By Cindy Faust
“I deserve an endorsement! My band is the best ever!” The most unoriginal and all too repetitive cry heard continuously for the full four days at the NAMM Convention being held January 23 – 26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim California. The company representatives, exhibitors working NAMM have the patience of Saints and the uncanny ability to politely smile and listen to every single ‘Pop Star’ describe why they deserve to receive products free of charge. If you’re lucky enough to be one of the 95,000 attendees at the NAMM Convention this year, it is important you follow some important advice as well as your heart to this glorious tradeshow for the musical and artistic. Besides a playground filled with all the latest and greatest being offered for to the music industry, it is a place to cut deals, all kinds of deals, all music related and some of them are pretty major.
The purpose of NAMM is commodities, marketing and branding. Manufactures and retailers have the opportunity to communicate directly and build relationships. Equipment is on display, products that even the most colorful of imaginations would have a hard time conjuring up, all types of services, demonstrations, lectures and classes are all offered during the NAMM Show. Networking opportunities abound. Members of NAMM pay their dues; Manufacturers pay for their booth space, transportation, insurance, salaries/commission and per diem to their employees. The purpose behind this convention is to make money, not give away merchandise.
So why do so many musicians treat this event as an opportune time to beg? After years of attending this convention, I have observed the most frequent mistakes made by musicians. I have taken the time out to humbly share with you a tad bit of advice so that you may possibly leave a lasting impression upon someone, respect their time for the reason they are there, learn more about what is out there – the latest and greatest, and perhaps to even secure an endorsement in the future.
1) Attitude – Remember the old saying “You catch more flies with honey.”? This is not the time to be ‘cool’, ‘unapproachable’ or ‘arrogant’. Smile, be friendly and say “Hello” to people. You never know who that person is that you just snubbed. They could possibly make you or break you.
2) Don’t expect everyone to know who you are. This rule applies to those who are even ‘Stars’. For example, you may be famous Jazz artist having a conversation with someone who only works with Classical musicians. That person may not have a clue who you are, your accomplishments, current projects or level of fame. For up and coming musicians, just accept the fact that very few people know who you are. You might be famous in your home town but until you sell millions of dollars’ worth of music, merchandise, and headline sell-out shows in large venues, you are an ‘unknown’.
3) “Give me, give me, give me.” Don’t say these words to anyone! I am sure the thought of “Why should I give you anything?” runs like a continuous loop through the minds of many product representatives. If you truly want to discuss the possibility of endorsements, obtain the proper contact information and dismiss yourself quickly. Let the representatives do their job which is marketing their products to ‘Buyers’.
4) “Mind your P’s and Q’s.” It is an old English saying when bartenders originating in the seventeenth century. It literally means “Mind your Pints and Quarts”, in other words, don’t get wasted and act like an idiot.
5) Germs – keep them away from everyone else. If you are ill, you should stay home anyway. If you become ill during your travels, use common sense. Don’t shake hands; cover your mouth with your arm when you cough; use Kleenex when you sneeze. Use hand sanitizer!!!
6) Aisle Clogging – move your body out of the pathway. Don’t stand in the middle of an aisle while people are trying to get by. Stand off the side, you will find you won’t get trampled. Say ‘Excuse me.” You may make a new friend when doing so.
7) Above all, have fun but play ‘nice’. You never know who might be watching you.
NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants. You can become a Member of NAMM and the cost to join will depend upon your membership affiliation. The 2014 NAMM Show runs from January 23-26 in Anaheim, California. Join us this year as the world’s most important buyers and decision makers in the music industry converge on sunny Anaheim, at the music product industry’s premier event. The NAMM Show is where brands are built, legends are created and deals are made. At EVENT CITY you will see much more direct information about products, services and what exhibitors and attendees alike have to say about their experience at many conventions representing all of the Events & Creative Industries.
About the Author: Cindy Faust is the latest addition to the Event City Premier Magazine’s entourage of Writers and Reporters who are Journalists with real experience in the industries they write about. Ms. Faust has over thirty years’ experience in the music industry. She works with talent of all levels from the unknown to the famous, local to international. Cindy’s passion is to share her observations, knowledge and experience with the Event City audience. She hopes to induce comedy into her musings as she feels humor grabs attention and leaves impressions. She is the Enchantress and Owner of Alchemy By Faust, LLC a professional Talent Management and Booking Agency. She also is available for public speaking gigs, and is a pretty good vocalist as well.
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