The Running Event Reports Record Attendance, Rejuvenated Retailers
December 16, 2019
The annual trade show took the running specialty industry by the horns, sets date to return to Austin in 2020.
PORTLAND, Maine (December 16, 2019) – The Running Event, held December 3-5, 2019 in Austin, Texas, marked the 14th year for North America’s largest running specialty trade show and expo to showcase the latest and greatest for running-related retailers, businesses and brands. Produced by Diversified Communications, this year’s Running Event marked record participation, along with a strong international retailer attendance, countless new vendor-partner relationships and the announcement of a brand refresh of Running Insight magazine.
The Running Event reported over 260 exhibitors and over 2,500 total attendees at this year’s show.
“After honing in on the valuable feedback provided by our exhibitors and retailers, we made significant changes to The Running Event that were well received and commented on by numerous attendees during the show, said Anne Gray, event director for Diversified Communications. “We left Austin feeling full of energy for what’s ahead, and we are already coming up with new things for 2020!”
The newly adjusted three-day event hosted breakout conference sessions for both retailers and race directors, two days of exhibitions, demos and much more.
Highlights from The Running Event include:
- New Product Showcase Winner – set up on the trade show floor, attendees scoped out what’s new for 2020 and voted on their favorite product. The 2019 winner: Kahtoola for new winter traction system, EXOspikes, and was gifted $1,000 to the charity of their choice.
- The Big Pitch Winner – attending retailers had the opportunity to win up to $5,000 for presenting a winning idea to some of the best in the running business. The challenge: develop and share a campaign that would attract younger customers to their stores. The 2019 winner: Palmetto Running Company of South Carolina for its eco-initiative to tie in running with Earth Day 2020. Running Niche walked away with second place and $3,000, and 605 Running Company came in third place and took home $1,000.
- Indie 5k Winners – Fastest Retail Team: Naperville Running Company; Fastest Manufacturer Team: Nuun Hydration (picture of team above); Fastest Female: Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, 16:28; and Fastest Male: Mustafa Mohamed, 15:11.
“The show was outstanding, as always,” said Craig Carlock, CEO of Omega Sports. “We connected with key vendor-partners and further cemented important relationships, particularly in footwear. In accessories and apparel, we saw many new items that we can consider for next year. We left the show rejuvenated and excited about products, relationships and opportunities.”
To close out The Running Event, Thursday’s evening Industry Awards honored six retailers and individuals for their special contributions to the business of run specialty. The 2019 recipients were:
- Brooks Run Happy Award, Running Lab
- Nike Just Do It/Empower Award, Bekah Metzdorff, Mill City Running
- IRRC Canadian Store of the Year Presented by New Balance, Frontrunners Victoria
- ASICS Sound Mind Sound Body Award, Fleet Feet Mt. Pleasant/Somerville
- Saucony Run for Good Award, Charm City Run
- Ubuntu Award Presented by Balega, Playmakers, Okemos, MI
New sustainability initiatives were taken at The Running Event in 2019 and moving forward to reduce the carbon footprint that trade shows leave behind. This included the removal of aisle carpet as well as new recyclable, plastic free name badges. All attendees of The Running Event in 2019 received a reusable water bottle courtesy of Nathan to use during the event and beyond. Two new education sessions highlighted sustainability from a business standpoint as well as for race directors and the future of diminishing environmental impact at races.
The dates for next year’s The Running Event are set, and the show will return to Austin, Texas on December 1-3, 2020. To learn more, visit www.therunningevent.com.
About The Running Event
Launched in 2006, The Running Event is North America’s largest running specialty trade show, attracting 2,500 industry professionals who convene each year in Austin, Texas to buy the latest in running footwear, apparel, gear and services from an estimated 260 exhibitors. The newly adjusted three-day format provides attendees with numerous opportunities to share best practices, discover new ways to engage customers and to explore the latest and greatest products in the running market today. To learn more about The Running Event’s official media partner Running Insight or its sister event Best Running Stores, visit www.therunningevent.com.
About Diversified Communications
Diversified Communications is a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products, Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business. For more information visit: http://www.divcom.com