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iMSO presents its vendor award to Hanser Music Group. From left: iMSO's Chris Basile Hanser Music Group's Gary Hanser, iMSO's Gordy Wilcher, and Hanser's Bill Xavier and Matt Summy

iMSO Reaches Out, Awards Vendors

This year's Independent Music Store Owners (iMSO) NAMM show convocation turned into a standing-room-only event. Held Jan. 13 at the Hilton Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif., the event attracted 68 dealers, as well as new vendors and a half-dozen prospective members.

iMSO President Gordy Wilcher of Owensboro Music discussed several initiatives designed to generate dealer outreach, including the recently reformed iBuy program. Developed in collaboration with Pro-Active Websites and its sister company, Cutting-Edge Solutions, the soon-to-debut iBuy generator will provide members with one-stop product ordering from multiple distributors, as well as added SKUs and real-time tracking. Since its announcement, the e-commerce solution has already attracted 21 new vendors.

Wilcher attributed iMSO's growth — it now has 514 registered members — to word-of-mouth referral from independent sales reps.

He also emphasized the importance of a volunteer-based calling committee for contacting less-active members and inviting them to participate in the online forum, which Wilcher said is iMSO's most effective form of communication. The forum lets members exchange ideas and information and currently lists more than 30,000 unique posts.

iMSO also distributed 10 Independent Friendly Vendor Awards to standout distributors and manufacturers. Winners included The Music People, D'Addario, U.S. Band/St. Louis Music, Hanser Music Group, Curt Mangan Strings, The Music Link, EMD, Crafter, CBI Cables and Hal Leonard. Dealers interested in joining iMSO should visit its website,