Taylor Travels October 2010: The GS Mini Goes to China
Taylor Guitars participates in festivals, conferences and trade shows all over the world. In an average year we can be found at 20-30 of these types of events. In mid-October, Taylor trade show coordinator David Kaye and I traveled to Shanghai, China to work the Music China trade show. It’s a huge event that attracts 80,000 people over the course of four days. Six massive halls are filled with displays that range from familiar modern (Western) instruments to native exotica. You’ll find everything from the latest analog-to-digital converters to erhus — Chinese two-string fiddles — that use real snakeskin as the material for the head. Taylor is a new brand to many Chinese, and our goal is to educate the trade show attendees about our company and our guitars. During the four (loud!) days of the show, we worked alongside our friends at Ivan Music, our distributor here in China. Today we all ventured into Old Shanghai to visit a couple of our dealers.
There are over 50 music stores on Jinling Road. They’re all here, lined up right next to one another. If you want to buy an instrument in Shanghai, this is where you go. Talk about competition! Some of the shops have the square-footage of smaller stores in the States, but many are tiny areas that specialize in one or two instruments. There are two Taylor dealers on Jinling road. The first stop is World Wide Music. This is one of the best guitar stores in all of China. I brought a GS Mini with me to show the owner and sales people. Back home we can’t keep up with the orders for the Mini, and China won’t see any delivered here for several months. I could have sold my GS Mini at least 10 times during the trade show, and the people at the store loved it! They passed it around and strummed it, nodding in appreciation. Many photos were taken. Just like everywhere else it’s been, the Mini gets immediate approval. I spent time talking tech stuff with Mickey, a cool kid and the main repair/setup person at World Wide Music. He had some good questions for me, and I showed him how to properly sight the neck and adjust the truss rod. Next, we walked down Jinling to Woodo Music. The staff at Wodoo also was excited to see the Mini. We spent an hour or so visiting the shop, demonstrating guitars, and answering questions. I could tell that they were excited to meet people from the Taylor factory.
The China visit helped reinforce that the Mini really is a cool little guitar. It doesn’t matter where you are in your guitar-playing journey or in the world; it appeals to everyone.