Canadian Music Trade - In Depth

Focus on Summer NAMM 2018

By: Michael Raine. Photos: Getty Images for NAMM

Though the annual Summer NAMM show continues to grow each year and also become a more international affair – with a 28 per cent year-over-year increase in international attendees in 2017– it remains a significantly smaller and close-knit event compared to the colossal show held each winter in Anaheim. But that might be one of its most appealing traits.

In an intimate industry such as MI and audio, more business and learning can often be done in a less hectic atmosphere. That’s not to say, however, that NAMM shortchanges its members who make the trek to Nashville; on the contrary, you would be hard-pressed to find an event that packs more valuable content and unique experiences into just three days.

There will be over 1,600 brands on display across the show floor, including more than 200 new exhibitors as Summer NAMM regularly attracts standout emerging brands in addition to the most popular manufacturers. Dealers are sure to find something that will be a hit in their stores heading into the all-important back-to-school and holidays seasons.

As well, because NAMM is continually evolving to serve an ever-changing industry, this year’s Summer NAMM is embracing the pro audio market like never before. As pro audio and MI become increasingly intertwined, this is sure to be an added benefit to dealers.

Let’s take a look at what awaits in Music City…

Show Dates & Hours

Thursday, June 28 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, June 29 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 30 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Show Location

Nashville Music City Center
700 Korean Veterans Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37203

Level 1 – Davidson Ballroom
Level 2 – Meeting rooms
Level 3 – Exhibit Halls C & D
The Terrace – Outdoor live music, food and beverages

Special Events

Retail Training Summit
Wednesday, July 27

The pre-show Retail Boot Camp is being replaced with the new Retail Training Summit for 2018. Still taking place the day before the opening of Summer NAMM, this all-day mini-conference will feature six tracks covering all aspects of retail. Each track is designed to elevate business know-how, and each runs a half-day so attendees can attend up to two of them.
During the morning program, attendees can choose between three tracks: Business Growth and Entrepreneurship; Social Media; and Financial Management. For the afternoon program, the track options are: Website and SEO; Sales and Customer Experience; and Succession Planning.

Future of the Guitar Series
The inaugural Future of the Guitar series at Summer NAMM will feature curated guitar-focused product collections, sessions, and interactive experiences with an aim to educate and inspire guitar buyers and enthusiasts about new innovations and future trends. Guitar-related activities will be happening across the campus, culminating with the Make Music Experience open to all enthusiasts on the last day of the show. The guitar-focused features will include educational sessions, special displays, and ukulele and guitar circles.

The Top 100 Dealer Awards
Friday, June 29

The Top 100 Dealer Awards spotlight the industry’s very best music product retailers and shares their strategies for success. In addition to choosing the Top 100 Dealers, an independent panel of judges also picks winners in seven “best of” categories, from which the prestigious Dealer of the Year is selected. From the Top 100 honorees, seven music retailers will be recognized in: Best Store Turnaround; Best Customer Service; Best Store Design; Best Marketing and Sales Promotion; Best Online Engagement; Best Emerging Dealer/Rookie of the Year; and one recipient will be honoured with the Music Makes a Difference award. The Dealer of the Year award will go to one of the recipients in the aforementioned categories.
The five Canadian dealers to make the Top 100 Dealers list are Vancouver, BC’s Bluedog Guitars; Richmond Hill, ON’s Cosmo Music; Oakville, ON’s Merriam Music; Ottawa’s Ottawa Pianos; and Kelowna, BC’s Wentworth Music.

Make Music Experience
Saturday, June 30

The Make Music Experience is an all-day, all-access pass for the prosumer audience to demo the latest music and pro audio gear from manufacturers, delve into career-enhancing education opportunities, and network with other music industry insiders. For retailers and manufacturers, they can better understand what their customers want as thousands of aspiring music professionals and influencers attend the show.

