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Fender’s Andy Mooney and NAMM’s  John Mlynczak

In a significant announcement today, Fender CEO Andy Mooney and NAMM CEO John Mlynczak jointly confirmed that Fender will return to the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim in January 2025. This will be the first NAMM Show since 2020 that Fender has attended.

Covid changed the goalposts for everyone after 2020, including Fender which had to find alternative ways to connect with the industry and customers. The ensuing years were an opportunity to reset and create innovative plans to suit the situation but Fender has agreed that the time is right to return to NAMM, the tried and tested way to connect with everyone … in person!

“We sadly missed actually having a physical presence at NAMM because that in person, that high touch in person long form interaction, I think is vitally important for the industry in terms of the relationships that have been fostered over decades,” said Andy Mooney in a sit down chat with John Mlynczak . “So we were just looking for the right time to come back. And I think in terms of where you would like to take NAMM, I think the planets have aligned for us to kind of rejoin the fold.”

“I think in some ways, Covid presented an opportunity to reset the priorities for why are we going there, what’s the purpose of it? And I think for both of us, it’s about growing the industry,” Andy told John. “I think NAMM’s focus on bringing in influencers, social media influencers who can talk about the industry’s new exciting products in an objective way to their fanbases, I think it is just another mechanism to fuel growth.”

“Going forward we will have more exciting new products to intro at NAMM. And then in the fall, we will revert back to our online dealer events and check that base … we get a chance to return and as I say break bread and meet people in person and hear directly from them, what’s top of mind for them, so that we can be part of finding solutions for the industry if they are facing challenges at the time.”

Fender’s presence at NAMM is not only crucial for the quality of product that they they bring to the trade floor but their participation is such that it will encourage other big brands who have taken a vacation from NAMM, such as Gibson and PRS, to return as well. As a regular visitor to the NAMM Show, we hear it all of the time … are you going to NAMM? Are you exhibiting at NAMM? No, well Fender’s not there! The announcement also comes at a critical time for the NAMM Show, with naysayers suggesting that the show’s impact has been diluted, with increasing participation costs and diminishing attendances post-covid.

NAMM and in particular, it’s new CEO Mlynczak, have been working hard to return the music trade event’s reputation back to it’s golden days. This announcement from Fender will go a long way to facilitate NAMM’s goals.
“It’s a great opportunity to talk to consumers and players and artists at all levels,” says John Mlynczak. “Also, one of our growth points that we’re thinking about internally … NAMM needs to be an international show. It is an international show, but it’s important to us. We’re adding more receptions, more international community gatherings, specifically targeted meetings. We’re travelling out to the country seeing first-hand what their companies are working with because the international community needs to come to NAMM and feel at home, not as guests at a US show, but they absolutely feel at home. And we work very hard at making sure NAMM is international, so you get a full range of the global market in one place.”

Summarising Fender’s return to the show, Andy Mooney said. “We are thrilled to be back. We missed being there and I’m excited to … see everybody again back in Anaheim.”

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