In January this year, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) was one of the first groups to host an event inside the recently expanded Anaheim Convention Center. The organization, which has hosted its annual show in the California city since 1978, saw its meeting grow by 9 percent when it utilized the venue’s new space. A record-breaking 115,000 music, sound, and event technology professionals came out for four days of special events, concerts, and sessions dedicated to strengthening and innovating within the music products industry.
“This was our opportunity to reset the floor plan and create community areas throughout, and move some product categories over,” Cindy Sample, director of NAMM trade show operations, said. “In our growing area, which is event technology, we ended up putting that over in the ACC North. We were able to expand event technology and bring in new exhibitors because we did have additional space.”
In 2017, ACC, the largest convention center on the West Coast at 1.8 million square feet, with more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, underwent its largest and most significant expansion in nearly two decades. The new building, ACC North, offers an additional 200,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 10,000-square-foot outdoor balcony.
Delegates and NAMM’s nearly 2,000 exhibitors appreciated the open-air tradeshow setting, which is flooded with natural light. Some exhibitors took advantage of the 25-foot-high ceilings and airwall breakdowns to design elaborate set-ups, and sound-absorbing panels helped create enclosed rooms where exhibitors could demonstrate products.
“We were able to tap into a need that we weren’t able to accommodate [previously],” Sample said. “ACC North was a little quieter, felt a little more professional, but suited the companies much better and still had the traffic and energy [exhibitors and attendees] were used to.”