Monday, October 13, 2008

Kona 30 Grades

37K miles above Big Blue on way home. Another Kona trip in the books, this the 30th edition. And, at least in the opinion of the RCVman, a most successful one. Both you loyal readers will recall that the trip was designed to accomplish four objectives. Let's take a closer look and quickly grade the results, shall we?

1) Create additional RCV awareness by a successful release of the Kona 08 DVD.

We ended up taking 500 copies over and handed out over 400, so that was a decent percentage. We will be testing a group e-mail to 200 folks who entered the CT drawings at IM Canada, Muskoka and Lake Placid offering the DVD as a free bonus to further promote the product. That will leave us with about 200 to use over the winter. Everyone seemed to enjoy the content and with Kevin Mackinnon posting it on, the viewing audience went from 0-60K in three days. And despite Simon, Phil, Lynn and Ryan's joy in mocking my voice narrative, Phil and Chucks request to lengthen the lower third IDs, and my own self critique in scene selection, most who viewed at the expo were not disappointed and nary tomato thrown. Overall grade: A-

2) Launch the RCV Fun Ride as an annual event.

With less than two weeks to advertise, we were able to attract a dozen folks to the Wednesday ride. Due to a mysterious sign at the top of the Energy Lab announcing that cyclists were prohibited from entry, the ride itself was shortened from the advertised 25 miles to 15. NTL, an enjoyable and successful shoot was staged and additional good will established to the assembled crew. One must start somewhere, least us not forget that the even we witnessed yesterday began in Oahu 30 years ago with the same number of participants.
Overall grade: B-

3) Re-capture the Kona course for improved RCV.

The building consensus campaign began sometime last year as the shoot protocols were improved and perfected. We knew (I knew) that we needed to shoot this course from a bike or scooter in the pack to do it justice. And even though the Kona RCV remains our best seller, it has flaws, Some serious, some superficial. Worst case scenario, the one I was operating under up until Friday, was that we were going to be granted permission to shoot the same way as least year, off the front. So imagine my surprise when John told me that we could shoot off the back, on a bike, in the pack. To scramble mode we went and after a long 112 miles and almost five hours in the baking Kona sun, we came a away with some pretty damn good footage. But limited GPS. It's always something, eh? I am quite confident that I can work around this issue, having enough prior data to choke a small donkey, but the fact remains that the entire trip was elevated to gold status as a result of the decision, addressed by, lobbied for and championed by many. Whom I would like to thank at this time, particularly Andy Giancola, Kevin Mackinnon, Paul Huddle and John Bertsch. If there is anybody else in that gregarious group that I have left out or don't know about, thank you. Seriously.
Overall grade: A++

4) Continue to promote the RCVs and interview additional CT athletes.

I spent a lot of time at the booth talking with both current users and potential ones. I like doing that, even to the couple that hit me with both barrels about the Kona RCV. I promised them a copy of the new course when ready and was able to convey my frustrations and vision of upgrades adequately, I think. They went away happy anyway. Sold another unit to George from Calgary and had several great chats with folks who feel like I do that this stuff is pretty dang cool. Interviews with Mitch Anderson, Rebecca Keat, Eneko Llanos, Bella Comerford, Steven Bayliss all added colorful contributions to the existing testimonials. Missed Kate however, so that was the only Pro who escaped the RCVmans red light.
Overall grade: B.

So there ya have it RCV fans. There was, as always, a ton of behind the scene, under the hood, in sotto voce, guerrilla marketing moments in addition to the above. I am always so grateful to come to Kona and hang with the big boys in Paradise. Simon and Phil were in top form once again and Chuck seemed to feel that the show was a success despite the low recession induced participatory numbers. You could say that a good time was had by all. And you would be right. Aloha and Mahalo friends.
Overall, overall grade: B

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