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Going to my first NAMM!!!
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brianellefson
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#1
30th December 2013
Old 30th December 2013
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Going to my first NAMM!!!

Eastman Guitars (who I endorse) have hooked me up with a badge for NAMM 2014. Never been before.

Are there any good tips for getting the most out of it? I wanna make the most of my time there. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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30th December 2013
Old 30th December 2013
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I've been to NAMM for at least 10 years, on and off. I got passes for at least a decade starting in the 90s. I haven't had passes the past 4 years... I'm still alive. If I really had to get there, I could get hooked up... Most info is online now, including new gear evaluations.

If you have more than 1 day:
Cruise the complete floor noting what's cool to go back to. At least grab a business card for the cool stuff. You don't need every piece of literature available, all this is online now. Look up the gear that night on the net. The second day go back to only what interests you.

If you only have one day you have to cruise the floor fast spending a little extra time at the booths that interest you. The other way if you only have one day is, research what booths you need to see, but even then it's hard to navigate to see them all. You will be walking fast.

In one day I can see the show but I have to cruise the floor fast only checking out what's new and hot. I like to do it in two days. One day to check things out, stopping only at places that "really" interest me, the second day to see the whole floor again bopping from here to there skipping booths at random...

Beware the long demos of one single product that you can get online. Those booths will tie you up.

Go to the shows at night with cool people playing music and stay in a local hotel. I always commuted in so I never had that option. It fun to hands on check out a guitar, keyboard or play with a new piece of cool software. Or complain to a developer why a feature isn't there. I complained to Line 6 they needed someone like Bogner to design the power section to get any decent warmth out of their amp models, only to find out years later they did exactly just that. Manufacturers do listen if you have good ideas. You could also thank the guys who put out the really cool gear you have been using as well

The noise volume can be annoying, bring ear plugs pulling them in/out especially if you have to do a full session the next day. There are "volume cops" that "try" to keep the volume down. Don't bother sellers of the gear too much if you are just checking out the gear. They also have business to do with distributors. That's the point of the show for them.

Somehow every year there is something new and cool...

Last edited by czoli; 30th December 2013 at 11:22 PM.. Reason: additional note
brianellefson
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31st December 2013
Old 31st December 2013
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Hey thanks for the details. Much appreciated. I'd heard about the noise level and I think I've been annoyed by it on every video I've seen that was filmed there, but that was about the only thing I knew to expect for sure.

I'll be there for 2 of the 3 days so I'm hoping that's plenty of time to really check it all out.
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31st December 2013
Old 31st December 2013
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Two days will be pushing it to see everything, especially since it's your first one. Thursday and Friday are better for checking out gear, not as crowded as the weekend. Friday and Saturday are best to see famous guys jam, signings, meet and greet, etc. Try and get a map/directory when you get there, it will help a lot. From there pick the sections that interest you and wonder around. Things tend to be grouped somewhat, drums, recording, etc, but not always the case. I tend to really like the very bottom floor, smaller nice builders like Mcpherson tend to be there. Overall there is a LOT of stuff to see, you will feel like you have seen a lot but then realize there are one or even two entire floors. So if it's only 2 days at least have somewhat of a plan of what's most important to check out, and get there early to maximize your time

Friday and Saturday nights are party time. Lots of jams in Hilton and Marriot lobbies. Also cool concerts in the surrounding area.

The food/drink prices in NAMM can be expensive. Get a good breakfast from an outside place before you head in, and wear some comfortable shoes, you will be walking....a lot.
brianellefson
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1st January 2014
Old 1st January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Two days will be pushing it to see everything, especially since it's your first one. Thursday and Friday are better for checking out gear, not as crowded as the weekend. Friday and Saturday are best to see famous guys jam, signings, meet and greet, etc. Try and get a map/directory when you get there, it will help a lot. From there pick the sections that interest you and wonder around. Things tend to be grouped somewhat, drums, recording, etc, but not always the case. I tend to really like the very bottom floor, smaller nice builders like Mcpherson tend to be there. Overall there is a LOT of stuff to see, you will feel like you have seen a lot but then realize there are one or even two entire floors. So if it's only 2 days at least have somewhat of a plan of what's most important to check out, and get there early to maximize your time

Friday and Saturday nights are party time. Lots of jams in Hilton and Marriot lobbies. Also cool concerts in the surrounding area.

The food/drink prices in NAMM can be expensive. Get a good breakfast from an outside place before you head in, and wear some comfortable shoes, you will be walking....a lot.
I can do half of another day, but not 3 full days. I'll take your advice and map things out. There are a few people I want to meet, but it's mostly about checking out the gear.
#6
1st January 2014
Old 1st January 2014
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All the major manufacturers like Roland, Yamaha, JBL etc will be there. So look at their gear now on their websites. If there is a specific single piece of gear you want to see at their booths you will do only that. This stops you from getting "stuck" at one of the bigger booths. It's hard to find booths at the show. If you map out "I want to go to booth XYZ then booth ABC" it may not work as well as you hoped. They may be too far apart. But if you have the layout you can highlight "These are the ones I have to hit" it may help. If you are like me, the first day you'll stop at every booth for no reason whatsoever. But that's ok as long as you know you can't live at each one forever. Maybe the first day is "I want to check everything out except the basement floor day". Then the second day I have to go back and see XYZ and ABC booths. Maybe you mark on the map what you will go back to on day one. After doing this for a number of years I can cover the complete show in two days. But I was only spending a lot of time at the booths that had "new, unique, hot stuff". The first couple of years I used to carry a full backpack of literature back. Then I got smart and only took a tiny amount of literature back with a lot of business cards with website addresses on them.
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