Having just departed NAMM, I felt it would be interesting to highlight some of the coolest booths and experiences I saw at the show this year. The criteria for making it into my list was pretty straightforward:
At initial glance, did the booth make me want to explore the booth’s contents or engage in a conversation?
Use of Space
Was the overall floor space well utilized and was there a good flow to visitors?
Where there any interesting ways to “force” me to come into it?
How “creative” was the overall design of the booth? I tended to lean toward a cleaner streamlined design; however, when someone got funky in a way that nicely complimented their brand image – I LOVED it.
So, without further ado, here is my list of top booths at NAMM 2014.
While it is easy to get sucked in to the massive structures and intricacies of a booth that could double as someone’s house (both in size and amenities), Sennheiser’s made my list because it was a great booth. First off, from afar, it looked fantastic. The use of clean lines, angles, lighting and colors made it both appealing to look at as well as fun to explore.
My favorite part was how they conveniently located product displays and literature toward the outskirts, making it easy for folks to quickly access and engage.
There were a few elements I loved about this booth. First – inside their demo room they had a 100 (my guess) interactive TV / system that just looked really cool. I also felt like they paid attention to details when designing the booth – from the iPads in front of each product line and the systems suspended from wires to the acrylic panels with drivers embedded within – it just felt well done.
But the kicker to me was their promotional ability. The EV team rolled in a few kegs of Fat Tire that were served in glass EV branded mugs that you got to keep. Well played EV team. Well played.
When it came to having something that made you stop-in-your-tracks as you walked by a booth – Westone had it nailed. Let me explain. As you can see (poorly) on the right side of the above image, there’s a dude with a white guitar. What you can’t see is that there are 4 other members of The James Douglass Show, and they were killing it. The catch – you couldn’t hear ANYTHING. Weird right? A five piece band, playing their hearts out, and from 15-feet away I hear nothing.
As I walked up closer, I discovered that in front of the band were individual listening stations with Westone in-ear monitors for you to try out. Put them on and VOILA! – you all of a sudden could hear their concert. Brilliant way to showcase what their products can do for a touring musician.
This booth was so simple, it was fantastic. While they probably had a 20’ x 30’ space, it was the exact opposite of what a lot of larger exhibitor’s did in terms of structures. They stayed true to their brand colors (orange and black) and made their product the hero throughout – from their fun display of amps to their use of amp grills on the back wall.
Full disclosure – I attended NAMM as their guest, so this may seem biased – but hear me out before you jump to conclusions. Tymphany had a booth off the show floor above Hall A, not a fantastic location. Without their displays, the room looked like it was straight out of a decrepit industrial building; however, you would never know it when you entered.
The room was clean, easy to navigate, and did a great job of showing their capabilities (they were at NAMM to launch a new line of professional transducers). Each transducer was displayed like a work of art on a lighted pedestal and I thought it looked great.
OK, this booth made the list simply because of three features it had within – custom turntables made for Pioneer’s artist series. What were these features? Fully functioning turntables reinvented as Back to Future’s Delorian, Star War’s Millennium Falcon, and what looked to me like a gramophone or an old circuit board.
This alone got me thinking – creativity in America is not dead!
Who says small can’t pack a big punch? What I loved about this booth is that a single look at it and you got a sense of what the brand is all about. A boutique shop, that’s creative, hip, and innovative. It’s always fun when you see a logo/booth/product and you can instantly say, “Oh, so that’s what they’re all about.” Nice work guys.
This booth was a great example of the ingenuity and problem solving ability of the teams that make the music industry awesome. First off, these guys had a GIANT 2 foot square pole plopped in the middle of their booth. How convenient! The team at 65AMP not only designed around that, but built a listening room that looked exactly like one of their products.
While located in another zip code (Hall D), kudos to the GoPro team for making it worthwhile to make the trek all the way over there. Despite their products being awesome, they were doing everything right. They were giving away GoPros every day at 3:00PM that required you to enter your information. It was a great way for generating future leads and return traffic to the booth. Then, during the daily drawing, they turned it into a party by serving Heineken and having people rock out in their jam booth .
Also, their products were everywhere live streaming to TVs throughout the booth – so you see directly how their products could be applied to the music industry.