After nearly a quarter of a century with the NAMM organisation, CEO Joe Lamond is preparing to hand over the reins in Spring of 2023. So it seemed a perfect time to get his thoughts on the challenges of 2022, what he will remember most about his time with NAMM and what he’s looking forward to.
Looking back to the start of 2022 how difficult was the whole process of cancelling the show in January and then making it work in a very different format in May?
By the time the start of 2022 came around, we had already made the decision to move 2022 to June and 2023 to April, long story but it involved working with the state of California as to when they anticipated lifting COVID restrictions, guessing how long the pandemic would impact our member countries around the world and securing the time and space needed to produce the show. A Rubik’s cube, especially when you put yourself back to a time when we had to decide, the peak of the pandemic in the middle of 2021. Making the decisions was difficult, making it work for our members and the industry was harder still.
Like many organisations NAMM made lots of structural changes to continue operating through the pandemic, which of them have turned out to be ‘positive happy accidents’?
Creating our first fully virtual show Believe in Music, which countless people contributed to (including you!), was a highlight. In January of 2021, our team produced a global event with nearly 100,000 participants from 187 countries in less than four months, we would have never attempted that in a ‘peace time’ scenario.
After all the challenges of the past few years, where do you see the future for the NAMM organisation?
Everything changes and at the same time much remain the same, doesn’t it? How we make music has changed but we still love to make music, how people come together has changed but we still love to come together, how we create and bring new products to market has changed but we still thrive on new products. Here’s how I see it; NAMM is an association, and our key function is to help people associate. How we do that and in what manner has changed continually since our founding in 1901, I imagine that will always be the case. And as musicians and artists ourselves, who would even want to keep making the same record over and over again anyway?!
When you look back on your time with NAMM, what are you most proud of?
Being at NAMM for 25 years has been the opportunity of a lifetime, I have been lucky (and proud) to have met and worked with some of the most creative, passionate, and fun people that ever walked the earth.
What does 2023 hold in store for Joe Lamond?
I was hoping you’d have some ideas…whatever happens it will give me time to hang out with the many musical friends I have made over the years.
And finally (and also very timely) what is your favourite Christmas song/album/piece of music?
Is it so wrong to simply say ‘The Little Drummer Boy’?