We weren’t quite sure of the name when it was first announced a few years ago, but eventually Runchella grew on us as a unique title for an industry event. But that name has apparently run its course and the Running Industry Association (RIA) recently rebranded its annual member event as The RIA Summit.
Formerly known as Runchella, this will be the fifth annual member event to bring together 200-plus specialty run retailers from across the country to connect with the top brands in the channel, business partners, and each other.
“We’re moving on from the Runchella name with intention,” states RIA executive director Terry Schalow. “We felt rebranding as The RIA Summit more accurately reflects the ethos of the show, which is designed to constantly evolve based on attendee feedback but remains grounded in creating opportunities for members to connect in ways that elevate their businesses.”
The members-only, boutique-style event will span two and a half days, from April 29 – May 2, 2024, and take place at the Union Station Hotel in St Louis, Missouri, a move from Chicago where the last two events were held.
The 2024 show will elevate the ‘Your Show, Your Way’ theme, with opportunities for retailers to connect with brands, including one-on-one conversations, peer-sharing opportunities, relevant programming topics and greater scheduling flexibility.
Brand attendees are invitation-only and will feature industry leaders in footwear and apparel, as well as the top brands within each accessory category. Emerging brands that are new, or new to the channel, will also have a presence at the show.
A number of point-of-sale, ecommerce and digital marketing providers will also attend to introduce retailers to their platforms or do training with existing customers.
The show kicks off on April 29 with an opening night event. During the next two days retailer attendees will customize their schedules to meet with brands and.business partners, participate in peer discussions on pertinent channel topics and learn from a variety of experts on how to better run their businesses. In addition, the RIA Summit will feature social gatherings like sponsored group runs with product demos, happy hours, and an industry party.