Pro Audio Showcase

The new Pro Audio Showcase will serve the recording and live sound marketplace with new benefits for pro audio professionals. Those include:

Pensado’s Place
Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick, co-hosts of the popular web show Pensado’s Place, will be at Summer NAMM where they’ll host in-depth interviews on recording techniques, products, and projects with audio and recording luminaries. Pensado and Trawick will also host a special TEC Tracks Meetup mentoring session.

Future of Pro Audio Sessions
In the Future of Pro Audio Sessions, pro audio retailers, buyers, manufacturers, and other professionals will find a selection of pro audio-focused education sessions that are relevant to what’s happening right now in the industry.

Future of Audio Summit
Advanced Audio and Applications Exchange (A3E), as part of the Future of Audio Summit, will present six in-depth sessions from the TEC Tracks stage, sharing insights and strategies for musicians, music software developers, and technologists.

TEC Tracks Sessions
This year will be the most robust TEC Tracks lineup yet. Led by industry experts, these sessions for sound, studio, and stage professionals feature innovative ideas in recording, live sound, and music business. Catch new sessions every hour on the show floor.

Pro Audio Lounge
A Place to Gather at the Pro Audio Lounge
New this year, the pro audio community will have a dedicated lounge that will facilitate networking, education, and product discovery, as well as celebrate the pro audio community. A special networking reception will be held there on Thursday, June 28 at 4:30 p.m. to announce the official TEC Awards nominees for the year — a first at Summer NAMM.

TEC Tracks Meetups
New TEC Tracks Meetups will also provide an opportunity for pro audio professionals to connect. These meetups feature mentoring and extended Q&As in small groups, highlighting iconic industry personalities and leaders.

NAMM University Schedule

Breakfast Sessions

NAMM U will be offering Breakfast Sessions each morning in the Music City Center’s Davidson Ballroom. A free breakfast is served 8 a.m. and the session runs from 8:30-9:30 a.m. These sessions feature in-depth discussions and guest speaker presentations featuring industry insiders weighing in with their ideas and strategies for doing business in today's competitive marketplace.

Thursday, June 28
Retail Innovators

NAMM President & CEO Joe Lamond & Guests
NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond will conduct insightful discussions with forward-thinking retailers who will share how they’re thriving with innovative, effective, and even unconventional business models – and, in some cases, disrupting the industry as we know it.

Friday, June 29
How to Become a Digital Powerhouse: 7 Steps to Online Transformation

Marcus Sheridan, Marketing Guru & Partner at IMPACT
International marketing thought leader Marcus Sheridan will reveal proven steps for turning a traditional organization into a powerhouse for this age of online marketing, e-commerce, and disruptive technologies. Using examples from inside and outside the industry, he’ll show how real companies are not only embracing the digital age, but also dominating their industries. Attendees will find out how to create a digital culture throughout all levels of their companies that build their brand, business and bottom line.

Saturday, June 30
Best in Show
Panel moderated by Frank Alkyer, Music Inc. & UpBeat Daily magazines
Frank Alkyer will moderate a panel of music retail experts for this fast-moving Breakfast Session. The panelists will have shopped the far corners of the show floor to identify the biggest products, technologies, and services at the show. The idea is to highlight the gear that is most likely to make a big impact in the fourth quarter and the New Year.

Idea Center Sessions - Booth 453

Idea Center sessions are educational sessions, usually 30-minutes in length with some running longer, that are filled with business-building ideas that retailers can be put to use right away.

Thursday, June 28

10:30 a.m.
5 Essential Strategies to Grow Your Lessons
Melissa Loggins, Music Authority

11 a.m.
Instagram Tips to Drive Engagement, Traffic & Sales
Jenn Herman, Social Media Strategist

11:30 a.m.
5 Tips for a Successful Website in an Amazon World
Sean Roylance, Rain Retail Software

12 p.m.
Innovative Store Design Ideas from Top 100 Dealers
Tim Spicer, Spicer’s Music (Moderator), and Panel

12:30 p.m.
Facebook 2018: What Works Now, What Doesn’t
Jenn Herman, Social Media Strategist

1 p.m.
The Secrets of Successful Lesson Programs
Cindy & Rand Cook, The Candyman Strings & Things (Moderators); Mike & Miriam Risko, Mike Risko Music; and Robin Sassi & Kimberly Deverell, San Diego Music Studio

1:30 p.m.
How to Maximize Your Local Traffic with Google
Liz Jostes, Eli Rose Social Media

2 p.m.
The Most Dangerous Things Music Retailers Do
Alan Friedman & Daniel Jobe, Friedman, Kannenberg & Co.

