The Road Show seems to provide an antidote to the virtual “point-and-click” online experience of the Internet, which many people use to gather product information, but which often leaves them with just as many questions as answers. A large part of the Road Show’s appeal is the opportunity for guitar fans to gather together, get their questions answered, and celebrate the fun of guitar-playing with members of Taylor’s “A-team.”
VP of Product Marketing Brian Swerdfeger says he’s seen in the guitar industry and elsewhere a return from the impersonal sort of marketing that has been so prevalent recently.
“Although it’s become the norm for folks to sit at home and check out guitars online, there’s something missing from that experience. Sure, it’s convenient. But I suggest it does not address the fact that as guitar players, we are romantics at heart. We love to hold, feel, listen to, and adore guitars. And the Road Shows deliver everything you can’t get online – hands-on guitar love.”
Dana Flood from Bangor, Maine’s Northern Kingdom Music agrees.
“I think the timing is right. Everybody’s relying on the Internet, going online and getting educated, but that in-person touch really has a lot more clout.”
Frank Hayhurst of Zone Music in Cotati, California, notes that the Road Show is a perfect example of value-added, store-centered retail in light of Internet retailing.
“We had 90 people at our event, and they were enthralled,” Hayhurst says. “This is the kind of event that retailers need to survive.”
Vincent Murphy, of Murphy’s Music Center in Irving, Texas, had 97 attendees at his store’s Road Show.
“We started at 6:00 and ended around 9:20, and there were still 89 or so people here,” Murphy says. “I’ve had two-hour clinics where we’ll start out with 60 people, and by the end there’ll be 20 people left. The way Brian Swerdfeger and [Regional Sales Manager] Andy Lund handled the mix of product knowledge and stories, like about working with Bob Taylor on the development of guitars, made the customers feel like they were part of the deal. I’d love to say all those people wanted to come to Murphy’s Music, but the draw was Taylor!”
More Road Shows are being booked for the fall. For the latest schedule, visit taylorguitars.com/roadshow.