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Bike show blazes new trails at Deer Valley

Lance Camisasca is working to change the way innovations in the bicycle industry are unveiled this week at Deer Valley Resort.

For 10 years Camisasca directed the industry’s main trade show, Interbike, held each September in Las Vegas. In recent years, manufacturers have wanted to exhibit new gear in the summer, he said.

There’s been a growing trend of the largest brands holding sneak peeks for media in June, and then inviting retailers to special events in July so the word is out in time for September buying.

That works if you’re a major company like Trek, but it’s a tough strategy for the hundreds of smaller brands, he said. The trend is forcing them to become media savvy and special-event organizers in addition to running their businesses.

Camisasca began Lifeboat Events to "corral" these mini-events together into a summer trade show called DealerCamp.

He said the event is not competing with Interbike because the goals are different. If his read of the industry is correct, however, it would be no surprise if DealerCamp became the more relevant event in years to come, he added.

Interbike has developed from a place where new gear is unrolled to more of a "gathering of the tribe," he said.

DealerCamp satisfies the needs of smaller brands to follow the lead of the major players in introducing innovations earlier, Camisasca explained.

Only manufacturers and qualified retailers are invited to this inaugural event at Snow Park Lodge July 29-31. So far, advanced reservations have exceeded his wildest estimations, Camisasca said. Almost 350 retailers are expected to check out 61 brands.

Lifeboat Events also organized a special meeting for media in 2009 at Sun Valley Resort, and moved it to Deer Valley last June. Deer Valley is the perfect place for events like these because of its biking venues near a high-class town near an Interstate and international airport, he said.

The types of tents, booths and demonstrations companies want to have are usually easy to set up and tear down. They don’t need the sophisticated services offered by expensive convention centers. A place like the Snow Park Lodge parking lot gives exhibitors lower overhead and more control, Camisasca explained.

"The bike industry in general is excited about our events. They’re timed better and are bringing everyone back together. We’re doing it where the weather is great and there are great riding environments," he said.

Camisasca said he’s worked in the cycling industry his entire life. He raced as a youth, and then got jobs at major retailers and manufacturers before taking the helm of Interbike for a decade.

He brings that experience working with manufacturers and satisfying the needs of retailers to DealerCamp, he said.

Brands registered to attend include Scott, Shimano, Fuji, Fox, Ibis, Avid, Rock Shox, Fulcrum, Civia, Sram, BH and others.


View DealerCamp in a larger map


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