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Summer NAMM to Abandon Nashville for Indianapolis and Austin

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — NAMM, the International Music Products Association, is leaving Nashville, TN after 2004 for Indianapolis, IN, and Austin, TX, to host the association’s future summer session trade shows on a rotating schedule beginning with Indianapolis in 2005 and followed by Austin in 2006. NAMM will return to Nashville on July 23-25, 2004. Through the years, NAMM has experienced continuous growth and the Nashville Convention Center, Gaylord Arena and downtown hotels can no longer accommodate all those who want to participate.

NAMM began researching new locations after the city of Nashville said it would not be expanding its current convention center or constructing a new facility in the foreseeable future. NAMM’s decision followed several years of research and due diligence including a comprehensive NAMM member survey conducted by Precision Reports, a third party research company, as well as a nationwide evaluation of more than 20 potential host cities and convention centers.

“Over the past few years, our Members, both exhibitors and attendees, have clearly told us what makes a successful trade show for them,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “We acted on this information and have analyzed virtually every aspect of NAMM’s trade shows in order to improve the experience for everyone attending. This has ensured the vitality of the shows in spite of the challenging economy. We believe this move is just the kind of bold action the industry must take to continue to face the changing world around us.”

In the survey commissioned by NAMM from Precision Reports, which demonstrated a record number of responses by NAMM members, more than 70 percent of respondents voted for a location other than Nashville. Specifically, 66 percent of responding 2003 summer session exhibitors preferred to change the location of the show. More than 84 percent of responding buyers who have not attended the summer session in recent years chose a different location for future shows and the majority of responding buyers who attended in 2003 (6 out of 10) voted to hold the show in a location other than Nashville. Finally, the survey also revealed that the majority of respondents favored rotating the show’s location from year to year.

“Moving the show to a larger venue will allow NAMM to accommodate all of our exhibitors in one contiguous exhibit hall that provides for future growth as the demand for additional space continues to increase,” said Kevin Johnstone, director of trade shows, NAMM. “Both Indianapolis and Austin give us that opportunity along with excellent housing options and a demographic profile that will bring greater numbers of buyers to the Summer Session. Johnstone continued, “And for those buyers, in addition to being able to see more new products from a greater variety of exhibitors all in one place, changing the location offers many fun, exciting, after-show-hours activities for individuals and families.”

“We are disappointed to have to leave Nashville, our summer home for so many years,” stated Lamond. “The city and its people have been exceptionally kind to our Members and we enjoy Nashville’s unique brand of Southern hospitality. Nonetheless, our Members’ needs could no longer be met with Nashville’s existing facilities.”

“Moving the show allows NAMM to better accommodate our exhibitors’ demands for additional space,” added Johnstone. “The music products industry has nearly doubled since 1993. Many of our exhibitors’ companies have also grown substantially, yet are in the same size space as they were 11 years ago.” –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner