NAMM announced that a convergence of 93,226 industry leaders, buyers, sellers, music educators, artists, media and music makers from 187 countries and territories gathered last week to take part in the NAMM Believe in Music Week virtual event.
Running Monday, January 18 through Friday, January 22, professionals virtually convened in 983 special sessions and events, engaged with 611 hours of live-streamed and programmed content, which included nearly 200 education, training and professional development sessions presented by 391 speakers, and experienced new products from 1,227 participating brands in the Marketplace.
“While we knew we could not truly replicate The NAMM Show, we felt that this unprecedented time made it even more important for us to gather the global industry with a Marketplace to launch new products, provide an extraordinary education campus and to bring everyone together as a community to promote music and to set the stage for industry recovery and growth,” says Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO. ‘What surprised me the most was the incredible amount of quality content that was created by NAMM and our members for Believe Week and the fact that we might have inadvertently just created the best music social network out there!”
Chris Martin, NAMM Chair and CEO of Martin Guitar, adds, “As you may have heard, the guitar business is pretty good despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. While some of us are doing ok, other members of our association and the communities they serve to continue to struggle. Believe in Music week served to help those in need while benefitting the industry at-large with education and the opportunities to connect.”
With its mission to support the people who bring music to the world, generous members and participants raised or pledged nearly $500,000 in matched funds for 12 nonprofit beneficiary organizations as well as other NAMM Foundation charities that work to advance access to music-making.
The idea for the matching campaign was conceived and led by Martin. After witnessing the impact of COVID-19 across the industry, Chris and Diane Martin offered a personal donation of $100,000 to kick-off the giveback campaign and matching program. Among those who answered the call to donate were Joe Castronovo, Korg USA; JC Curleigh, Gibson; David Kalt; Chris Lombardi, Drum Workshop; Joel Menchey, Menchey Music Service; Tom Sumner, Yamaha; Chuck Surack, Sweetwater; Chris White, White House of Music; Andy Zildjian, Sabian; and others, as the donations continued to come in in the days after Believe week.
On the opening day of Believe TV, Fred and Dinah Gretsch, the Gretsch Company and Jerry Ash and the Ash Family also announced the creation of the Bernice Ash Memorial Scholarship Fund in The NAMM Foundation.
The event took place on the Swapcard platform and created a social network of industry activity from members found across the globe to network, learn and be inspired. At press time, 33,379 international registrants — from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe == representing over 187 countries and territories – attended.
“The Yamaha team put a ton of effort into bringing our dealers and customers a great experience at Believe in Music week. Our team members met with hundreds of our dealers and many of them noted they were the best meetings they have ever had—either in person or virtual. And tens of thousands of customers dug into the content we presented in our 11 virtual booths,” states Tom Sumner, President of Yamaha Corporation of America. “Customer reaction to our Night of Worship featuring the Jason Lovins Band and We the Kingdom really connected with people and our documentary The Sound of Us was a moving experience for anyone that plays or just loves music. The Yamaha team was really pleased with this virtual version of our most important event of the year.”
“The NAMM team’s creativity represents the best of ‘the show must go on’ spirit by providing HARMAN and the rest of the industry with a platform on which we can connect with our customers,” adds David Glaubke, director of corporate communications, HARMAN. “Believe in Music week is a brilliant use of technology that brings forward programs and products to individuals who might not ordinarily have the opportunity to attend the show. While we wish we are all together in Anaheim, we are pleased that NAMM was committed to delivering the best possible experience.”
Juliana Kaltakhchan of Slovenia-based Flight Ukuleles states, “The show has exceeded our expectations! We feel like the platform helped us reach some people we wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise, and we had interesting meetings, which should help us grow and expand our business. As a smaller and newer company, we get inspired by seeing veteran brands that we look up to. Seeing the positive response to our ukuleles in this event truly helps validate the hard work we put in and it motivates us for the upcoming year.”
Alan Macpherson, CEO of L-Acoustics Americas, notes, “This year, rising to a new challenge with its Believe in Music week, NAMM proposed a well-thought-out alternative to the in-person show and has accompanied us as we built our show presence. The new format is providing excellent opportunities for interaction with new and existing clients and a platform for us to present our products and services to a wide and varied audience. L-Acoustics is proud to be part of Believe in Music.”