Now it comes to me: tense and aspect (not perspective)
That's how I understood it, Herr Philosoph, as an organized run.
I'm really not an expert on English tenses, so this is all subject to confirmation.
To me the plain continuous tense makes it sound more immediate, calls the event to mind more vividly.
I was just citing the general difference between the two versions, but if you already know that then it wasn't necessary. It's true that both versions can be used, but I don't think it's the case that you can randomly choose and thereby bring about a desired effect. It has to occur naturally in the course of the conversation and that's why the exact sentences before are important. If it's already clear from the preceding conversation about time and date of the event then I can imagine something coll. like this:
A: I'm going to be there Friday - definitely. I can't wait.
B: Me too. I'm coming with Ralph.
C: What about Tom? Is he running?
B: Yeah, he is. That's what I heard at least.