Is there a future for the NAMM Show?

The EBS booth at NAMM 2023. Right before the opening of the show.
The EBS booth, right before the opening of the show on Wednesday.

Returning to NAMM after the turbulent years of a worldwide pandemic was raising many questions about what to expect. It made the planning of the show challenging and maybe changed our expectations. Here are our thoughts after the show.

How was the show?

An obvious observation was the absence of many major brands. Judging by interviews and comments from representatives from these brands, they found the investment too big and claim they have found other ways to connect with the market that does the job more cost-efficient. Maybe so, for companies driven entirely by money and with big investors looming over their shoulders to get a quick return on their investments.

EBS artist Alex Al has performed with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and many others.

For independent companies like EBS, with a great passion for what we do that isn’t all about the money, meeting real people from around the world face-to-face and learning about everyone’s specific experiences with our products is still precious. Although more efficient ways of marketing are available these days, nothing can replace that. The NAMM Show also helps strengthen our bonds with artists, distributors, and others part of the extended EBS family that we don’t get to meet very often. Our 35th Anniversary was a great bonus reason to celebrate with new and old friends too!

EBS artists/ambassadors Nate Holleman & Marcus George. Get the limited 35yrs shirt in our shop.

In hindsight, we made the right call to go. The decision to focus on meeting people face-to-face rather than offering a lot of entertainment through performances played out well under the circumstances. It seems everyone was happy to get together again and to experience the unique community the music industry offers.

A signing with Kyle Konkiel, Bjorn Englen, and Marten Andersson was the only scheduled event.

What about new gear?

The necessity of releasing new products at NAMM is not that important anymore. Product launches can be just as effective at any time now using the powers of social media. That did not keep us from previewing a few coming-up products and getting instant and valuable feedback from the visitors. The EBS Session 30 Mk3, updated with a new speaker, tweeter, and Bluetooth audio streaming, is estimated to arrive in June. The new EBS DynaVerb Limited Spring Edition features three new effects: Reversed, Gated, and Spring reverb, in addition to the previous Room and Hall effects. It should arrive in May and replace the sold-out DynaVerb Studio Edition. The super compact and lightweight RUNSTEN power brick, which we believe will become a big hit, completes our space-saving pedalboard accessories program. It features 10 isolated 9V DC outputs at 900 mA each (8 selectable between 9 or 12V) and two 5V USB outputs. Fifteen units are currently roadtested in all possible conditions before production starts. The goal is to launch the device in the fall of 2023.

Coming soon: the RUNSTEN power block, the new DynaVerb, and the Session 30 Mk3.

Summary of impressions

With everything said and done, the importance of NAMM as a “trade show” may not be what it used to be, but as a platform to network, exchange ideas, collect feedback, and connect with different parts of the music industry, it still has a unique value. The business wasn’t bad either, to be honest.

Will some of the absent major brands return to NAMM next year, and will the show survive in the long run even without these big companies exhibiting? Only time will tell.

EBS is likely to return to NAMM in January 2024 though. We are already looking forward to it!

We appreciate everyone that came to see us and enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you all for making NAMM 2023 such a great experience.

/The EBS Team

Earlier news