2024 RIA Summit Guide
Welcome to the 2024 RIA Summit!
Formerly known as Runchella, this is the fifth annual RIA members-only event that is all about helping retailers, brands and associate members connect in ways that elevate their businesses. From an opening night industry panel on how artificial intelligence will impact the run specialty channel, to small group discussions on retaining and elevating superstar employees, to professional development sessions on the future of buying and inventory management - show attendees are sure to walk away with actionable, progressive ideas about how to move their businesses forward in a rapidly changing channel.

As past shows have shown, the RIA Summit is not a typical trade show, in the sense that brands are encouraged to attend with a no-frills booth activation to keep the focus on substantive conversations and getting business done. The 2024 show will elevate the ‘Your Show, Your Way’ theme, with more 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 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. After last year’s event, Geoff Tease, Channel Sales Manager from Puma North America stated, “Our first year at the show was good! We got a number of new account leads and had the chance to reconnect with some of our current accounts. We definitely plan to attend again next year.”

The leading point of sale, ecommerce, and digital marketing providers will also attend to introduce retailers to their platforms or do training with existing customers.

Below you will find detailed information to take advantage of everything the show has to offer.

RIA Summit Programming 2024

April 30th Sessions
TheFuture of Buying/Inventory Management

Led by Justin Porter and Lance Muzslay

In this workshop format, store buyers will review current best practices and get insight into the tools that will help create efficiencies and improved forecasting. For Buyers/Brands

Navigating Digital Marketing

in the Age of AI

Led by Upper Quadrant, Omni + RIA Board Members

In this workshop session, attendees will learn about the quickly evolving digital marketing landscape and the emerging tools that will create greater efficiency and stronger customer connections. For Owners/GMs, Brand/Store Marketers

Book More, Chase Less - Futures Planning

Led by RIA Board Members

This peer-sharing session, moderated by

RIA board members and RIA brand partners, will examine the key pain points retailers and brands face when planning futures orders. The session will also discuss how the channel can move more effectively to the right inventory at the right time. For Buyers/Brands

Retaining and Elevating Your Superstars - What’s Next?

Led by RIA Board Members

This peer-sharing session will begin with a brief panel discussion detailing current and future tools for retaining key staff. It will be followed by moderated, small-group peer-sharing discussions. For Owners /GMs

May 1st Sessions
How to Best Partner in the DTC Environment

Led by RIA Board Members

In this small group format, RIA board members will review the findings from the RIA’s recent three-part series on DTC. Attendees will then break into moderated small groups for discussion with brand members. These conversations are designed to foster a greater understanding of the issues surrounding DTC, and attendees will take away informed solutions. For Owners/Buyers/Brands

RIA Product Data Collaborative Training

Led by Lance Muzslay + RIA IT Staff

This workshop session, led by the RIA’s lead IT specialist and board IT expert, will review the PDC interface, highlight the platform’s key features, and get retailer feedback. For Buyers/Key Staff/Brands

Cultivating Store Culture, with an Eye Toward Inclusion

Led by RIA Board Members and
Kiera Smalls of RIDC

This peer-sharing discussion will kick off with a panel of retail leaders who will help define store culture from the perspective of how fostering a diverse staff benefits the business and attracts a broader customer base. The Expanding your Customer Base session is recommended along with this session. For Owners/GMs

May 2nd Sessions
Expanding your Customer Base

Led by Erin Flynn of Bentley University and RIA Board Members

This peer-sharing session will feature a short panel of industry experts who will define how ‘hidden runners’ can be a huge addition to the customer base, and how to make them feel welcome in your store. Attendees will break into small groups for moderated peer discussion. Cultivating Store Culture session is recommended along with this session. For Owners/GMs

Improving Staff Training

Led by RIA Board Members

This peer-sharing session will kick off with a brief panel of experts who will review staff training best practices, and then break into moderated small group sessions designed to inform actionable takeaways. For Owners/GMs

Additional Summit Socializing

April 29, 5:00-7:00 pm

Opening Night: Industry Panel on AI

Sponsored by Altra

The RIA team will welcome members, talk briefly about their mission-driven work and get the show started with a discussion about how AI is impacting the run specialty channel now, and its potential to transform the way we do business and connect with our customers in the future.

Group Runs

6:30 am (meet in lobby, 6:10)

Daily Group Run
We know you all get twitchy if you don’t get your run on. You will have three opportunities to pace your industry peers in early morning runs and demo new products from sponsors.

Tuesday, April 30th
ASICS with Low Impact Alliance and Running Niche

Join us for a St Louis ‘Plogging Run” with local nonprofit Brightside. 5k run from Gateway Arch to Poelker Park. Demo Cumulus 26 and Novablast 4 and take home your pair!

• Wednesday, May 1st: Sponsored by On

• Thursday, May 2nd

Tuesday, April 30th, 5:45-7 pm

Hall of Fame + Happy Hour

Sponsored by CURREX/PowerStep

Join us for a drink at the end of day one to relax and connect with industry folks. The RIA Hall of Fame recipients will also get their awards in a short presentation.

The Fun Stuff

Wednesday, May, 1st 8:30-11:30 pm

Legendary Industry Party

Presented by Brooks

This year’s party is going to be a home run!

Throw on your favorite jersey or ballcap, and hop on a complimentary trolley to the Crown Room overlooking Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Curve balls, pinch hitters and other tasty cocktails will be served at the open bar, plus ballpark snacks to munch on. Go to bat at games like corn hole, flip cup/beer pong and more. Many thanks to Brooks for continuing to make our industry party a grand slam.

RIA’s Product Data Collaborative is LIVE

RIA Summit attendees will get a chance to demo the first-ever, centralized tool for accessing and managing brand product data. Ever dream of a world where tracking down each brand’s product data, spending countless, brain-numbing hours organizing it and correcting keystroke errors were things of the past? RIA has realized just that with one easy-to-use source for clean data. It empowers retailers to save time and money with seamless data sharing across the entire run specialty channel - including brands, retailers and business partners. PDC V1 allows you to create product collections and download SKU/UPC/image data in the right format for your POS system. More features and functionality, including MAP data and ecommerce descriptions are being developed as we speak. Get training at the show and stay tuned for announcements for online training sessions to be held on several dates in May.

Visit www.runningindustry.org for dates/times.