The New Look

It's that time again. The 2018 NAMM Show is right around the corner, and members can expect major changes with the opening of the new $190 million hall, Anaheim Convention Center North.

The 200,000-square-foot ACC North Hall marks the most significant expansion of The NAMM Campus in nearly two decades.

As a result, attendees at Winter NAMM can look forward to checking out hundreds of new pro-audio exhibitors, sessions and events. AES@NAMM Pro Sound Symposium, the Pro Production Sessions, and the Parnelli Awards are just a few of the programs that will debut at this year's show, held Jan. 25– 28 in Anaheim, California.

NAMM-goers can also look forward to a redesigned floor plan that will house over 2,000 exhibitors that will represent more than 7,000 brands.

"We took a new approach to 'gather the tribes' by building product communities through a reimagined floor layout," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. "We're excited about this opportunity to 'remodel the store.' Our members will hopefully find that navigating to important meetings will be easier, and we've made some significant investments in creating a quieter environment that's more conducive to business."

To help reduce noise from bleeding over, exhibitors will be grouped via industry segments, Lamond explained. On top of a reorganized flow of the convention center, an increased number of demo rooms will also be available to exhibitors.

"Volume was a key thing we heard over and over again from the dealer experience," Lamond said. "We were able to approach [that with] new solutions to the sound level."

On the education side, The NAMM Show has tripled the number of sessions by partnering with the

Audio Engineering Society, Entertainment Services and Technology Association, as well as the Front of House and Projection Lights & Staging News magazines.

To make room for the 350 additional sessions, the show has a new location in the Anaheim Hilton hotel: the NAMM U Hilton Education Center.

"NAMM U — traditional retailer education — will remain at the Idea Center inside the convention center, and we'll [still] host a different Breakfast Session each morning at the Hilton," Lamond explained. "[But] the suite of professional development opportunities available is absolutely unrivaled and will help members learn about new areas as they seek to diversify their businesses."

Throughout the show, NAMM attendees can enjoy free concerts at the Arena Plaza and Grand Plaza stages.

As for special events, on Friday night the She Rocks Awards will honor women who stand out in the music industry at the House of Blues. At the Hilton Anaheim Hotel, the Parnelli Awards will recognize influential, pioneering professionals in the live event category. And Saturday welcomes the 33rd TEC Awards, with awards given to the groundbreaking products being used in audio and sound production.

With continuing change found throughout all areas of the music and sound industries and a larger-than-ever NAMM Show, Lamond encourages MI retailers to start the year off right by traveling to Anaheim.

He asked, "Who really knows where this is all going? And, more importantly, what can our retail members do to better adapt?"

"In my opinion, Lamond continued, "that makes attending The NAMM Show all the more critical to continued success.

"There's no better place to see the future of music and pro-audio products," he said. MI