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Indiana NAMM and the Temple of Doom?


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I just got back from NAMM, which did its last summer show in Nashville. Attendance was okay, but the show itself was smaller (the pro audio/DJ/lighting area in the arena section was closed).

 

Next year, Summer NAMM goes to Indianapolis, and the reaction among crowd and exhibitors was wildly mixed. Some said that Indianapolis really knows how to host conventions -- all the hotels and restaurants are close by for easy access, and the revitalized downtown is happening. Others say that unlike Nashville or Austin (the host city after Indianapolis), Indy is not a "go-to" music destination. They think it's going to be hard to attract people to go there.

 

Opinions, anyway? I'm particularly interested in any comments people from Indianapolis might have on their convention center scene.

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Although I technically live in Indiana, I'm about 45 minutes from Chicago.

 

But in the last two years, I've been to 7 trade shows in various capacities there, most involving multimedia, marketing, or promotional campaigns. Although it's no Chicago, they are trying HARD to do right by convention goers. There is no complacency in their attitudes.

 

And their downtown is definitely a development zone. Very revitalized.

 

As far as a "go to" music destination, I'm not sure why that matters. Technically, summer NAMM (even more than winter NAMM) is for the retailers...are they really going to not go because it's not in a music mecca? I've been to NAMM 5 times, and I don't think I've ever felt the vibe of the venue city.

 

More importantly, I think summer NAMM will feel the brunt of the Internet as as an information dissemination tool. The only thing at this NAMM that I was surprised by was the Alesis guitar, the new low cost singlecut Parker, and the hand-wired Marshall amps. Everything else was old news, expected, guessed at, or not that exciting (wow, another mid-level tube pre).

 

Did Gibson finally show a working all digital Les Paul?

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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I personally would like to see it held in different communities. Yeah...sure, Indy = race in most people's minds, but what the hey. I might actually be able to make it to Indy.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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I just visited Indy (my brother just moved there) and it is a really cool town. I think it would be a great place for a convention. Not as hip as Austin, but a lot nicer and easier to navigate than Nashville.

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I am all for NAMM being held in Indy. I was born and raised there, I NEVER get home and I have never been to NAMM. A chance to kill 2 birds with one stone.

 

Now, who do I have to kill to get a pass?

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I'm an Indy native. I found it dull. Nice enough place, really, but...dull.

I'm having a hard time, honestly, envisioning what's been 'revitalized' about downtown. It's been tried so many times, and has met with lukewarm success. Union Station, for example. And the 500 has been milked so many times, you'd think that the cow was surely dead by now.

 

I really do hope it goes well for NAMM, there. It would be nice to see it turn into a "who'da thunk it?" type of thing.

I've upped my standards; now, up yours.
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NAMM Summer Session is already smaller and less hyped than the Winter Session, and IMO needs all the help it can to get attendees. Nashville was the draw for me the last few years, but Indy isn't appealing. I think I'm going to just stick with Winter NAMM, abandon the Summer session, and plan a trip for my wife and I to spend a few days in Nashville just for pleasure.

 

Just my opinion.

 

And this makes NAMM #6 wherein I've yet to bump into Craig Anderton. :(

 

edit to add: I did have a very nice conversation with SOS's Paul White. VERY funny guy.

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Well, I've discovered that no matter where NAMM is, I have little chance of going. ;) When I was in MI retail, only the bigwigs went. Even had I been at Gibson during NAMM, my ability to go would have been tenuous. So I will miss it being in Nashville, but I can't say I've had the opportunity to enjoy it in years.

 

In all the time I've posted to the SSS I've yet to meet Mr. Anderson. For that matter, Dan (Techristian) was the only connection from the SSS I managed in the past two years. (Although I was in Chicago this past weekend.)

 

I would have liked to investigate the new products, but it seems Summer NAMM has gotten smaller... and smaller... and smaller. :(

 

I hope they enjoy Indy. I drive through every once in a while, but I've never stopped for more than a meal on I-65. :confused:

 

We'll see... we'll see.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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For the past couple years I've seen the Summer NAMM Show get smaller and smaller ... I don't know why NAMM would think they need to consider another venue outside of Nashville, if it's size of venue they're after or music scene ????

 

I didn't bother to go this year, didn't get a single call from a form member, nor saw a NAMM report ... blow -by-blow action as in the past.

 

I would have gladly picked anyone up at the airport AND put them up for the night ... probably hit the record button too !@#$%^&

 

I can hear a pin drop ... can you hear me now ???

 

Russ

http://home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-russragsdale

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Well if anyone has passes they can give me that can get me in, I'm already here and dont really care how much it sucks......
"Cliff Burton (the "Major rager of the 4-string mother f***er", from Metallica)" Direct quote from Wikipedia (censored out of respect for the forum)
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I guess I can chime-in on this one, seeing that I spent my youth in Indy and have been back a few times, since then.

