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"Seeing the interaction and flow of ideas between the retailers, distributors, label execs, musicians, and new players from the online and mobile community really exemplifies what this Convention is all about."
—-Jim Donio, NARM
NARM ’06: KISSIMMEE, I’M A RETAILER
Google’s Chris Sacca, Public Enemy’s Chuck D Will Keynote Insights & Sounds.06, NARM’s 48th Annual Confab
It’s time to haul out that old fez and get ready to jump into the pool as the National Association of Record Merchandisers, otherwise known as NARM, descends on Kissimmee, FL, for its 48th annual confab, this year dubbed Insights & Sounds.06, August 2-5 at the Gaylord Palms Resort.

The Keynote Speaker at the Opening Session & Annual Meeting of the Convention will be Google’s Chris Sacca, who serves as a primary strategist for global infrastructure, communications and related product development for the company. 

Another featured speaker will be Revver CEO Stephen Starr, chief of the newly launched website that allows video uploaders to earn revenue from advertisements, which offers “intriguing areas of exploration for the online music business.” 

Chuck D, leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy, will be the closing Keynote Speaker during the “Technology & New Media Forum.”  Most recently, he launched Rapstation.com, a multi-format “supersite” for the hip-hop community and an Internet radio station, Bringthenoise.com. 

There is also a slate of panel discussions and research presentations, including HITS’ own former pop star Mark Pearson (see his classic performance with the Nielsen-Pearson Band on Solid Gold here), moderating a “State of Music Retail” panel discussion by leading entertainment retailers on the state of music retail, featuring Best Buy’s Gary Arnold, HastingsJohn Marmaduke, Value Music ConceptsRob Perkins, Dimple RecordsDilyn Radakovitz and Target’s Darrell Tucker.

Other NARM highlights include “The Indie Show—Licensing Opportunities in New Arenas, featuring one-on-one conversations, hosted by A2IM’s Don Rose, with some of the leading independent movers and shakers around, including Mix & Burn’s Bob French, Groove Mobile’s Adam Sexton and World’s Fair’s Amaechi Uzoigwe.  

The NPD Group will debut findings from its consumer research project that explores marketing and merchandising scenarios designed to increase the sale of both physical and digital product. 

The Technology and New Media Forum will be moderated by TAG Strategic’s Ted Cohen, featuring XM’s Lee Abrams, AOL Music’s Eric Flannigan, Sprint Nextel’s Alana Muller, PassAlong NetworksJozef Nuyens, Muze’s Bill Stensrud, The Orchard’s Greg Scholl, Motorola’s David Ulmer and Pandora’s Tim Westergren.

NARM President Jim Donio, not yet recovered from watching the Nielsen-Pearson Solid Gold clip on YouTube, stated: “We are pleased to offer members and attendees insights into the thinking of some very influential leaders in the music and entertainment industry. Seeing the interaction and flow of ideas between the retailers, distributors, label execs, musicians, and new players from the online and mobile community really exemplifies what this Convention is all about. Now, where are the hookers?”

Among the artists scheduled to perform during the convention are PF Sloan, Tego Calderon, Lupe Fiasco, Corinne Bailey Rae, Powerman 5000, Jurassic 5, Jordan Knight, Amos Lee, Grand Funk Railroad, Scissor Sisters and Kool & the Gang, who will be honored with the NARM Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement at the Awards Dinner Finale, to be MC’d by Kathleen Madigan of Last Comic Standing.

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