2:30 p.m.
5 Keys to Improve Your Online Rental Business
Peter Sides, Robert M. Sides Family Music

3 p.m.
4 Steps for an Effective Social Media Program
Ben Blakesley, Online & Social Marketing Expert

3:30 p.m.
Insider eBay Tips to Grow Your Business
Anne Hill, eBay, and James Adkins, Willcutt Guitars

4 p.m.
How to Host Offsite Events That Grow Your Business
Shawna Wingerberg, Antonio Violins, and Brandon Voorhees, Buddy Roger’s Music

4:30 p.m.
Beyond Rock Camp: Plan Summer Music Camps That Break the Mold
Lindy Campbell, Music on the Hill, and Tim Spicer, Spicer’s Music

Friday, June 29

10:30 a.m.
5 YouTube Power Users & What You Can Learn From Them
Dan Abel,

11 am
Why Your Website Isn’t Working & What to Do About It
Catherine Brock, Inbound AV

11:30 a.m.
How You’re Killing Your Lesson Program
Pete Gamber, Music Inc. Magazine Columnist & Lessons Expert

12 p.m.
New Ideas to Deliver a Mind-Blowing Customer Experience
Michael & Leslie Faltin, Instrumental Music Center

12:30 p.m.
Creative (and Effective) Store Design on a Dime
Mark Maxwell, Maxwell’s House of Music

1 p.m.
The Secrets to Surviving the Tough Months
Alan Friedman, Friedman, Kannenberg & Co., and Bob Popyk, Music Trades Magazine Columnist

1:30 p.m.
4 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate & Empower Your Team
Will Mason, Mason Music

2 p.m.
How to Create a Visual Identity on Instagram (Double Session)
Ben Blakesley, Online & Social Marketing Expert

3:00 p.m.
How to Host Unique & Profitable Store Events
Tony Colwell, Third Rock Music Center

3:30 p.m.
Time Management: Take Control of Your To-Do List
Sean Samson, Sean Samson Training

4 p.m.
New Trends in the Guitar (Double Session)
Laura B. Whitmore, Mad Sun Marketing, and Panel

Saturday, June 30

10:30 a.m.
How to Prepare Your Music for Pitching
Josh Young, Atrium Music

11 a.m.
DIY Tips for Marketing & Social Media Success (Double Session)
Laura B. Whitmore, Mad Sun Marketing (Moderator) & Panel

12 p.m.
Success Secrets for Independent Songwriters and Artists (Double Session)
Thornton Cline, Bryce Hitchcock, Brenda Best & Trammell Starks

1 p.m.
Pensado’s Place Live at Summer NAMM (Double Session)
Dave Pensado & Herb Trawick (Hosts) & Special Guests

2 p.m.
How to Build a Fan Base in the New Music Industry (Double Session)
Ari Herstand, Singer-Songwriter, Author & Music Industry Blogger (Moderator); Andrew Leib, Red Light Management; & Hunter Scott, LaFamous PR

3 p.m.
Essential Tips for Getting Endorsed and Sponsored (Double Session)
Chandra Lynn, Glow Marketing (Moderator) & Panel

Canadian Exhibitors

Aeris Protective Packaging – Booth 1609
Aeris offers innovative inflatable packaging designed for guitars and musical instruments. Air-Chamber Packaging (ACP) is designed to fully protect instruments and their finishes with greater strength and shock absorption. Aeris’s ACP technology can be adapted to many musical instruments as well as other types of products, and are suitable for manufacturers, retailers, and more.