 

The one thing you got to remember about Indy, is that downtown is surrounded by poor people, mostly black on the north and white on the south, The middle of downtown Indy has been spruced-up quite a bit, but most of the money has gone north.

 

The last time I was there, I saw mansions that were totally in dis-repair, because the blacks had moved into those places, close to the Fair-grounds, if you know Indy at all, those were some of the greatest old architectural homes in the "old" Indy.

 

The new "downtown" has been re-vitalized with some fantastic museums, the canals have been cleared for some of the way, and if you don't venture too far from the middle, you'll be OK. I have no idea about the new convention center, or arena, or the new dome...............?

 

:wave:

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
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...and Anaheim, CA *IS* a music mecca? The event is wildly successful because of the *event* and its PARTICIPANTS, not the city in which it is located. Granted, the city needs the infrastructure such as nearby attractions other than the event itself, but I think IMS is a pretty good venue historically. I am sure they have plenty of decent restaurants and hotels and shopping centers and all the stuff that supports the Indy 500 as well, so this city is no stranger to hosting world-class events.

 

As far as Nashville being a music mecca, Phil Keaggy told us that he and Wings' guitarist (was that Robin Ford?) had put together a concert together with the Nashville Philharmonic (or ws that Symphony?) Orchestra that they busted their butts on and the concert was held in Nashville to approximately 170 people who bothered to show up to see it! Music mecca? Not in my book after hearing that! That is just plain shameful!

 

Sorry, but the city not being a "music mecca" is just a pretty lame excuse to target the location to me. Boggs

Check out my Rock Beach Guitars page showing guitars I have built and repaired... http://www.rockbeachguitars.com
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Boggs,

 

I think the point is Nashville has historically been a "musical" city as compared Indy. It doesn't surprise me that a concert wasn't well attended in Nashville, can you say jaded?. Make music all day the last thing these folks do is go see more music.

 

With this group it's all about the hang. Nashville was fun, the early shows were very well attended but soon the charm wore thin.

 

I don't think you'll see the crowds again until Austin.

 

They should alternate between Nashville and Austin with a Memphis stuck in there every now and then

 

Vegas is out. People in this industry do multiple shows in a year and Vegas is already on the schedule many times.

 

We used to say we were having a sales contest

First Prize: One week in Vegas

Second Prize: Two weeks in Vegas

overheard street personality on Venice Beach "Man, that Bullshit is Bulllshhittt...."
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Originally posted by Boggs:

The event is wildly successful because of the *event* and its PARTICIPANTS, not the city in which it is located.

That's true, but the summer NAMM show isn't much of an *event* compared to the winter show. IMO.

 

In the winter, I go to Anaheim to see NAMM. In the summer, I've been going to NAMM to see Nashville.

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On a side note NAMM Show To Remain In Anaheim Through 2010 .

 

I actually don't like going to shows in Anaheim. It's so...Orange County.

 

I also wish the summer show would circulate, and go more north or east - Boston, Toronto, Cleveland, but I know the benefits to NAMM of being a repeat customer.

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Originally posted by Boggs:

...and Anaheim, CA *IS* a music mecca? The event is wildly successful because of the *event* and its PARTICIPANTS, not the city in which it is located...

Hold on, Tex! That's about as big an oversimplification as I can imagine.

 

Anaheim might as well be LA proper to the out-of-towners. And it isn't the music aspect that makes Anaheim the big draw so far as NAMM is concerned. Can you say, "warm"??? How many MI retailers would go to Winter NAMM if it were held in New York in January? Ok, they'd all go.. but not with a smile on their face, and the reason is my next point.

 

You mention the participants and the event. Well, the event has nothing to do with the location and the participants pretty much have to be at Winter NAMM.

 

MI retailers, like most retailers, are flush with spending money after Christmas. That makes Winter NAMM the show to go to if you have to choose between the two. Although new product rollouts make the headlines, the real business of NAMM is in the large orders and new vendor/dealer relationships that are made. You take care of both these issues when you have money in your pocket to buy more product. Again, that would be just after the Christmas season.

 

Also, as an employee of a company whose business it is to conceive, plan, and produce meetings and conventions, I can say with certainty that every company has reduced its' convention budget since 9/11 and only this year has that trend begun to reverse. Even direct marketing companies, who live and die by charging the masses with regional rallies have reduced their presence. It's only logical that, given the above fact about $$$ and the timing of Winter NAMM, that between the two shows, Summer NAMM would suffer the brunt of this. It is, therefore, no surprise Summer NAMM has become smaller and smaller each year. And that trend, once started, is difficult to reverse. A change of venue might help, but I think they erred by not starting with Austin.

