a hard time keeping that promise. Just sayin'... idk

dB

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3050985 06/25/20 07:48 PM
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The latest I've heard is that there will be a NAMM show, but all options are being kept open as to what percentage will be virtual and what percentage will be physical. There are other considerations for a physical space, like noise levels - if people are shouting and not wearing masks, that's not a good thing. Perhaps this will be the year when all booths, if in fact there are booths, have to use headphones.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3051031 06/25/20 11:51 PM
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I would like to see a NAMM show that's as virtual as this year's WWDC was.

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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3051084 06/26/20 04:34 AM
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I suggested that a) they really trim the attendees so that the non-business people can access all kinds of stuff online, and b) the physical areas are restricted to dealer meetings and such, following the mask/social distancing protocols. They were already thinking along those lines smile

I can tell you that NAMM is taking this very seriously. They want to be able to provide the function they normally do, but without risk. They also understand that people who think things might be okay will want to cancel if conditions change, and they're ready to accommodate that.

But hey...a lot of music involves improvisation! Why should a music industry trade organization be any different?

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Anderton #3051105 06/26/20 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I suggested that a) they really trim the attendees so that the non-business people can access all kinds of stuff online, and b) the physical areas are restricted to dealer meetings and such

Given the original goals of NAMM, this makes perfectly good sense. However, NAMM has changed a lot in recent years. There are still deals made, orders placed, occasional inside information passed on to dealers and distributors, and there will still be classes in business and marketing. However, as you've noticed (and probably gigged) in recent years is that they recognize that educated users are the best customers, and manufacturers have taken advantage of the event to support that.

Being able to "access all kinds of stuff online" isn't much help to me. I can do that any time. What I can't do on line is look at a new product, turn the knobs, look at the screens, listen to what it does on something besides the little speakers on my computers, get features explained, on occasion, provide useful feedback to the make, and go back for a second look (of course I could do that on line) and ask about something I forgot about or that I realize puzzled me (that I can't). And I can't visit with friends who I only see at NAMM shows.

To be honest, I'd welcome saving the $1500 (and rising) travel expenses, but not only would I miss a few fun and educational days, but I'd miss the personal contacts that sometimes allow me to score something to review, or to learn of a new technique or technology that leads to an article (if only I could still get paid for writing articles).

But, hey, I don't want to risk getting really sick from attending the show. Nor would I want to put up with restrictions implementedf to minimize health risks.

If it was easy to partition off the convention center exhibit halls into smaller sections, they could group similar exhibitors together, with smaller, but well-supported booths showing new products rather than the full line. This is sort of like the way the new section with the audio products is laid out. There's already a lot of space in the Hilton used for the many additional training classes and workshops that have been added in recent years. Perhaps more exhibitors can take suites in the hotel for demo rooms like they do at the high end audio shows. And move the drums to the Disneyland parking lot. wink

There are lots of possibilities but it would take a couple of years of planning. No time for that between now and January.

I'll check out the Sweetwater Virtual Gearfest this weekend to see what I can see. Those folks know how to sell stuff, so I expect that the canned presentations will be good. But show me the knobs!

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Anderton #3051277 06/27/20 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I suggested that a) they really trim the attendees so that the non-business people can access all kinds of stuff online, and b) the physical areas are restricted to dealer meetings and such, following the mask/social distancing protocols. They were already thinking along those lines smile

I can tell you that NAMM is taking this very seriously. They want to be able to provide the function they normally do, but without risk. They also understand that people who think things might be okay will want to cancel if conditions change, and they're ready to accommodate that.

But hey...a lot of music involves improvisation! Why should a music industry trade organization be any different?
Thanks for that info, Craig. After seeing some of the initial comments here, I began to wonder if the announcement I linked to was a bit of hype to promote the show will go on in some form. It's good to know that they're watching and responding. thu

Meanwhile, I hope someday we will be able to have big events like this again.


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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3051382 06/27/20 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
Thanks for that info, Craig. After seeing some of the initial comments here, I began to wonder if the announcement I linked to was a bit of hype to promote the show will go on in some form. It's good to know that they're watching and responding. thu.

Yeah, they're definitely not sticking their head in the sand and pretending that everything will be "normal" by then. NAMM's under pressure to hold the show, and under pressure to cancel it. I don't speak for NAMM, but my sense is that they'll adjust the ratio of physical to virtual (and the nature of both) over time, to reflect the current reality.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3051428 06/28/20 12:21 AM
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Thinking about what I'll miss if there's no live NAMM show, I wonder if there might be something that might work for me. As I said, I like to talk the the folks at the booth about product details, ask questions, and get answers, not listen to a rehearsed product description. If I'm at a booth an start asking questions that the person I'm with can't answer, frequently the response is "Roger would know that, but he's not at the booth right now. Can you come back later?"

