The National Running Show: Disrupting the status quo

Mike Seaman is the Managing Director of Raccoon Events and he has been running live events around the world for over 15 years.

Here, Mike tells us in the second of his blogs why his latest venture, The National Running Show, is disrupting the status quo.

National Running ShowMike’s experience of both the running industry and event management make him the perfect person to launch this exciting new show, which will be the UK’s first dedicated non-race affiliated solely for runners. Mike and the team have secured a first-class line-up of partners, exhibitors and speakers for The National Running Show and it is set to be the event to attend for runners of all ages, interests and abilities. Thousands of runners have already registered and the event is expected to be a sell-out.

The National Running Show – Disrupting the Status Quo

Running exhibitions are rubbish…there, I said it!

Let me qualify my position – I’ve been organising exhibitions for 15 years and have attended hundreds of events all over the world. I absolutely LOVE events and am constantly impressed by the inventiveness of exhibitors and organisers to create interactive and engaging experiences for their customers.

So why are running exhibitions so poor? There are 16 million runners in the UK and no major national exhibition – why? Why can’t the running industry have a show with the wow factor of Grand Designs, that is as cool as the Gadget Show and has the scale of the Ideal Home Show?

Perhaps I’m being unkind; there are some good shows out there but as a runner I get frustrated that the ‘running show’ is a small bit in the corner of a bigger sports show or that the event happens the day before a big race where visitors are mainly there to pick up their race number. Runners are professionalised enthusiasts – we take training seriously and we can spend a lot of money on kit, nutrition, advice and technology. We deserve a large-scale expo where we can source products, adopt brands and be inspired by other runners and experts.

I’ve been harping on about this for a while now and finally I decided to put my money where my mouth is and launch the National Running Show. I’m spending my own money to create the event that I think the community and the industry need.

Here’s why I think we are different:

  • Well Timed – we launch in January 2018, the perfect time for runners to plan
  • Focused – we just do running, nothing else
  • Exciting – interactive features, competitions and celebrity speakers such as Dame Kelly Holmes and Jo Pavey
  • Scaled – place at the UK’s leading exhibition venue, the NEC, with 11,000 runners already registered to attend

We have been really fortunate to have support from amazing partners such as Cancer Research UK, UKRunChat, Men’s Running, Women’s Running, Run Mummy Run, Sports Insight and Breathe Unity who have helped us grow so quickly. Check out the event here and let me know what you think – I hope we can deliver the event that the running industry deserves.

Mike Seaman Raccoon Events The National Running ShowMike Seaman is the Managing Director of Raccoon Events and organiser of The National Running Show, which takes place on 20 & 21 January 2018 at the NEC.

Mike can be reached at

Maximising your return from live events

Read Mike’s first blog, Maximising your return from live events.