Unique times demand unique solutions and the inaugural Running Insight Market Week, held July 20-23, provided those solutions by successfully connecting major brands virtually with dozens of their run retail customers in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has changed the way the running industry does business.

Born out of a demand to bridge the lack of in-person meetings between run retailers and their brands, Running Insight Market Week brought together more than 100 retailers and 14 brands – ranging from footwear to apparel to accessories – in a week-long series of more than 230 face-to-face meetings facilitated by Running Insight and The Running Event.

“These are meetings that never would have happened if we didn’t bring together the reach of Running Insight and The Running Event with our retail partners and the brands that are vital to their businesses,” says Christina Henderson, publisher of Running Insight and show director for The Running Event.

“The brands tell us these meetings were extremely valuable to them during a time when they are unable to connect with their retail customers,” Henderson adds.

In addition to the many one-on-one meetings, Market Week also featured presentations by Platinum Sponsors Balega, Saucony and Under Armour. An educational session presented by well-known industry consultant Parker Karnan was another highlight of Market Week.

“Market Week was great,” says Ann Ringlein, of Lincoln Running Company, whose says her only disappointment was having to miss some appointments because her store got busy during some of her virtual meetings." But that is not a bad thing.

She was particularly enthused by Karnan’s presentation, which she says provided “so much good info and so many things that hit home — things we have in place and things we were thinking about doing and thus convinced to do them. Education on products always gets me thinking education in the store.” Another highlight was the presentation by Saucony and its late 2020 and 2021 shoe drops. “I got on the phone to my Saucony rep right away and said we want these,” Ringlein says.

Presenting Sponsors of Running Insight Market Week were Body Glide, Coros, Darn Tough Vermont, Floyd’s of Leadville, Hotshot, OS1st, Spryng, Swiftwick, Vibe Rollers and VJ Shoes.