Thank goodness for music. In these times of COVID, quarantine, and economic uncertainty, it seems as if more and more people are finding a respite making music. How else to explain the surging demand for guitars and other musical instruments. Proof I guess that music is more important than ever in difficult times.
The COVID pandemic has had tragic consequences, claiming the lives of friends and loved ones, disrupting our businesses, and forcing many of us into a new type of “virtual” existence with electronic communication substituting for face to face contact. To date, the pandemic has unfolded in unexpected ways. Spring brought a sense of panic and widespread shutdowns. This was followed by an extraordinary Federal stimulus which sparked unexpected consumer demand, particularly for all musical products that are suited to home use. The warm summer weather helped abate the virus a bit and allowed us to get outdoors, connect with nature, and resume a somewhat more normal existence. Unfortunately, the coming of winter brings new concerns about a resurgence and more lockdowns. However, I think the fourth quarter and the Christmas season could still turn out well, because of the new found interest in music making, not to mention all the positive publicity the industry has been receiving.
But this no time for complacency. Despite a surging stock market and improving employment figures, the national economy is still in a fragile state. Millions have been hurt by the pandemic, including all performing musicians and their crews. Within the music products industry, many companies are also struggling. I hope they can all hang on long enough until a vaccine is approved and distributed widely and life can return to normal.
In the meantime, as we wait, what should we do? I have two suggestions. First and foremost, stay healthy. A healthy populace is essential for any sustainable recovery, so take all necessary precautions. Second, make a point in participating in NAMM’s “Believe in Music Event” scheduled for January 2021. Although it’s a departure from the long running NAMM show that we all know and love, it serves much the same function in a virtual environment. It will feature new product introductions, the opportunity to meet with key suppliers, educational sessions, and inspiring performances. It will also include tributes to our industry friends and family members who have been claimed by this terrible pandemic.
Drawing on almost a year of virtual online experience, the NAMM staff has done everything possible to make the Believe in Music Event as compelling as a face-to-face trade show. To be honest, for weeks our colleagues here at Martin Guitar resisted, wondering why we should do this and not just do our own thing…and I’m the NAMM Chair! But now after becoming familiar with the SwapCard platform and seeing the potential for how our company will benefit they are all in and excited about how this will change the business processes for years to come. It’s an event that will definitely better equip you to deal with the uncertain times ahead.
I hope to see you there.