The Entire Spectrum Of The Industry On Display
The 2016 edition of the SHOT Show is set to open on Tuesday, January 19, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. With more than 1,600 companies represented, including a number of new exhibitors, the industry’s mega show promises to be another unforgettable experience.
“For more than 30 years, the SHOT Show has been the largest and most comprehensive trade show resource for retailers,” said Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of NSSF. “For example, the New Product Center has more than 350 exhibiting companies and over 400 new products on display — giving retail buyers the chance to see the hottest new products at the SHOT Show. It’s your best resource to explore potential inventory and assess what’s best for your customers.”
Sanetti said the show has made it easy for attendees to take information on new products back to their stores.
“We provide complimentary scanners that allow you to mark which products are of most interest to you, and as you depart, we provide a special printout of information on the product, its company and its booth location on the floor,” he said.
Once again, most exhibitors will be in the same booths they’ve been in for the past three years. Attendees know where to go for the companies they want to see, which makes navigating the show easier.
“There have been a few moves,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior VP and CMO. “For the most part, however, the floor is laid out how it has been for the past couple of years, so you can pretty much count on seeing folks where they were last year.”
The one significant change is the plan to move non-profit booths from Level 3 outside the Press Room to G Hall, and add between 50 and 100 potential exhibitors from the wait list to small booths just outside the Press Room. That area will be called “SHOT Show NEXT,” because exhibitors here will be the next ones to be moved to the main show floor when space becomes available there.
NSSF has also added a few additional features to the show floor.
“We’re expanding Radio Row,” Dolnack said. “Up on Level 3, we have a row of conservative talk radio hosts, including Lars Larson, Dana Loesch, Mike Gallagher and NRA news. It’s a great opportunity for exhibitors to go on national conservative talk radio and discuss the show, new products and trends they see. They reach hundreds of thousands of people.”
The Sands continues to improve the services offered to exhibitors and attendees.
“The Sands Expo got a new general manager last year, and she has brought a number of new ideas from her past experience,” Dolnack said. “The Sands has introduced a service where exhibitors can place lunch orders or food orders and they’ll deliver it right to the booth. So whether you want to have some snacks delivered for an important meeting, or you want to have lunch brought in for the booth staff, it will be available.”
Long-Term Partnerships To Benefit Show Attendees
In order to provide cost control and other protections for both exhibitors and attendees, NSSF has signed long-term contracts with its show partners.
“We’ve had such a successful run since our first show at the Sands in 2010 that we did some extensions on our contracts with ConvExx, our marketing agency CSG Creative and Freeman — and we’re on the cusp of doing one with the Sands as well,” Dolnack said. “In exchange for extending the contracts, vendors are willing to provide us with certain discounts and benefits we can pass through to our customers. This gives us cost certainty and helps us control costs. This past year we sent a spreadsheet to every SHOT Show exhibitor, which laid out the 2015 actual costs in terms of what the contracted fees were for everything from booth space to vacuuming. Then we gave them the contracted prices for 2016 and 2017 to help them with their budgeting.”
This allows exhibitors to plan budgets with actual numbers, instead of guessing.
“We’re trying to be a better partner and help people plan,” Dolnack added. “I think it also shows some transparency and demonstrates we’re not trying to shake every nickel out of every person who walks through the door. Our goal is to sustain the model we have now: Providing a quality event that has relevancy to the industry and provides 80 percent of the association’s revenue, which allows us to do all the things we do to promote, protect and preserve the industry.”
In fact, NSSF has been so pleased with CSG Creative they have extended the relationship to serve as the official marketing agency of the SHOT Show through 2019.
“For the last four years, CSG Creative has played a key role in the growth of the SHOT Show,” Dolnack noted. “Those efforts have resulted not only in record attendance year after year, but also in a higher quality show that delivers a tangible return on investment to exhibitors, buyers, media, public relations and advertising professionals and others relevant to the firearms trade. CSG’s knowledge of what makes trade shows tick, combined with the talent of our in-house sales and marketing team, makes this three-year extension of our partnership with them a value-added proposition for everyone who invests their time and money in attending the SHOT Show.”
Connect With The Media
Besides the opportunities available to interact with the press in the Press Room, NSSF has created an event to showcase new products for the media.
