THE RUNNING EVENT SPECIALTY RUNNING CONFERENCE AND EXPO
CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY WITH LARGEST SHOW EVER
New Products, Seminars and Celebrity Athletes Attract
1,200 Running Professionals To Austin
AUSTIN, Tex. (Nov. 19, 2010) – For four days, the attention of the $770 million running business was on Austin for the fifth annual, and largest, specialty running trade show in North America. The Running Event® (therunningevent.com) attracted over 1,200 industry professionals, of which approximately 600 were retailers representing 400 stores.
After two days of conferences focusing on retailer education and sales training and business growth, The Running Event culminated in a trade show with 200 exhibitors, including ASICS, Balega, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike and Puma.
Seminars included a presentation by retail educator Paul Erickson of RMSA (rmsa.com) who told attendees, “New inventory and new technology drives sales. Running a successful store depends upon the ‘power of new.’” Erickson later advised, “Nurture customers who do not shop on price alone.”
Dan Mann of The Mann Group (manngroup.net) advised that retailers should not assume customers are always trying to save money. “The retail business involves service and sales,” he said. Later he suggested retailers ensure customers get to try on shoes and apparel, “people are more likely to buy when they know what a product feels like.”
Researchers from 3M preached the public service message, “No White at Night” – the need for highly reflective clothing that features enhanced “conspicuity,” or the likelihood of being seen in low light. They encouraged using reflective materials at the knee, elbows, head and feet to highlight the human form.
The impressive growth of “barefoot” and minimalist shoes as a new and successful category was in evidence this year.
Invisibleshoe.com has lightweight running sandals based upon designs by Mexico's Tarahumara Indians. Asics, Ecco, New Balance, Nike, Puma, and Saucony, are also fueling the minimalist movement, according to Mario Fraioli, web producer for Competitor Group (competitorgroup.com) which covered the two-day expo for CompetitorTV.com.
At the Running Specialty Hall of Fame Dinner and Inductions, the Independent Running Retailer Association (theirra.com), named the Saucony Guide the Shoe of the Year, and Brooks the IRRA Vendor of the Year.
The Running Event also attracted well-known runners including 1984 Olympic Women’s Marathon champion Joan Benoit-Samuelson, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Running Specialty Hall of Fame. She told the audience of retailers and manufacturers, “So many people have opened a door for me, it was my task to run through.”
Also attending was international marathon legend Ron Hill of Ronhill Sports; and world-class endurance athlete Diane Van Deren.
Pittsburgh retailer Kevin Smith of Elite Runners & Walkers said of The Running Event, “Our customers want the latest and greatest. You can’t find that at multi-sport trade shows that cater to big box stores. TRE attracts smaller retailers and vendors, bringing alive the entrepreneurial spirit of the running business.”
Adds Rob Mossman, Senior V.P. Sales for Pearl Izumi, “This show, along with two Fleet Feet conferences and our own sales force, is one of our primary touchpoints. We like TRE because it’s an intimate show in a city that provides a nice feel with some great running right outside the hotel door.”
The Running Event, produced by Formula4Media, Great Neck, N.Y., returns to Austin on Dec. 7-10, 2011. For more information: www.therunningevent.com.
The Running Event® is a registered trademark of Formula 4 Media, LLC.