NAMM ShowNAMM is a "trade only" conference, not open to the public, where you see a ton of new gear, meet your favorite companies, and learn what is going on in the music instrument industry. To get into the show you need to either be a NAMM member or know someone that can get you a badge.
This year marks my 13th year attending NAMM show. Below is an image I grabbed of a vinyl cutter at NAMM show 2017 in Anaheim, Ca. This is a very good example of the cool stuff you can find at NAMM show. You won't typically see this at AES.
AES ShowAES, is a technical committee type show where you go to find out what is happening "technically" in the audio / video / film industry. Anyone can get into AES show. It' just costs a little more for non-members.
AES has a small showroom of pro-audio equipment, but, nowhere near the size of NAMM show. However, AES is much quieter. So, you can actually have normal conversations with people on the showroom floor which is very hard to do at NAMM show due to the intense noise levels.
Below is an image I grabbed of Steven Slate giving a presentation at AES 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. AES makes it so much easier to sit down and actually enjoy the presentations.
At AES there are a ton of technical committee meetings, regarding film, video, and audio. I highly recommend you sit in on a few to gain some industry insider information. There is also a job board posted at AES. Something I have never seen at NAMM show.
I hope this help clarify some of the differences between NAMM and AES shows.
Any questions can be posted here or look me up on Twitter @Trent_Blizzard and direct message me there.
Thanks for reading,