LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA (BRAIN)—If attendee feedback is any indication, then the first annual PressCamp, held June 23–25 in Sun Valley, Idaho, was podium-worthy.
Twenty editors representing 28 publications joined representatives from 19 bicycle industry brands to talk about and test products during the three-day event—the first of its kind in the industry. It was time well spent, according to editors and manufacturers.
Representatives from both Gore Bike Wear and Gore RideOn Cable Systems were pleased with PressCamp. “I had a great time and formed bonds with the editors that would have been very difficult otherwise,” said Jessica Czipoth of Gore Bike Wear. “I feel like I’m ahead of the game. Once Interbike rolls around, it will be like seeing old friends.”
Lois Mabon of Gore RideOn Cable Systems agreed, saying, “It went beyond my expectations.”
Lance Camisasca of Lifeboat Solutions developed PressCamp to give bicycle industry companies a mid-summer, product launch boost in advance of fall trade shows. Journalists enjoyed a sneak preview of 2010 products during one-on-one meetings with manufacturers as well as hands-on demo time. The intimate format allowed for in-depth product discussions.
Journalists from mainstream publications such as Men’s Journal, Los Angeles Times, Wired, Outside and Mountain Sports + Living attended, along with representatives from nearly every bike industry publication and Web site—including five European titles. All of the editors said they really liked the event’s format.
“Trade shows are great, but it’s tough for editors to get more than a cursory understanding of products and companies given time constraints,” said Marc Peruzzi, editorial director of Mountain Sports + Living magazine and a frequent contributor to Men’s Journal, Outside, and Mountain Bike. “PressCamp allowed me to spend quality time with a range of innovative cycling companies and then try out much of the gear the same day. Not only does that lend itself to immediate story ideas but it builds relationships as well, and such relationships lead to long-term story generation.”
Exhibitors at PressCamp included Alpine Bike Parks, Blue Competition Cycles, BMC Racing, Cannondale, Clif Quench, DT Swiss, Hutchinson, Lazer Helmets, Pedro’s, Saris Bike Racks, Scott USA, and eight other brands. Camelbak, Mavic, and Timbuk2 provided product as official Gear Partners for the event.
“I had a great time personally and found the PressCamp model to be really effective,” said Chris Randall, brand manager for Clif. “Meeting with that many media in just two days was really great. Then having product available for the rides topped it off for us.”
PressCamp founder Camisasca was pleased with the event’s first year. “Everyone there said it was awesome,” said Camisasca. “I look forward to making this an annual event to help bicycle industry companies showcase new products in an intimate setting and guarantee quality, focused exposure.”
PressCamp should find it easy to recruit attendees next year. Carlton Reid, editor of BikeBiz is on board. “PressCamp was excellent,” said Reid. “It was easily the best trade event I've attended.”