As always, Anaheim was overun by Namm again this January and the show seemed busy, although my impression was that there was a more sensible ‘business as usual’ feel instead of the familiar and somewhat forced ‘upbeat’ start to the year that has been the mood in recent years at the show. We spent a frantic four days keeping in touch with existing clients as well as meeting up with some new ones. We spent most of our time in Hall A where the high-tech pro-audio companies tend to be located, and noticed a buzz around anything to do with live and networking especially.
There seems to be an appetite to hire experienced and specialist sales people, especially to focus on developing international markets, and product management is also getting a lot of attention as companies start to look hard at future direction and plans for growth. I heard a lot of grumbling about the ‘trade only’ access to the show, whereby some legitimate visitors were finding it hard to get in, whilst other attendees looked more like lost school kids rather than people who were there to do business. A number of manufacturers I spoke to don’t understand why there is not an official public day on one of the days, while others questioned whether the fourth and final day really serves any useful purpose as it stands, as it has a decidedly ‘Elvis has left the building’ feel to it. We must have been busy, as I realise I didn’t see the Marriott pool bar once this year!