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ConventionTV@NAMM 2011 20
Music & Sound Awards
INSIDE NAMM 2011
|Table of Contents
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Class is in Session
We feature many of the new, hot companies that exhibited at NAMM in January.
Gibson Guitar is expected to face charges due to alleged illegal wood imports.
NRF Talks Jobs,
Jobs and More Jobs
The key to retailers' success for 2011 is, you guessed it, jobs. But a lot more was discussed at the 100th NRF Annual Convention.
It’s a Record!
We give you a huge review of last month’s NAMM show. Were retailers and manufacturers optimistic for the rest of this year?
MSR Exclusive Interview
Zildjian and Vic Firth have teamed up to form a percussion powerhouse. We met with Craigie Zildjian and Vic Firth at NAMM to give you all of the details about the merger.Music Group's Master Plan
We get an exclusive look at the future of The Music Group, parent of Behringer, Bugera and more. We get an exclusive look at product launches, as well!Knock it Off With the Knockoffs!
Counterfeit products are killing the MI industry. But one company is fighting back big time. We’ll tell you how badly knockoffs could affect the industry if left unchecked.Music & Sound Award Nominees
We release the full list of nominees for Music & Sound Awards. See if your favorite product, person or company is nominated.
Taylor-Made For Europe
Taylor Guitars will sell all of its products directly to dealers in Europe beginning on Jan. 1. Find out why the big change was made and where Taylor’s European headquarters will be. We interview Brian Swerdfeger about it first.We Cover it All!
For the second time, we honor instruments that get zero or little press...
A ‘Super’ Party on Kent Island
Experience PRS loaded up on celebrities, new products and much more. Get the full scoop...
‘Father of RMM’ Passes
Karl Bruhn, a tireless music industry devotee, mentored many and made awareness of health and wellness together a lifelong initiative.
Don’t ‘Skip’ this Story!
Skip’s Music Celebrates 30th Anniversary of its Special Event
I Just Wanna Bang
on the Drums All Day
Your One-Stop Shop For The Holidays!
Heathcare Provision Could
Be a Nightmare
America the Beautiful
Not Doubting Thomas
Mendello Retires, Thomas Named Fender CEO
Music City Mystery
|-The Latest, Industry, Dealers, People and Product Buzz and Showcases.
NAMM in Photos
A lot happened at NAMM in January to say the least. We capture plenty of it within our three-page NAMM photo collage.
The Music & Sound
We cover the sad passing of two prominent retailers and another named the "Citizen of the Year."
Music & Sound Award
Our list of dealer winners for the 25th Music & Sound Awards.
Music & Sound Award Manufacturer Winners
Our list of manufacturer winners. And, this time, we got them to provide comments on the victories.
Five Minutes With
Learn tons about Yamaha with Takuya (Tak) Nakata, president of the company's USA division.
Spy took a long flight from the cold of New York to the less cold, but quite windy, San Francisco.
Appraisal Scene Investigation
Rebecca Apodaca takes another look at the legendary guitar builder R.C. Allen.
Unfortunately, Gene Fresco couldn't attend NAMM for health reasons. But he does have great information about a topic he hasn't covered before. He will help you get into your own head and make you believe. Believe what? Gene will tell you.
Business & Marketing
Carl Mandelbaum will present tips on how to develop your Web site.
Dan Vedda did attend NAMM. He has a lot of thoughts to share about the show.
Sharon Hennessey: Loves our industry, you will find out. She'll also tell you why she ultimately decided to join The Music People! And yes, she will definitely fill you in on her goals as a new NAMM board member.
Carla Alger: Being in the music industry is definitely the most exciting opportunity Carla Alger, chief financial officer at Two Old Hippies, has ever had. Find out why.
Dawn Werk:Dawn Werk, Alpha Books’ director of marketing, heads a group that is responsible for 450 non-fiction books. Now that’s a lot! Music is a small, but very important, part of that catalog.
Sonia Vallis: Sonia Vallis might be an only child, but she grew up with a sibling that has now become like another child to her.-
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|By Brian Berk
[August 2008 - Page 1]
|If you move it, they will come. Move locations that is. Summer NAMM in Nashville from June 20 to 22 was a huge hit, with a 36 percent increase in the number of people walking through the turnstiles to 17,473. Most manufacturers were upbeat throughout, including one who told us they had more traffic on the first day of the show compared to the entire show in Austin in 2007. The stellar turnout clearly cements Nashville as the home of Summer NAMM for the foreseeable future, especially with a new convention center expected to be ready by 2012.
The popular Friday morning NAMM University breakfast session featured NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond hosting “The State of the Industry Address.” NAMM’s theme during the show was to celebrate the independent retailer. “America is small business,” said Lamond. “Ninety percent of all businesses in America employ less than 20 people…Small business accounts for 40 percent of our [Gross Domestic Product] and 66 percent of all jobs. Our membership numbers are reflecting this as well. There’s a very interesting trend we’re seeing. NAMM’s membership numbers grew significantly over the last year. Many of these stores are small stores that are just beginning today.”