 

As far as Nashville being a music mecca, Phil Keaggy told us that he and Wings' guitarist (was that Robin Ford?) {Note: That would be Laurence Juber. And I was crushed to learn he played a show with Al Stewart at the Bluebird that I missed, but was unaware he was with Keaggy at the Symphony show.} had put together a concert together with the Nashville Philharmonic (or ws that Symphony?) Orchestra that they busted their butts on and the concert was held in Nashville to approximately 170 people who bothered to show up to see it! Music mecca? Not in my book after hearing that! That is just plain shameful!

 

Sorry, but the city not being a "music mecca" is just a pretty lame excuse to target the location to me. Boggs

I can't argue with the fact that Nashville is a tough sell for live music. I believe dougsthang' is absolutely correct in suggesting the following:

 

Originally posted by dougsthang'

It doesn't surprise me that a concert wasn't well attended in Nashville, can you say jaded?. Make music all day the last thing these folks do is go see more music.

As the late Malcolm Chisholm (Engineer at Chess Records) used to reply (with a scowl) when asked what music he listened to on his own time, "WHAT DOES A HOOKER DO ON HER DAY OFF?"

 

The fact is Nashville is literally inundated with concerts by fantastic talent every week. From the best songwriting talent to up and coming acts to the typical bands available in any city of appreciable size, you can find it somewhere in Nashville all the time. But we're not a city/region with the population of a New York, LA, or Chicago. Or for that matter, an Atlanta.

 

Austin, by contrast, is a small city known for it's live music. What's different between the two cities in this respect.. I don't know? But comparing Indy with Nashville with respect to music is almost inconceivable.

 

I wish them well, but secretly I hope they reconsider and bounce between Austin and Nashville.. that is, after someone makes a commitment to making a good reason for more NAMM members to attend.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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I don't know if I'm missing something, but it doesn't seem to matter whether the city is a musicopolis or not. I think what matters is accessibility and services. There are not that many music clubs in Anaheim, for instance, in yet the show seems to thrive there.
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<>

 

A big part of that is yes, SoCal is a great place to go in January if you're from the Midwest, Northeast, etc. But another factor is that a lot of the attendees are music store owners and personnel. They bring their families, and one parent does Disney with the kids, while the other does the show. That's another aspect to Anaheim that makes the venue attractive.

 

When NAMM was considering moving the Winter show to Vegas when the Anaheim Convention Center was being renovated, the concept was turned down by a lot of dealers because they didn't think of it as a good place to bring the family compared to Anaheim.

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I didn't realize so many attendees brought their families, so that would definitely be something to consider!!
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<>

 

There wasn't much tech stuff, agreed. This definitely seemed like the "last show in Nashville, summer NAMM, so what" event.

 

Still, I found some stuff I liked...

 

* Live 4

* The Numark cheapo CD duplicator

* Alesis minikeyboard with AirFX controller that sends MIDI data

* The AT stereo field recording mic - perfect for upgrading my MD sound for field recording

* The Korg tube preamp thingie with digital and the Crossfour video mixer

* Sony Vegas+DVD 5.0

* Sharktooth pick holder. Now I can use any gauge pick as a thumbpick!

* Alienware and Digital Audio Wave laptops

* Porchboard accompaniment device -- wacky but cool.

 

My biggest surprise was that I had a product at the show and didn't know it! Apparently M-Audio picked up the "Turbulent Filth Monsters" sample CD I did for Discrete Drums.

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Originally posted by Anderton:

<>

 

A big part of that is yes, SoCal is a great place to go in January if you're from the Midwest, Northeast, etc. But another factor is that a lot of the attendees are music store owners and personnel. They bring their families, and one parent does Disney with the kids, while the other does the show. That's another aspect to Anaheim that makes the venue attractive.

 

When NAMM was considering moving the Winter show to Vegas when the Anaheim Convention Center was being renovated, the concept was turned down by a lot of dealers because they didn't think of it as a good place to bring the family compared to Anaheim.

Great point, Craig. In this respect, Nashville became much less attractive when Gaylord dumped Opryland Themepark for the Opry Mills Mall. :mad: This was a huge issue for convention and tourism in Nashville. What am I saying?? It is still a huge issue for convention and tourism in Nashville. Had they created something to rival Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN (another Mills Corp. creation) instead of simply a fairly normal mall with some unique shops, Nashville might still have had the family allure of its' last 30 years.

 

And I think you're correct. This does seem to have been somewhat of a lame duck session.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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fntstcsnd

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Originally posted by Anderton:

* Sharktooth pick holder. Now I can use any gauge pick as a thumbpick!

Any gauge? Even like a 4mm stone pick, like Real Rock makes? Maybe I can stop pestering them to somehow make a stone thumbpick?

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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