One of the things that most exhibitors will do, assuming the "talent" is there somewhere and will indeed be back at the booth at some point is to schedule an appointment. I've done this occasionally, maybe three or four per show. Usually I decline because the way I do the show is wander hither and yon. If I make an appointment a 4:30 at a booth in Hall A, If I even know when it's about time to get to my appointment, I'll be over in the Annex, a third of a mile away.

But suppose during the virtual show, I scheduled a virtual appointment, say, via Zoom. It could be quite interactive (though that sparkly audio I'm supposed to hear when turn this know will suck). It doesn't even have to be during the show. We could schedule a Zoom-through after the expert gets home, relaxes, takes me virtually down to the lab or demo room and we go over the product. And since I'd be at home, I don't have to make a long dash through crowds trying to get to the appointment.

Maybe?

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Mike Rivers #3051447 06/28/20 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
But suppose during the virtual show, I scheduled a virtual appointment, say, via Zoom. It could be quite interactive (though that sparkly audio I'm supposed to hear when turn this know will suck). It doesn't even have to be during the show. We could schedule a Zoom-through after the expert gets home, relaxes, takes me virtually down to the lab or demo room and we go over the product. And since I'd be at home, I don't have to make a long dash through crowds trying to get to the appointment.

Maybe?

NOW you're getting with the virtual trade show program! Also note there are zoom settings to increase the audio. Zoom has automatic removal of NAMM show crowd noise smile

Microsoft Teams also works pretty well...we have options.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3056148 07/28/20 03:24 PM
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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3056169 07/28/20 05:23 PM
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NAMM will be making its decision around August 15. I think they will need pretty compelling positive evidence to move forward.

I really had my heart set on going to Music China this year...the event itself is still scheduled, but I don't want to get caught in a COVID-19 crossfire where I have to quarantine for two weeks in China because I came from the US, or the US won't let me back in because I'm coming from China, or whatever.

Not sure if Synthplex is going to happen either, which would be a real shame. It's such a great show and had so much momentum going from last year.

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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3056463 07/30/20 04:26 PM
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Going virtual is not popular with those who are used to attending physically. For those who have never attended physically, virtual participation will be great. They will feel like they have been able to participate for the first time, and will not feel cheated. This second group of people is orders of magnitude larger than the first. Once everyone figures that out, big live trade shows will never be the same. They may have a physical component, but it won't be half as important as the virtual one. (This is probably true already).

I think that product overviews like the ones provided by loopop, Mark Doty, or the Hydrasynth review here more than replace a quick demo or preset jam on a noisy tradeshow floor. They are deeper than any print reviews I've read with respect to product features & function. After all you get to see someone manipulating the UI and going into all the menus. Print can't do that. The one weakness of these reviews is that they don't include much player's experience or "good for this, not so good for that" analysis. But at this point, that is no longer very important to me. I know what I'm looking for, and can make my own assessment of how it fits into what I have. A complete walkthrough is something I will spend 30-60 min on for a potentially interesting product.

I've gone to tech trade shows for years as a vendor - all over the world. I know the drill. It is fun to see friends and former colleagues. I get that part. But moving past the "it is different", there are also things that are better if you eliminate the necessity of physical presence. Reach and consistency of message being two that immediately come to mind. Many companies are NOT gutted with the switch and are finding new opportunities to touch target customers directly.

Now, NAMM is ostensibly for manufacturers and retailers to meet, not for musicians and creators. They all know each other anyway, but it's fun to get together. I get that. It is true in any industry. But virtual is little hinderance to the business side - orders will be placed anyway. For me as a musician, that part of NAMM is meaningless - the show is just a time of year to expect more product announcements.

I've thought about going to NAMM many times, but have never been able to muster up any enthusiasm. Within hours of any product announcement, the whole online music world that cares about that kind of product knows. (Even if it isn't NAMM season) Smart companies have already pre-seeded online "review/demos" but even if not, they appear in short order as beta testers and others are allowed to post their videos. It is rare that it takes more than a few days for critical details to emerge as vendors often post directly into forums or comment sections to clarify important points.

One thing I've noticed in the live sound world is that companies have made full training classes available online that used to be in person. Engagement has been high. Instead of getting a few minutes in a booth, one can fully understand the product. It is not a case of direct replacement, but of getting different benefits and even deeper engagement. There is the possibility that these different benefits exceed what is lost. I suspect perspective on this will be tied to how "in" or "out" of the NAMM club one was pre-COVID. One group has lost something. The other has only things to gain, and that group is larger. The organizations that understand that and pivot will find new opportunities. But they will be "different" and not a direct replacement.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
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Originally Posted by Anderton
NAMM will be making its decision around August 15. I think they will need pretty compelling positive evidence to move forward.


r.

there is a Harvard study indicating that LA county and 4 neighboring counties should go to shelter in place due to uncontrolled Covid spread.

Orange County was not mentioned. Just the same, the venue will have to deal with this.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
GregC #3056479 07/30/20 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GregC
Originally Posted by Anderton
NAMM will be making its decision around August 15. I think they will need pretty compelling positive evidence to move forward.

there is a Harvard study indicating that LA county and 4 neighboring counties should go to shelter in place due to uncontrolled Covid spread.

Orange County was not mentioned. Just the same, the venue will have to deal with this.

The unknown factor is what's going to happen between now and January. We're looking at over 5 months out. Five months is about what it took the "early adopters" like New York to get things under control, but given the slipshod approach toward the pandemic (and the possibility of Round 2 during the traditional flu season), anything's possible.

Bear in mind that for years, people have gotten colds and sometimes flu at NAMM - people joke about going to NAMM and getting "NAMMthrax." People don't die from it, or end up in the hospital, but it does show that having over 100K people in a convention center can be an issue.

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Joe Muscara #3056483 07/30/20 07:13 PM
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I love NAMM. I love meeting friends there.

I will not be going this year.

When we were at NAMM last year, some of you might have heard me say that I thought there was a good chance we would not have a winter NAMM.

I do not have faith that between now and late January, enough people will do what's necessary.

Prior to this, the only year I ever missed NAMM was when I had a bad knee and was signed up to have knee surgery a week after NAMM.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3056509 07/31/20 12:08 AM
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In January, I said this might be my last NAMM show. I had all the clients I could handle, I knew what I needed to know from companies, and I was still not feeling well from the "it-might-have-been-corona-virus-who-knows" attack I had in December...the sickest I've EVER been. But, I didn't think it would be because a pandemic got in the way.

As to not seeing friends, yeah, that's a problem. But for the cost of going to NAMM, I could take a trip to California, rent a car, and visit all my friends there.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Anderton #3056535 07/31/20 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
In January, I said this might be my last NAMM show. I had all the clients I could handle, I knew what I needed to know from companies, and I was still not feeling well from the "it-might-have-been-corona-virus-who-knows" attack I had in December...the sickest I've EVER been. But, I didn't think it would be because a pandemic got in the way.

As to not seeing friends, yeah, that's a problem. But for the cost of going to NAMM, I could take a trip to California, rent a car, and visit all my friends there.

Well, when this is all over, yes, let's visit. That would be fun.

That sickness does not sound very fun.

Who knows, maybe I can go in Winter 2023. That's somewhat optimistic, isn't it? grin

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Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3057875 08/10/20 11:54 PM
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It's indeed a no, but I don't think I'm revealing any secrets that NAMM has been entertaining the possibility for a long time. So they're not caught unprepared, and (fingers crossed) I'm hoping they pull off something that goes over well.

NAMM has changed a lot over the years. I think the current leadership really wants to do the right thing for all concerned.

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Ad-blocker blocked, but I think we all knew that the live show would be cancelled. The on-line version seminars and tutorials that don't involve gear (that you don't have at home so you can follow along) like line array speakers or big consoles will probably come off OK, and there may even be a way to make them interactive. But unless they send me gear by request and let me play with it (and maybe conference with a tech rep), I'm going to miss that part, and y'all will probably miss, for the first time, my show report.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Mike Rivers #3057889 08/11/20 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
But unless they send me gear by request and let me play with it (and maybe conference with a tech rep), I'm going to miss that part...

With hardware, that's tough. Software...not so much. I bet any company would send you a time-limited NFR, if not a full one that you can evaluate - assuming a trial version isn't available already.

But another question is how much "new stuff" will there be anyway? The companies I've talked to have enough of a challenge meeting the demand for, and manufacturing, their existing hardware. When you look at online retailers, it's amazing how much stuff is out of stock, backordered, or not available for at least 90 days. I assume that's more of a concern for companies than coming up with new products, at least for now.

My understanding is that Sweetwater actually sold more gear during the virtual GearFest than the physical one. Why not? Anyone in the US could participate in the virtual one, without having to get on a plane or drive to Fort Wayne. Not to point too fine a point on it, but I feel validated about the advantage of a virtual show's ability to transcend time zones and geographical limitations. Does that make up for Mike not being able to test out gear, or me not meeting friends, and not running into SSS folks by accident? No, it doesn't. But, it offers advantages for a lot of other people. And the companies save hundreds of thousands of dollars if they don't attend, which can perhaps be spent on something that ultimately will be more beneficial to their employees, customers, or both.

