The eve of Winter NAMM 2013 is upon us & we’re incredibly excited to report to you while we immerse ourselves in new musical instruments, chat with artists, see friends and join the culture that is The NAMM Show. Since this is not our first trek to the show we kindly offer you a Hack/Survival Guide:
1. Wear Comfortable Shoes – With 1.6 million square feet to cover over four days, The Anaheim Convention Center hosts 90,000 other people to outrun so you can get your badge first! Keep your toes and heels as comfortable as can be.
2. ABC – “Always Be Charging” your mobile phone, that is. You’ll be taking pictures, texting and calling friends, tweeting, Facebooking and shooting videos of crazy guitar players who absolutely astound you in-person. You don’t want to run out of juice when Guthrie Govan has his arm around your shoulder smiling and calling you his “bro.”
3. Map – Get the Map of the floor plan when you first walk in to the convention hall and you should definitely download The Official NAMM mobile app too.
4. Celebrity Sightings and Autographs – The best way to get an autograph from your favorite musician is to arrive about an hour and TEN minutes before the scheduled appearance time. 10 minutes of extra waiting up front is less than 40 minutes on the back end standing behind a guy wearing a fragrant tank top. Good people watching time and you might meet a like-minded fan who becomes a friend while hanging out too.
5. Just say No to “NAMM Dogs” - We’re not out to get the guy selling his hotdog to make an honest buck but seriously, we ate one once and wound up Wamplering in our Fenders. If you must, please proceed with caution.
6. Food – We told you what not to eat, now let’s tell you where you can go to get decent food. There is a great cart that regularly serves good Mexican food just outside of the main hall starting around 11:30 AM. There’s a grocery store about a mile away and also the hotels have Starbucks, cafes and Ruths Chris’ Steakhouse is only a minute away by foot.
7. Hotel – If you’re (smart enough and) staying in a hotel nearby, don’t forget to look up how to get to the convention center by foot or by cab in the morning. We’d suggest taking a taxi to a nearby intersection and hopping out to walk the rest.
8. Parties – There will be plenty of parties outside of the main hall at both The Hilton and The Marriott. If you want to find out about the best ones, just ask the marketing people at various companies. They always seem to know who is playing and where. Organized marketing folks FTW! Deke Dickerson has presented “The Guitar Geek Festival” for 10 years strong. Is this the last one? Maybe. Better go as there’s nothing quite like it.
9 .”Getting Endorsed” – Want to have a chance at being endorsed by a company that makes your favorite gear?
Rule #1 – Do not go right up to the guitar manufacturar representative and ask them to endorse you. They have no idea who you are and you’re going to have to tell them in a non-
Try this: Pick up a guitar (or instrument of choice) and play for no more than 3 minutes. If you’re not getting a reaction from the persons responsible for operating the booth (its noisy as heck in there) unplug the product, take it to the representative of the company, tell them how much you love their products (you tell your friends, don’t refrain now) and ask them to explain what drives them forward. How does the company make decisions? Where are their headquarters? …oh by the way, you’re a musician and you’d enjoy being on their email list or BETA PRODUCT TESTERS group. Leave a card (see next section) and shake hands. Then split and don’t return until the following day with a “Hi Doug…” On Sunday, when everyone is exhausted, ask Doug to grab lunch. Be your best self, give him something to listen to on his way home, like your CD and remind him you’re the #1 BETA product tester in the world for this company. Let us know if this works.
10. Business Cards – There will be about 1 million cards in circulation at NAMM (90,000 attendees, 1500 brand reps x 10 connections each = thats a million) – what is it about yours that stands out? Might we suggest doing something creative? Draw a doodle on the card in plain sight of the connection you’re making. A pen drawing of you, and add an identifiable mark to your stick figure like “Led Zeppelin T-shirt Guy” right on the darn car so they remember you.
If you spot us walking around, say “Hi!” We have a long list of things to accomplish but none of them are as important as meeting you, our avid and educated readers. Go get em NAMMers!How to Hack NAMM 2013 - Our "Top 10 Tips" Survival Guide,