The 2007 Summer NAMM Show has wrapped up, and while there was some interesting new gear introduced, the show itself seems to be in decline.
Attendance at the annual summer event is in freefall, with only 12,845 people attending. This is a significant drop from 2006, which had a much lower attendance than 2005.
NAMM is putting a positive spin on it, noting that fewer people and fewer exhibitors meant that there was still a decent buyer-to-seller ratio.
“For the thousands of NAMM Members that made the commitment to come to Austin this year, most reported a positive business experience,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. “Many dealers told us they enjoyed the slower-paced quality time with their suppliers and peers to build relationships that are important and necessary for future business endeavors.”
Lamond continued, “NAMM remains true to our guiding principle that as long as there are NAMM Members who want and need this show to keep their businesses strong and growing, NAMM will continue to provide the venue. For us, producing this show is a service decision, not a financial decision. NAMM will announce the timing and location of the 2008 Summer NAMM event in August.”
A few years ago, NAMM switched from holding its Summer Show in Nashville to moving it around, which may have hurt attendance. Some people are more comfortable returning to a place that they know already, instead of having to make their way around an unfamiliar town.
Summer NAMM in Austin suffers from the fact that the weather is usually very hot, and Austin’s not at its peak because school isn’t in session.
The biggest thing hurting Summer NAMM, though, is the small number of interesting introductions. Much of the news from the show is that companies are shipping the items they introduced at the Winter NAMM Show.
We’d like to see NAMM work harder to get new, smaller companies to the Summer Show, to make it more of an alternative to the larger show. Unless NAMM makes some changes, it’s likely that its Summer Show will fade away before too long.