AMAM INTERVIEW with NAMMAE Promoter Steve Fulgham
AMAM: When & how did the idea for NAMMAE first come about?
Fulgham: NAMMAE was the created by Brian Paul Jaus, a lifelong MMA practitioner and enthusiast. Brian first had the idea in Aug 07 and knew that MMA was either big enough now or will be big enough in the future to support its own tradeshow. Brian and I pressed forward to take the leap of faith and make this show a reality.
AMAM: The event sounds like it was quite an undertaking to manage. As an Independent, was it difficult to get vendors to believe in you & finally come aboard?
Fulgham: Yes, at first it was hard to convince people and companies, everyone was cautious and no one wanted to commit. But like a snowball rolling down hill, it just kept picking up speed, size, and momentum till at times we could barley control it. We were understaffed and working in-human schedules just to make it a reality.
AMAM: What was the chief objective of NAMMAE?
Fulgham: To become the predominant trade organization within Mixed Martial Arts, to bring our exhibitors both retail sales and industry networking, and to bring the consumer right smack dab into the middle of the MMA industry.
AMAM: One of the things I liked was the ability to roam the floors freely in order to take pictures, see the fans favorite MMA Fighters, interact & purchase the latest MMA gear & merchandise in an organized manner within the Anaheim Convention Center.
The public, of all ages, seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly.How did the vendors say they felt about being thereÖIíve heard that many of them made new business alliances at NAMMAE?
Fulgham: From the beginning we wanted this to be an open event, not defined one way or another. We are not just a tradeshow, not just an expo. And more importantly we are a convening (location) of the MMA industry in one place and at one time. Many vendors told us they not only had great retail sales but also made distributor connections. This is exactly what we were hoping to bring to our exhibitors. We plan to keep this hybrid model, but allow focused days for both trade activities like ASR and consumer activities including autograph signing and purchasing.
AMAM: From your vantage, what was the overall consensus post the event? Will there be another NAMMAE Convention in the future?
Fulgham: Overall it was a success. Many people who didnít believe such an event could take place in such a small amount of time, so we were all impressed with the turnout. We were able to take all insight from the vendors to the fans/ public to help NAMMAE grow with the industry and fit the needs and wants of all involved.
NAMMAE~2 is set for July 10th - 13th, 2008 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Donít Miss OutÖ
Check out: nammae.com