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Outdoor Show to Debut in Nashville

Owners of The Running Event to launch Switchback as a standalone show.

Diversified Communications first introduced Switchback as an add-on showcase to The Running Event (TRE) in Austin, TX, in late 2022. The favorable response—and changed trade show landscape within the industry—has prompted the Portland, ME, company to launch a standalone Switchback Spring event in Nashville June 16-18, 2025. It will join a fall edition as part of TRE Nov. 19-21, 2024.

“The response from footwear brands has been particularly strong, with several already committing to the event,” reports Christina Henderson, event director. “Some key brands are excited to attend a national gathering once again.” She adds that footwear will be a pillar of Switchback Spring. “We’ll have a strong presence of footwear brands, including outdoor, running, and comfort. Retailers who are looking to meet with current vendors and discover new brands will find value at the event.”

Switchback Spring aims to be all things outdoor. Along those lines, the show will feature four pillars: learning, discovery, connection, and celebration. The gathering will include conference programming and peer learning applicable to multiple business levels. Switchback Spring will also provide retailer scholarships and will create an advisory panel to support shaping the event’s trajectory. “Expect dozens of educational sessions, fun networking events and receptions, and lots of time in the exhibit hall to discover new products and meet vendors,” Henderson says.

The show will all be within the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, which features 12 restaurants and a hotel. The Gaylord is also in walking distance to the Grand Ole Opry and close to the Cumberland River, the 935-acre Shelby Bottoms nature preserve, and a greenway trailhead that is part of the city’s 180 miles of non-motorized pathways. Five Tennessee state parks and three lakes can also be accessed within a short drive.

Nashville was selected primarily for its central location. The city is less than a half-day drive from Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. Nashville also has daily direct flights from more than 90 domestic airports, including Boston, Bozeman, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Tampa.

As for the mid-June timing, Henderson says it’s aimed at accommodating the breadth of the industry. “June is the right time for buying conversations and sourcing product,” she says, adding that the overall aim is to drive value for the outdoor community. “We’ll continue to listen and evolve based on the needs and objectives of the industry. We believe in the power of gathering a community, and Switchback will be a catalyst for growth and thought leadership.”

The July 2024 Issue

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