DiAuxine – Booth 1
At Summer NAMM 2018, DiAuxine will unveil for the first time in North America the Kaoline, which is best described as the electronic counterpart of a fretless bass or cello with extended capabilities, such as lighting control and video games integration. DiAuxine will also reveal an ecosystem of software plug-ins and tools, including its synthesizing and effect micro-engine with scripting and graphical programming capabilities.

Godin Guitars – Booth 1021
Godin will be showcasing its latest models, including new Stadium ‘59 and Montreal Premiere Limited models in desert green, as well as the complete line of four models in the new Summit Classic SG series and a new Dorchester short scale bass. On the acoustic side, the Seagull Ukulele, new Maritime SWS Series, and Entourage Series will also be shown. Art & Lutherie will feature a Roadhouse parlor guitar in a denim blue finish with the new Q-Discrete preamp.

IMSTA – Booth 158
IMSTA invites Summer NAMM attendees to its booth to learn about what the Toronto-based industry organization is doing in 2018 and beyond. IMSTA partnered with NAMM for the third year in a row at the January show to host Software.NAMM. IMSTA has scheduled 2018 IMSTA FESTA music technology shows in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Toronto, Berlin, and is debuting in Seoul, South Korea.

Levy’s Leathers – Booth 934
At Summer NAMM, Levy’s Leathers will be featuring all of the new items it introduced at The NAMM Show in January, including multi-coloured suedes, fun and affordable sublimation straps, and some hard rocking rock and metal straps. Additionally, Levy’s will be presenting one or two new-for-Summer NAMM straps. Be sure to ask the staff for a look.

Mr. Key Tag – Booth 1615
Mr. Key Tag is a custom merchandise company for gift shops and retailers, which has experienced a great reception in the past year with music retailers and other music businesses with its new line of string instrument key tag designs in guitar, banjo, mandolin, and more. MI dealers can use Mr. Key Tag’s designs with their own image on side one and corporate info on side two.

My Music Staff – Booth 504
My Music Staff is lesson management software that lets users schedule lessons, create invoices, record payments, and more. Visit them at Booth 504 where they’ll be doing live demos. Representatives will highlight the most popular features that make My Music Staff a go-to choice among business owners and administrators within the music-teaching industry. Visit to start a free trial.

Perri's Leathers – Booth 815
Perri’s Leathers is a family business that takes pride in its quality and uniqueness of its products. The company produces licensed guitar and instrument straps, along with picks and other accessories that cater to all ages and tastes. Perri’s will be showcasing its emoji licensed guitar straps and picks, as well as other licensed products featuring Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, Kiss, Guns & Roses, AC/DC, Rush, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie.

PG Music Inc. – Booth 531
Visit the PG Music Inc. booth to learn all about their Band-in-a-Box software, which offers professional quality arrangements for the user’s music projects. Join the PG Music team hourly for live demos of the program features and content – including RealTracks, actual audio recordings of session musicians, able to play any chord progressions the user enters in thousands of styles.

Revv Amplification – Booth 1154
Manitoba-based amp manufacturer Revv Amplification is inviting attendees by its booth to crank up any of the Generator and Dynamis series amplifiers. NAMM Show attendees are invited to stop by the booth for a demo of the entire Revv line up.

SFM – Booth 1420
SFM will showcase a range of products from its U.S.-distributed brands. Highlights include the Greg Koch signature amp from Koch Amps and the new Nomad rechargeable powered pedalboards from Outlaw Effects. One Control will present its latest Bjorn Juhl-designed overdrive pedals, Baby Blue and Super Apricot. Visitors will also find products and information from AER Amps, Animals Pedals, Timber Tones picks, and Hiscox Cases.


Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Music Trade

Author image
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
You've successfully subscribed to Canadian Music Trade - In Depth
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Canadian Music Trade - In Depth
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.