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Craig’s List - 5 Terrific Tips for Newbie NAMMsters

Like speed traps, Starbucks coffee shops, and muggers, the Winter NAMM supersized convention is just around the corner! Going for the first time? We’re here to help.


by Craig Anderton



1. Beware of appointment safaris. NAMM is soooooo big that if you make an appointment for something in Hall E and your next one is in Hall A, you cross a time zone and you’ll end up being an hour late. Or an hour early, I always forget which. Some people even get jet lag going from one end of the convention center to the other.


2. Two’s company, three's a crowd, but 100,000 is an effing big-ass crowd. In the 4th century A.D., the amphitheater passageways at the Roman Colosseum were so efficiently designed that the entire venue could fill with 50,000 people in 15 minutes. As to the 21st-century Anaheim Convention Center...well, let’s just say we finally have the long-awaited, conclusive proof of de-evolution. Oh, and plan to go to the bathroom 20 minutes in advance. Just sayin.’


3. Let’s do lunch! Hungry? There’s an eatery on the convention center roof (really*). It’s so secret I can’t tell you where it is, but ask a security guard “Where’s the undisclosed location to which the White House always refers?” Next, give the Special Password (“twentydollarsifyoutellme”), then he’ll give you directions—but only after running a background check, and swearing you to secrecy. Personally I order the pheasant under glass, but I've heard the Duck à la Donald is fabulous--or try the tapas-inspired dish, Ratón Miguel. Oh, just don't ask where the venison came from. Enough kids were traumatized by watching "Bambi."


4. The E-Z way to insanely great demos. Find someone with a Sweetwater, Sam Ash, B&H, or Guitar Center badge, then follow behind them at a discrete distance. Extra points if you have the same literature bag they do, so it seems you’re all “buyer bros” traveling together. Exhibitor hearts get all a-flutter when Big Buyers come around, so you might as well benefit from the beatific aura of potential prosperity and subtle aroma of $100 bills they emit.


5. Important fanboi protocol message. If you see someone famous, don’t go up to them and say something like “Hey, you’re Alan Parsons!” Trust me on this—they know who they are. Well, maybe not after happy hour starts. Or if they’re in the Marriott lobby after 2 AM...but you get my point.


* There really is a restaurant on the convention center roof




 Craig Anderton is Editorial Director of Harmony Central. He has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major label releases (as well as mastered over a hundred tracks for various musicians), and written over a thousand articles for magazines like Guitar Player, Keyboard, Sound on Sound (UK), and Sound + Recording (Germany). He has also lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages.


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roybigley  |  June 13, 2018 at 6:28 am
Wow, you know these tips are life-saving!
daddymack  |  February 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm
One word for the n0oBz...earplugs...wear ear plugs...sorry...WEAR EAR PLUGS...you will thank me later...
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