Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ceramic Charcoal Cooker Festivals, a few thoughts.....

We were sitting idly here at our desk viewing the 'Fest Map on our website. You can do the same, too, if you like at this address:

  The 'Fest Map

Jeez a mighty! There are a lot of ceramic charcoal cooker festivals out there! Washington state to San Francisco to Texas to Florida to New Hampshire to Minnesota! Upon closer viewing, however, it becomes apparent that all these festivals are held by Big Green Egg owners/dealers/distributors. We began to wonder why that is. Our web page is devoted to all brands of ceramic charcoal cookers and we feel that festivals are something all brands should try to organize in order to promote the whole ceramic charcoal cooker concept.

Certainly, one reason is that Big Green Egg is far and away the most popular ceramic charcoal cooker in the US, as measured by units sold. We once had a conversation with a marketing director from one of the other manufacturers and he stated that his company thrived off the crumbs that Big Green Egg allowed to fall off the table. We also once heard the figure (this was about 4-5 years ago) that Big Green Egg shipped 1,000 units per week. Clearly, Big Green Egg owners are everywhere and getting a group of them together isn't too hard.

But why don't Primo and Grill Dome at least have festivals at their headquarters? Both have headquarters in the Atlanta area, so it seems reasonable that they should have a relatively large following available to attend a festival. We did see a discussion on the Grill Dome forum and it seemed that maybe they were just being too ambitious for their first festival and letting the size of it get in the way of just one getting started. The first Eggtoberfest was a very small event with only 15 cooks and about 100 attendees in all. Look at it now. It has grown so large that they have moved it to the Atlanta Motor Speedway!

(We can speak from experience in the difficulties in getting a dealer to host a festival. Our local dealer just thought it was too much work. He didn't seem to want to consider the facts that a) local Big Green Egg owners would be volunteering to help, and b) he could sell 15 to 20 cookers in one day. We may approach him again some day with a more modest proposal just to show him the possibilities.)

In the case of Komodo Kamado, it's almost certainly the fact that the headquarters are in Indonesia and the cookers are so expensive that there just isn't a critical mass of owners in any location that would make a Komodo Kamado Fest possible.

And in the case of Kamado, it appears that the company is virtually comatose now. There is very little activity on their online forum except for customer complaints which are then deleted. There are no reports from any new owners receiving cookers. You would think that a company located in Las Vegas, for heaven's sake, could generate some interest in holding a party!

Whatever the reasons, we hope that some of the other companies can get some sort of action going on organizing a festival. If you hang out on the Big Green Egg forum for any length of time, the excitement generated by all these festivals (34 this year by our current count) is tremendous. We are all proud of our ceramic charcoal cookers, whatever the brand, and raising awareness in the general public and having the opportunity to share good times with fellow owners is a positive thing, for manufacturers, dealers and owners. Here's to hoping we'll see some Primofest's and Grill Dome Fest's spring up!



At May 25, 2010 at 11:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just the way it is. Eggheads are passionate about their Eggs, just like Mac owners are for their computers (too bad that hasn't caught on for the masses, though).

Word of mouth, the unique color and name just grabs people and makes them want to be part of the Egg community. Oh, add that the distributor support is awesome (at least here in the Dallas area) makes a big difference.

Doesn't hurt that what you cook on an Egg is awesome.

My 2 cents.

At May 26, 2010 at 9:35 AM , Anonymous The Naked Whiz said...

The only thing is that on the other active forums, the owners seem equally passionate. You'd think the manufacturers would want to tap into that passion. Start small and who knows. Also, Primo has dealers, but no Primo 'Fests? I think they are missing out on something. But, who knows.....


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