NAMM and Music China Partner to Reach the Chinese Market

Betty Heywood, NAMM Director of International Affairs

With standing-room-only sessions, Music China proved Chinese MI retailers and music teachers are hungry to learn about the music business and help develop their domestic market. 

Music China, held October 11-14, 2017, is the premier show for the domestic Chinese Music Instrument (MI) market, as well as the main meeting point for the Asian MI trade. Established 16 years ago in Shanghai, the show sees big growth year over year, both in terms of exhibitors and attendees, and is an international draw for both the trade and public.

NAMM International started working with the Music China show 12 years ago. Trade show organisers, which include the China Music Instrument Association, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and Intex Shanghai (Ltd), recognised that the event lacked a sound professional development program and invited NAMM to participate.

Betty Heywood, NAMM’s director of international affairs who in her previous work with Messe Frankfurt started the show in Shanghai all these years ago, remembers, “For the first couple of years it was very difficult convincing Chinese retailers to participate in this tailor-made program, as the idea of peer-to-peer sharing of best practices was just not accepted in China at the time. Not only was it difficult to convince speakers to participate, the audience also took some convincing. I was happy when I had 50- 60 people in the audience.”

Things changed very quickly. It didn’t take long before the concept of sharing best practices was completely accepted and the program became an established part of the show. At this year’s program, which attracted 2,340 attendees, people were lining up out the door and sitting on the floor in order to get into the most popular sessions. It is safe to say that, given the enthusiastic response to the NAMM U program in china, the organizers continue to fully finance the sessions. 

 “I have served as a lecturer a number of times over the past 10 years for a series of “how to” sessions and I’m honoured to be a part of its development. I am very impressed with this event, “said speaker, Qin Chuan. “For many young people who wish to start from scratch, they are eager for this kind of hands-on knowledge and experience which will effectively guide them on their journey in the music business.”

NAMM’s impact at Music China

NAMM U at Music China's "How-to Sessions" is made up of practical sessions modeled after The NAMM Show’s Idea Center. NAMM and the CMIA also host an industry forum that focuses on a subject that is relevant to the industry. This year’s forum was a panel discussion on the subject of Community Music. Attended by over 200 industry insiders, retailers, music educators who teach in retail lessons programs, journalists and manufacturers the panel discussed the concept of community music, which is essential to the associations’ joint vision of creating a musical world where everyone has access to engaging in active music making.

“For years since its debut, NAMM CMIA Industry Forum plays a very positive role in fostering the development of Chinese music market and public education. The latest edition of NAM CMIA Forum is no exception,” said Wang Shicheng, president of CMIA. “Leading Chinese music retailers and educators joined in the panel discussion and shared their deep-valued insights and industry experiences. Looking ahead to the future, all efforts from NAMM and our partners are much appreciated.”

Betty Heywood, who moderated the panel at the forum, is convinced that the professional development at Music China assists in developing the market.

 “Chinese retailers and retail employees such as music teachers are extremely eager to learn from their peers and are very keen to test out and adapt new concepts of management and teaching. We are honoured to be able to contribute our expertise to the show, and with that, to the development of the retail landscape for the benefit or our commercial members exporting to China, and the greater domestic market. We couldn’t do this without the whole-hearted support from the organizers and our speakers who are happy to share insights into their experiences.”

Music China will return to Shanghai October 10-13, 2018 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). Learn more.

Playback Blog/Around the Globe