Let me say it upfront the 2014 Holy Grail Guitar Show was a great success. It is without doubt the best luthiers salon I've ever been to. Organized by the EGB (European Guitar Builders Association) with a core team of 8 volunteers composed of luthiers and luthiers women, this first edition was a masterstroke.
What's the Holy Grail Guitar show? 115 luthiers coming from 22 countries, with 4 guitars average per table, so around 500 guitars in a big hotel in Berlin for 2 days!
As a reference, here is a list of events dedicated partly or entirely to the guitar which I had the opportunity to go:
- Montreal Guitar salon in 2007 (which no longer exists)
- Festival Guitare Issoudun 2011, 2012, 2014
- Graines de Guitare 2013 and 2014
- Guitares au Beffroi 2013 and 2014
Reasons for success of the 2014 Holy Grail Guitar Show
- Phenomenal quality of luthiers
- Excellent concept of having only guitar builders
- Impeccable organization
- Quality of the conferences
- Testing rooms
- The lounge of the luthiers
- Mini-concert demo
- The luthiers dinner Friday night: a superb opportunity to make initial contact before the show. And very good food!
My suggestions to further improve
Honestly the event was such a success, my list is really composed of small improvements. In fact, it was difficult to believe it was the first edition.
- Video shoot all conferences and broadcast them live. The one of Juha Ruokangas on Thermo Treated Wood was excellent.
- Provide all (exhibitors, visitors and media) WiFi access for communication during the event
- Increase the use of Twitter in the account @HolyGrailGuitar propose an official hashtag # HGGS2014?
The Guitar Channel takeway of the show
In a few key points:
- 21 interviews (see list below) with a selection of top guns of the domain
- 200 pictures (album available via the Backstage private community)
- Many discussions all day long with guitar enthusiasts
- The meeting with a few living legend luthiers (Ken Parker, Grit Laskin, etc.)
- The discovery of new luthiers
- Received congratulations and encouragement from Ulrich Teuffel or Juha Ruokangas (I can tell you that it's super cool!)
To finance these few days in Berlin was a real bet for The Guitar Channel. I think I can already say that it succeeds because it allowed me to generate high quality content (yes, I dare say that) that has already begun to attract additional new Backstage Pass owners.
Beyond my commercial approach to transform The Guitar Channel into a viable business, these days were also the opportunity to build very promising links with foreign luthiers we have very few opportunities to meet France.
This event should be a model for equivalent events in France: the EGB proved that it was possible. Striking demonstration. And let no one tell me that it would not be possible in France. When we want to sell high-end products such as luthier guitars, you need a high-end event.
In short, I'm looking forward to the 2015 edition and congratulations to the organizers and all the volunteers who made this show such a success.
The video above is a teaser of the 21 interviews
Get the Backstage Pass to view the full videos
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List of people interviewed on The Guitar Channel
- Kaz Goto from Jersey Girl Homemade guitars - Japan
- Michiro Matsuda - USA
- Juha Ruokangas - Finland
- Sylvan from Relish Guitars - Switzerland
- Jens Ritter - Germany
- Harry Häussel - Germany
- Christophe Leduc - France
- Philippe Clain - France
- Sophie Dockx from Dorian Guitars - Germany
- Giulio Negrini - Italy
- Ken Parker - USA
- Lars Rasmussen - Sweden
- Frank Hartung - Germany
- Doug Kauer - USA
- Kari Nieminen from Versoul - Finland
- Simon from the Leonardo Guitar Research Project - Europe
- Brian from the Leonardo Guitar Research Project - Europe
- Claudio Pagelli - Italy
- Frank Deimel - Germany
- William Grit Laskin - Canada
- Ulrich Teuffel - Germany