“We’re thrilled to be back”: Fender plans return to NAMM in 2025

“We’re thrilled to be back”: Fender plans return to NAMM in 2025

Fender has announced its intention to return to the NAMM show in January 2025 – marking a return of one of the biggest guitar companies to the main exhibition, following a several-year absence.

READ MORE: What does the future hold for the NAMM Show after 2024?

In an interview with new NAMM CEO John T. Mlynczak, Fender CEO Andy Mooney said that the brand “sadly missed actually having a physical presence at NAMM,” and added that the “high-touch in-person long form interaction is vitally important for the industry.”
He also stated Fender’s intention to return to launching products at the show itself: “Going forward, [Fender] will have more and exciting new products to intro at NAMM and then in the fall, we will revert back to our online dealer events… we’re thrilled to be back, we missed being there, and I’m excited to see everyone again back in Anaheim.”
Fender’s return to NAMM follows an uncertain period for the show, particularly in the guitar department. In January 2021, NAMM was cancelled due to COVID, and replaced with the virtual “Believe In Music.” Following this, Gibson, Fender and PRS all chose not to exhibit at NAMM when it returned in April 2022 – and haven’t appeared at the show since.
Instead, the brands exhibited their product launches directly – in Fender’s case, at its own online dealer event held around January. Thanks to the general ubiquity of “online events” due to COVID, and the general changing trends of how MI products are marketed, this was evidently preferable to the hassle and expense of a NAMM booth.
NAMM has seen a good number of changes since the missed show due to COVID – summer NAMM has been replaced with NAMM Next, which has much more of a focus on talks and industry insight rather than product launches. The product side of things has been focused into Anaheim NAMM, which as of this year has returned to its regular slot in January.
The absence of the biggest guitar brands on the planet from the last few years of NAMM was pretty notable, and alongside the disrupted timing of the event and general uncertainty introduced by COVID, for a moment it seemed as if the wind had been taken out of the show’s sails. But, for 2024, we noted that there did seem to be a renewed energy on the show floor. Mlynczak has spoken often about the show’s intention to cater to influencers and content-creators – could Fender’s return be enough to keep that momentum going?
While neither Gibson or PRS have said anything about a return to Anaheim, it’s possible that they might follow suit, especially if NAMM makes good on its intention to provide more influencer-focused coverage. Gibson With the closure of Musikmesse and the rebranding of summer NAMM, winter NAMM now also has the opportunity to be the de-facto in person gear exhibition event.
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Source: www.guitar-bass.net