Next week I will be in sunny Orlando at The Running Event, an annual conference for run specialty store owners and staff. This will be my second year attending the event and I had a blast last year, learning tips in retail and seeing all of the new exciting products in the world of running. Last year, I walked in with my head down and I felt that at any minute someone would tap me on the shoulder and tell me that I was not welcome. This year I am going with a whole different mindset and attitude. I feel like after two years of business Run Moore can finally be looked at as equals at events like this.
Last year I made my plans to go with the sole purpose of showing the brands that have failed to bring us on board that we were a serious business with the great potential. I wanted to walk up to the head honcho of Brand: “_____” and tell them they were missing out by not giving Run Moore a chance to sell their product. I wanted to poke someone in the chest and show them my cool new Run Moore shirt and tell them who we were. I assumed I would leave the conference with relationships and contracts from every shoe brand who attended and I figured within a month, I would have them all available for purchase at the shop. Turns out it did not quite happen that way. While I did speak to a few big scary people who would smile and put my business card in a stack of 50 other cards… I felt like no one really cared who I was, or why I was there.
This year – things are different. I went in last year almost apologetic that Run Moore was there. I walked around the convention center like an outsider and while I took in everything I could, I really did not talk to other store owners or get involved with the breakout discussions. My mindset this year is to catch up with my reps and see what’s new for 2017. I am happy to go and learn and listen and if I get the stink eye from other shops, oh well. Run Moore has proved time and time again that this community is here to support us and we are here to support this community. I don’t need to make apologies for what we carry or what we do.
I can’t wait to get down to Orlando and see all the new stuff coming out next year. I’m excited to learn new and exciting information about running an efficient business. More importantly, I can’t wait to walk in with my head held high and not only represent my shop but the wonderful community we serve.