Challenges of the Future: The Rebirth of Small Independent Retail in America is a report that echoed some of the things Lamond said he has seen in his massive travels. “Across America,” he said, “it seemed like the pendulum was swinging from big to custom, small, direct, and more customer focus in retail. In my heart, I believe the pendulum is swinging and there is going to be a rebirth of independent retailers in America.”
Jack Stanyon, writer of the report, Pat Johnson, co-founder of the Retail Owners Institute, and Otto Papasadero, director of the North American Retail Dealers Association, were Lamond’s first guests. “Part of the goal of the report was to provide some inspiration,” said Stanyon. “Generation Y is going to be the largest consumer group in the history of the United States. That’s a tremendous opportunity. I saw a trend toward personalization. We all want things a certain way. Small independents can give that service better than larger companies can. Americans are getting sick of bureaucracy.
They are tired of things that don’t work. That leads to this rebirth.”
Rooting for the underdog will also help indie retailers in the future, said Stanyon. Although he didn’t mention specific examples, we often see this factor arise in sports, such as this season, with some pledging their allegiance to the small-market, miniscule payroll of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Stanyon added that improving technologies allow smaller companies to do many of the same things as larger companies. But he brought up how amazed he was about how poor service was in every facet of our lives. “We all give lip service to it,” he said. “We understand this is the lifeblood for small independent retail, and is the most differentiating characteristic. Yet, across the board, it always seems to be lacking. Let me give you an example. We’re all familiar with Southwest Airlines and [former CEO] Herb Kelleher. Its last annual meeting was held a couple of months ago. Interestingly, over the years, American Airlines and Southwest have held their meetings on the exact same day. During American’s meeting, there were pilots picketing outside. During Southwest’s meeting, they took out a ‘thank you’ ad to Herb as he stepped down as chairman. The reason why Southwest is so successful is Herb has a philosophy of treating your employees as if they are your customers. It’s very simple.”
Papasadero continued by mentioning he was in the audience when Steve Wynn, owner of gambling operator Wynn Resorts, was asked what the secrets to his success were. “The answers were simple. Curb appeal and the frontline staff. Curb appeal is how you compare with retail expectations, which leads to making investments in your presentations and I’ve found the payback comes in about three and a-half years. That also gives your external customer a renewed energy. It’s like walking into your home for the first time after you remodeled it. As for frontline, any time an employee comes in contact with a customer, they must be excited and have a passion.”
Johnson said she “absolutely” saw a rebirth of the independent retailer, although dealers are being reborn in new ways. “You have the Baby Boomers, who can now afford to spend money on themselves. Then you have Generation Y, which is greater in number than Baby Boomers. They are the on-demand information age. ‘I want it now. I want it on my own terms.’ The opportunity of the [Internet] enables that to happen. Going forward, the three most important factors in retail will no longer be location, location, location. It will be connection, connection, connection. Specialty retailers are able to survive and succeed because they have information. You have a passion for what you’re doing. You have the knowledge. People on your staff have that knowledge. You have the opportunity to use your Web site not as a Yellow Pages ad, but as a way to connect to your customer, who is no longer in a 10-mile radius. The world truly is flat. Your customers will find you if you are able to provide the information they need.”
“I’m not sure about rebirth, but I think it’s onward and upward,” added Papasadero. “I think everyone can think of an independent business in your neighborhood that is bucking the trend and is unique.”
Lamond subsequently interviewed Gordy Wilcher, owner of Owensboro Music Center in Owensboro, Ky., and president of the IMRA/MSO consortium; Billy Bones, owner of Sparrow Guitars, and Bobby Boyles, owner of Oklahoma Vintage Guitar.
Lamond asked Wilcher about the growth of buying and sharing groups. “One of the best things to happen in my business is being involved in one of these groups,” responded Wilcher. “[MSO and IMRA] really started just as ways to communicate. The store in the next town is not my enemy. They are my friend. We have to unite and come together. There are so many little things you learn from independent retailers. For example, my store is located right next to the regional hospital. There are 250 doctor’s offices and someone on our [Internet] forum said, ‘Why don’t you take the product brochures, staple your card to them and leave them in the offices.’ How many times do you sit in a doctor’s office and read Travel and Leisure or Good Housekeeping? It was a really good idea I got from someone else to help [build customers].”
Wilcher added that although there’s no way for us to change variables such as skyrocketing fuel prices, you can take advantage of those factors. “Maybe they can’t go to Disneyland, so they can come to my store instead and find a nice Martin,” he said. “Actually, business is not that bad. We have some great opportunities.”
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