The National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers annual convention kicked off in Chicago on Saturday. Below, select shots from the weekend's events.

NARM president Jim Donio addresses attendees at NARM's opening session. "So, no matter what the task at hand or the goal we've set to achieve, we should simply be asking each other again and again and again, 'How can we find and deliver great music to fans?' In the final analysis, awareness, self or otherwise, without action is worthless."

Attendees mingle during a welcome reception cocktail party sponsored by WEA Corp. and Rhino Entertainment.

Representatives from supplier and retailer communities come together at the members-only, "Town Hall Meeting: Alternative Stragetgies for the Physical Marketplace," for a discussion on what can be done to encourage more sales of physical product, including an examination of release strategies, a closer look at industry promotions, and a debate over alternative business and distribution models. Ken Colen, of Colen Research, facilitated the event.

Convention attendees had the opportunity to participate in pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings that provided them with the chance to develop new business contacts.

NARM's first metal meet-up created a unique forum to discuss where Metal is and where it's going in the new music economy. (L to R) Vaughn Lewis, Strong Management; Bram Teitelman, Metal Insider/The Syndicate; Sarah Wefald, EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution; Brian Slagel, Metal Blade Records; Austin Stephens, Roadrunner Records; Pat Egan, Relapse Records.

NARM's first urban meet-up brought together key players and welcomed aspiring urban artists, producers, label moguls and more. (L to R) Ranadeb Choudhury, Ch'rewd/Mid C Media Marketing; Dedry Jones, The Music Experience; Eugene Luckett, All Angles; Ray Arceneaux, StarrClub Entertainment; Barbara McDowell, WPWX; Ron Spaulding, Fontana Distribution; Andrew Barber, Fake Shore Drive.

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