When I first moved to LA, I had no clue how to find my "people." Where were my fellow musicians? Sure, you could meet them in their native habitats (clubs, bars, Guitar Center). But on such a small scale.
When a friend suggested I join the Chick Singers LA Facebook page (now called "Singer Friends LA"), my whole world changed. Suddenly, I felt as though I was part of a larger community of supportive, like-minded musicians. We have lunch, we exchange tips and recommendations, and I've even found jobs and collaborators through this group.
The Singer Friends LA page is part of the reason I so look forward to attending NAMM every year: While online relationships are convenient, it's so exciting to get to hang out with these people IN PERSON once a year!
For those unfamiliar with NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchandisers' Winter Conference (aka "NAMM") is like ComiCon for professional musicians. If you've never been to NAMM, imagine a massive playground full of your best friends and comrades and tons of the latest shiny toys, and music is literally happening all around you. Most amazing at all, if you have a connection to a merchandiser, entry to NAMM is free.
I was only able to attend NAMM for 1.5 out of the four possible days this year. But in those 1.5 days, I got to catch up with around 20 musician-friends (two of them from the Bay Area), see some of them play, met some new ones, learned how to play a ukulele, and somehow didn't give out a single business card (despite having ordered them specially for the occasion.... oh well!).
Can't wait for NAMM 2019!