If you’re at NAMM this year, don’t expect to meet up with Fender. According to Fender CEO Andy Mooney in an interview with Guitar World, there are simply better opportunities for Fender to invest in than going to NAMM.
“In our case, it costs to set up the booth, have everybody there – that’s a substantial bill. What happens during NAMM which always used to make me pull my hair out is, we’d only get to spend an hour with major retailers. We weren’t reaching deep into the organization, and you couldn’t really romance the products or anything.
“So with the online events, what we found was we were reaching 5,000 dealers, we were reaching much deeper into the organization at just a fraction of the price, and we were doing more business.
“And the money that we weren’t spending, we could take that and plow it into demand creation to drive digital traffic into their online stores and foot traffic into their physical stores.”
Mooney clarified that Fender won’t sit out NAMM forever if things change, but right now it just doesn’t make sense. Mooney also references E3 in his below comments, which has since been cancelled.
“On the one hand, I never say never, but the biggest trade show that’s in Los Angeles is E3, and this year Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have all said they’re not going. What happened was, out of necessity during Covid, people experimented with other approaches and have found that they are actually not only better for the brands but better for the industry.”