21 September 2016 11:13:39 AM AEST
This was the show they said was all about e-bikes. But for us, it was all about Oi-someness. (Sorry).
But first of all, massive apologies to our friends Cristina and Alex at Surly who lived in the next door booth for a week. After 5 days of every single visitor ringing the Oi, hearing its – albeit beautiful – tone may mean they’ll never be able to look at us without being overcome with rage. We’ll make it up to you guys.
So, it was my first Eurobike, and I was assured that I got it easy. Our booth was simpler in construction than last year, where we had 4 people construct what looked like a hi-tech meth lab over two full days and had around 874 different parts. But again this year, as usual, our main criteria was “Will anyone else be doing anything like this? If not, let’s do that”. Our booth consisted of 4 elements:
1. INFINITY PLINTHS: We had 10x display boxes for our products. We make no apologies for making sure ours were the best-looking products in their category. Geeky on the inside, but very much gorgeous on the outside. The plinths had double sided mirror and LED rope to create a hole that looked like it might go all the way home, down under.
2. BIG FACE: Our giant friend Matthieu offered up his massive face to look down onto our Infinity Plinths. It was a challenge taking the shot. Even getting a man of his size into a photography studio required significant furniture rearranging.
3. DEMO WALL: We had a lovely big neon sign – only it wasn’t neon – it was that same funky LED rope. This sat above our wall-mounted locks and shelf-mounted lights and bells.
4. MEETING ROOM: This was a meeting room. We had meetings in here. And we met people. In this room.
Through the looking glass
Our German distributor, Cosmic, has always been one of the biggest supporters of the Oi bell. Their team call it a “home run” which is a great endorsement and gives us real confidence. But we still didn’t expect to get the attention we did. Every few seconds Hugo had an interview to attend or a video crew was recording Prinzessin Leia, aka our very own Leah Hughes. We also won a Eurobike Award – so ours was one of only 4 winners in the Accessories category. We also found some people who weren’t cyclists who wanted it for equally worthwhile reasons. (This is not a crass set up…)
The other really big ticket item for us was the Blinder MINI. We’re launching this in conjunction with the Oi. The two go so perfectly together we have created the colours to match. This USD $29 light is an all over revamp of our wildly successful Blinder 1. Better straps, better LED tech, better styling, same price. This is the be seen light for the city. Mic dropped. Sales pitch over.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, thank you for your kind words, Xeccon. But seriously, we’ve had enough of our sales being shredded by rip-offs from all corners of the world. Chinese manufacturer Xeccon chose to exhibit their copy products of our successful Blinder MOB range, despite our warning that we had an injunction from the German authorities for IP protection. Once we found them to be in breach we had the customs police go to their booth and remove any evidence of the copy products. This is something we feel strongly about because it’s a simple equation: more copies = less incentive to innovate = inferior design = poor quality products. This isn’t what we want for the bike industry, or – of course – our business.
But whilst our attention was fixed on the Zeppelin hall where one copycat was being pulled up, some light-fingered individual was pulling up the glass top of our plinth that was displaying the prototypes of our next Oi products. It’s quite funny really, that they chose to steal two hardly functioning early prototypes, and left the most valuable thing on the booth – an Oi Classic, hand-engraved by a Japanese Buddhist monk.
Yes, after seeing the work by Kosuke Masada we asked him to engrave 6 Oi bells for us. He did this and… there are no words.
(by Sam Moore, Head of Brand & Marketing @ Knog)