Maybe I have written this before, it is difficult to remember. The thing about the bike industry is that it is a village. You see the same people where ever you go. In some respects it is quite nice, same faces, same relationships and the same level of professionality (ahem!)
Willingen isn’t a festival that I was working at this year. I came to look around and to ‘get a feel for the market’. The concept of this is a strange one. I would have thought by now that I am fairly ‘expert’ but all markets are different, and I try as much as possible to leave the German market to the national sales guys. What is true is that Germany has some very regional brands, and these were all present and correct. In the end though these festivals are all the same. Essentially they are a good thing as it gives a chance for the brand to interact directly with the customers, but unfortunately all the customers are often interested in is special pricing at the event. It is annoying, because for the sake of our local dealers it is something we aren’t wiling to do.
I am in my 1980s hotel now, but will give you the view from the balcony. Yes, that is a ski jump in the distance.
Returning from dinner, perhaps I undervalued this. Tomorrow our external sales department will meet with our product development to exchange ideas. The mood at dinner was good. I will update tomorrow.