Music Biz and Record Store Day to Host Virtual Couch Camp

As part of their efforts to bring educational content to the industry at large as it practices social distancing, the Music Business Association (Music Biz) and Record Store Day today announce that they will co-host the Couch Camp educational conference, set for Tuesday, June 2 through Friday, June 5 via Zoom. This virtual event will take the place of Record Store Day's annual Summer Camp program.

Each day will consist of three hours of programming starting at 3 pm ET, including a mix of webinar presentations, roundtable discussions, and one-on-one speed dating intros, all culminating in a cocktail party on June 5. Retail store attendees can expect presentations from Patreon, eBay, Instagram, Facebook, Shopify, Broadtime and more, as well as roundtable discussions on subjects including social media best practices, leadership in the time of COVID-19 and beyond, and financial planning.

“The independent retail community has been impacted in unprecedented ways this year, but continues to show its resilience in the face of adversity,” commented Music Biz president Portia Sabin. “We’re thrilled to partner with Record Store Day to bring Couch Camp to life, and arm this community with the knowledge, tools and connections they need to weather this storm.”

“While we are saddened that we won’t be able to gather in person for RSD Summer Camp this year, we’re grateful to Music Biz for helping us put on this essential online forum,” shared Record Store Day Co-Founder Carrie Colliton. “Couch Camp will allow us an opportunity to gather and meet and reconnect with our peers in the retail scene, and examine both the business and personal sides of running a successful record store in 2020.”

Initial reaction from the indie retail community for Couch Camp has been overwhelmingly positive. “Once again the masterminds at RSD save the day — although we cannot meet in person, the concept of taking Summer Camp online is a brilliant idea,” offers Record Archive VP Alayna Alderman. “The exchange of ideas, sharing of best practices coupled with the friendships that have come from bringing all of us together once a year has become the highlight of summer. As we all know the power of connection and maintaining those relationships are crucial to our existence. This is the next best thing to being there!”

“RSD Summer Camp has always provided insights and ideas on how to be a better record store,” said Sandy Bitman of Park Ave CDs. “Now, more than ever, these online sessions will help indie shops navigate for what’s next in retail."

“At every seminar I’ve attended for RSD summer camp, I’ve taken away at least one great idea to impact my business,” said Judy Mills of Mills Record Company. “At a time like now, who can’t use a boost in business or a new best practice, not to mention kinship with people in the same situation? Can’t wait to ‘see’ everyone!"

“Getting together every year with all of our fellow record stores and label & distributor friends is one of the highlights of the summer — it's the family reunion that you actually look forward to,” said Justin Johnson at Darkside Records and Gallery. “I always take a lot of new ideas, inspiration and motivation back to my shop from Summer Camp. It's a bummer we can't get together in person this year, but I'm happy to have Couch Camp in its place. We can all use a little community and inspiration for our shops right now and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for us. Viva la Summer Camp!”