We’ve long expected that the COVID-19 situation here in the United States would continue to lead to cancellations of industry events. Today, the NAMM Show officially announced that they’re cancelling the 2021 NAMM show:
“Given the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety of NAMM members as our first priority, it is now clear there is no path forward for an in-person event in California, and we have made the difficult decision to cancel The 2021 NAMM Show.
While we are disappointed that we will not be able to gather our NAMM family in-person this January, we are reimagining how to connect all facets of the industry while benefiting those most deeply impacted with the launch of Believe in Music: The global gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world.”
As Brian from MusicTrades notes, this is the first year in a long time that there hasn’t been a NAMM convention:
Cancelling a NAMM show is almost unprecedented. The last time it happened was between 1943 and 1945, in the midst of the bloodiest conflict in human history, when the production of nearly all musical instruments in the U.S. had been suspended.MusicTrades
Our Take On No 2021 NAMM
I’ve gone to the NAMM Show for DJ Techtools every year since 2011, and while I have many mixed feelings about the convention model for announcing DJ products, make no mistake: the in-person connections that are possible at NAMM are irreplaceable, and companies (like our own) will have to work hard to supplement them next year.
Companies in recent years have changed their approaches to the NAMM show, instead of viewing it as one big press release, they’ve pivoted to experience, performance, and connection. Our friends at Universal Audio and Moog have really lead the way for the industry – and made the shows even more valuable to attendees.
Perhaps this is a chance for the convention to take stock of what matters, what the most valuable parts of the show really are, and to improve for the future. I’m sure what that the “Believe in Music” week that we’ll see in January will be an “online NAMM 2021” – but in so many ways, that misses the biggest value of having a convention in the modern era.