My professional life usually consists of lots of bike shows, discussions with distributors, shop owners and reps. I sell quantities of product to people who sell quantities of product to people who run shops, who place it in the hands of people who work in shops, like bikes, but not have any vague idea of retail who then sell it to the consumer. It is a long chain with a lot of noise to confuse things. Generally though they are all nice people, which makes it all more pleasant.
Today was a trade only show near the Silverstone race circuit. Core Bike takes place in a fantastic Five Star hotel, and the majority of the UK distributors attend. It is a relaxed affair, and certainly less hectic than say London Cycle.
For me it was great to speak to UK shop owners and see their perspective on our products, and also on the financial situation effecting, or threatening to effect everyone. I also caught up with the owner of my old LBS, and we are now thinking about doing something together with them and the brand.