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PressCamp comes to an end

Published August 9, 2017
Camisasca and ECRM part ways due to changing market

SOLON, Ohio (BRAIN) — ECRM, the Ohio company that bought Lance Camisasca's PressCamp, has shut down the operation effective Wednesday due primarily to the ongoing weakness in the bicycle and outdoor markets.

Camisasca said the decision was mutual, and that he and Chad Battistone, a co-founder of the nine-year-old operation, are pleased with the impact PressCamp has had on the industry.

"After our 2018 planning was completed, it was determined that due to continued strong headwinds, stemming mainly from flat sales, to shifting retail and a changing media landscape in both cycling and outdoor, we are parting company with ECRM (Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing)," Camisasca said.

"We're very proud of what we've accomplished with PressCamp over the past nine years, having never laid an egg or disappointed our many customers. But now, however, we've decided to move on and explore other ways to best serve the markets we enjoy so much," he said.

In April 2015 ECRM bought PressCamp from Lifeboat Events, a company Camisasca and Battistone had launched in 2009 with their first event in Sun Valley, Idaho. ECRM's goal was to create an Active Lifestyle division and to bring PressCamp to new active lifestyle industries as well as create other opportunities, Camisasca said.

ECRM's Greg Farrar, the company's CEO, told BRAIN at the time of the purchase that he hoped to take the PressCamp concept into other industries ECRM serves. As of press time, Farrar had yet to respond to a request for comment.

ECRM basically brings sellers and buyers in the consumer goods industry together at posh settings to facilitate ongoing sales and relationships.

For example, the company will soon host a session for school supply manufacturers at the Chicago Hilton. They will present new products and marketing initiatives for 2018 to buyers of those products.

Despite the decision to end PressCamp, Camisasca said the project has been "quite successful" and has become a much-loved event for editors who come to meet with suppliers.
PressCamp invites editors from the U.S. and overseas to meet one-on-one with vendors. The 45-minute sessions give vendors an opportunity to discuss in-depth details of new products they plan to bring to market. PressCamp pays the cost to bring editors to the event.

"Our organized product demo sessions and numerous network gatherings have served hundreds of active lifestyle manufacturers and countless editors, both endemic and non-endemic, for almost a decade," he said.

Camisasca also added DealerCamp in 2010 in Deer Valley, Utah, a small trade event where retailers could test mountain bikes using ski lift access as well as road bikes on Deer Valley's steep roadways.

Those who attended raved about the venue and the test areas, but after a three-year run DealerCamp failed to attract enough retailers to satisfy vendor demand. It was not part of the ECRM purchase.

Still, Camisasca said DealerCamp was a great event. "But knowing what we know today, I just think we were ahead of the curve," he said.

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