Of course Anaheim won't be too happy about it, but let's face it, NAMM is not the same kind of economic engine as Disneyland.

Even without COVID-19, changes were accelerating. The pandemic just added another 20 dB of gain smile

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3057908 08/11/20 06:28 AM
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I'll miss the social part of NAMM. I look forward to what they have in store, which I believe they will announce in a few weeks.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3057935 08/11/20 04:12 PM
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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: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Joe Muscara #3057962 08/11/20 08:25 PM
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I actually think this is a pretty cool way to deal with the situation.

Re: The NAMM 2021 is Going On??!!
Anderton #3057965 08/11/20 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
But unless they send me gear by request and let me play with it (and maybe conference with a tech rep), I'm going to miss that part...

With hardware, that's tough. Software...not so much. I bet any company would send you a time-limited NFR, if not a full one that you can evaluate - assuming a trial version isn't available already.

Nearly all software these days has a reasonable free trial period, but if I wanted more time or to get around limitations for a "demo" I expect that I could get a license - and indeed I've accumulated a few over the years. Thing is that I'm a hardware guy, and I don't use software the way most users do. So not only would I know how to evaluate software knowing what I do about hardware, I probably couldn't say any more about it than what has already been said by other reviewers and forum posters who use it all the time.

Back when I was writing reviews for Recording and Pro Audio Review, I had hardware coming in here - interfaces, mic preamps, a couple of mics (I don't like reviewing things where what's to evaluate is really just how it sounds on things you can try it on), consoles, interfaces, and recorders. My one software review (only posted on my web site) was of IK Multimedia's MODO Bass - because I was particularly interested in how they were doing the modeling - it was based on string mechanics - and I wanted to see how closely the harmonic content of a real and a simulated string was when you changed certain characteristics like string length, tension, and material. But this was in essence a hardware review.

My kind of review is different from most everyone else's, and I got a lot of favorable feedback from readers who appreciated the deep dive, and, from reading, learned some things that weren't in the spec sheet, manufacturer's web page, or manual.

Since I'm not longer associated with a "real" publication, relationships that I built up with manufacturers 20 years ago no longer mean much. The "guy" who would send me a unit for review doesn't know me from any of the other bloggers, so it's hard to convince them that my reviews are different, or, even if they understood that, that their customers would care.

It's hard to convince a manufacturer that a review is valuable even if the web site where it's posted gets only about 10 hits a day. It's not like Pensado's Place. I had the thought that MPN had been around long enough and was well enough known throughout the industry and user's community, and was hoping to maybe get some reputation back here, but activity in the forums, at least the ones that pertain to gear that I might review, is really pretty sparse. But, unfortunately forums are getting like that all over, unless it's social media.

Quote
But another question is how much "new stuff" will there be anyway?

A valid question. But there's older stuff that hasn't been reviewed in much technical detail. And, when I write a review, I don't just spew facts and test results, I explain why something I've chosen to write about is important, so whether the reader decides that he needs the product or not, he's come away learning something that will help him understand, perhaps, a competing product. Or just gain some knowledge.

Quote
My understanding is that Sweetwater actually sold more gear during the virtual GearFest than the physical one. Why not? Anyone in the US could participate in the virtual one, without having to get on a plane or drive to Fort Wayne.

Well, it seems that there are plenty of people who are willing to make a purchase decision based on others' experience with it, or published specs and features. And I'll grand that few are disappointed with their purchase. But then, Sweetwater, with the annual live Gearfest, has always been primarily a mail-order dealer rather than a storefront with a showroom, though they have an excellent demonstration facility for those who pay them a visit. And, I expect that their return rate on things purchased during Gearfest was probably not significantly different than year-round. Maybe a bit higher because there's bound to be some impulse buying.

[/quote]Not to point too fine a point on it, but I feel validated about the advantage of a virtual show's ability to transcend time zones and geographical limitations.[/quote]

That makes published marketing material available any time, but how's show time different in that respect than any other time, other than that you have a flood of available literature? Can you ask a question and get an answer immediately? (well, admittedly, at live shows, I can't always do that either)

Quote
Does that make up for like not being able to test out gear, or me not meeting friends, and not running into SSS folks by accident? No, it doesn't.

This is one of the reasons why I attend shows. It's more than the gear. It's the free dinners, too. ;)\

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