The Alliance of Independent Music Merchants (AIMM) hosted “Adapting to Win,” a three-day event from July 20-22, which was the first ever virtual gathering of the retailer and preferred vendor members of the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants (AIMM). The bi-annual AIMM summit typically occurs immediately prior to the NAMM shows; this summer it utilized the magic of technology from Zoom to bring its group together.
The virtual summit was designed to help support AIMM members in adapting to the challenges our industry is facing due to the COVID Pandemic. Nearly 250 people attended one or more sessions to take advantage of the 2020 AIMM Virtual Summit educational events.

The event kicked off with a keynote presentation featuring AIMM co-founder George Hines of George’s Music, NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond and Brian Majeski of Music Trades sharing their perspectives on how our industry has weathered past crises, insight on the current situation along with ideas for the future, all aimed at helping AIMM Members successfully adapt.

The next session was a panel discussion on “How to Adapt & Build a Thriving Lessons Program in the New Era.” Moderated by Lauren Amanfoh from Royalton Music, the panel included Cindy Cook from The Candyman Strings & Things, Peter Sides from Robert M. Sides Family Music Center, and Tom Scognamiglio from The Music Den. The group explored opportunities and challenges facing retailers with lessons programs and shared best practices they had discovered in their own businesses.

Day two of the virtual summit included an energizing session from Scott Lang of Be Part of the Music, focused on School Music Recruitment and Retention in the COVID-19 world. Scott provided creative solutions to current school music recruiting and retention problems, with ideas for how our retailers can be proactive and assist educators craft alternative COVID plans for some type of fall music programs.

Next up was Beth Trejo, founder and CEO of Chatterkick, with an enlightening presentation on “Leveraging the Power of Social Commerce on Facebook & Instagram Shops.” Trejo unpacked the secret world of social commerce, from getting started with the commerce manager to moving into Facebook catalogs, providing tips and tricks to navigate these new customer engagement and sales tools.

The event culminated on Day three with the semi-annual AIMM Buyers’ Lounge, an exciting, fast-paced opportunity for its preferred vendors to present directly to the purchasers from the AIMM Retail Members and help kick-off a strong second half.

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