“We’re going to have a press breakfast at the New Products Center on Wednesday,” Dolnack said. “This is a new media breakfast that will be by invitation only. We’ll focus on trade first, and then new product editors from key consumer books. Nissan is sponsoring the breakfast, and it will be a more intimate affair. We plan to get the key people there and have it be something memorable.”
Industry Day At The Range
Once again, Industry Day at the Range will combine Media Day and Buyer Day and take place Monday, January 18, the day before SHOT Show opens. With over 170 manufacturers exhibiting — and an anticipated more than 500,000 rounds sent downrange — Industry Day is the premier shooting event in the industry, giving outdoor media and buyers the opportunity to shoot and test new products for the upcoming year. This year’s exhibiting companies include firearms, ATV and truck demos, knife throwing, archery and more.
The day will be split into two sessions. The first, beginning at 8:30 a.m., will be open to up to 1,000 media guests who are welcome to stay the entire day. The afternoon session, running from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., is open to invited buyers, dealers, distributors and retailers.
Recognizing the importance of this event, NSSF recently renewed its title sponsorship of Industry Day at the Range through 2019.
“We could not be more pleased that NSSF has decided to continue their title sponsorship of this event,” said Cathy Williams, co-owner of Industry Day at the Range. “Thanks to NSSF, Industry Day has grown into the premier event in the shooting and hunting industry. We’re proud and excited to have them on board as our long-term title sponsor as we continue to expand this fantastic event.”
“Without a doubt, Industry Day at the Range is an invaluable component of SHOT Show and it’s one of our best opportunities to promote Project ChildSafe and other important campaigns to the media members and purchasers who are key to keeping these projects in the public eye and promoting the safety lessons that are so important to each and every one of us,” Dolnack said.
HAVA Invitational Golf Classic
NSSF and the Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) are joining forces to host the second annual golf tournament. HAVA is an industry-run organization that helps the healing and re-integration of disabled combat veterans back into normal life through participation in hunting and the shooting sports. The HAVA board of directors is comprised of industry executives committed to directing funds raised from such events to immediate work for these returning heroes and their families. All the proceeds from this event will benefit HAVA outreach programs.
Participation in the HAVA Invitational Golf Classic is $200 per golfer. Companies registering for a foursome receive one free registration, meaning foursomes can be registered for $600. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Each participating golfer receives one round of golf at Bear’s Best Las Vegas, a backpack full of golf and outdoor gifts, use of a golf cart, breakfast and lunch, round-trip ground transportation from the Sands to Bear’s Best, the opportunity to win high-end raffle items and the chance for prizes for winning teams.
Against All Odds Award
The SHOT Show was honored with Gold 100 recognition and a Grand Award at the Trade Show Executive Gold 100 Awards and Summit in Santa Barbara, Calif., last September. The awards signify the SHOT Show is among the Top 100 Trade Shows in the world and, for the Grand Award, that SHOT Show overcame great obstacles to achieve extraordinary success at its 2014 show, making it a candidate in the Against All Odds category.
The show faced such steep odds because NSSF had ended its relationship with a longtime show management company following the 2013 show. That led to the necessity of developing a new show management team along with new contracts for its convention center facility, partner hotels, general service contractor and other vendors — it was no small task for the largest trade show of its kind in the world.
With about half a year to produce a huge trade show from scratch, NSSF and its new show management company, ConvExx, new marketing firm CSG, and longtime partner Freeman not only accomplished the mission but produced one of the most successful SHOT Shows in history.
“We’re honored to receive these awards,” Dolnack said. “I can’t imagine a better example of a trade show team rising to the occasion to overcome multiple challenges to put on a successful event than that shown by the SHOT Show team leading up to the 2014 show.”
Make The Most Of The Show
Although there are plenty of other shows during the year, none of them takes the place of the SHOT Show. It kicks off the year and showcases everything that’s available within the trade. It’s a networking show, an educational show, and a media show that spreads the word across the industry.
“If you don’t attend the 2016 SHOT Show, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to network with other people in our industry, get the benefit of their experiences, and plan for the year ahead,” Sanetti said. “The SHOT Show is the one place you can see the entire spectrum of the industry, from companies that have been around for more than a century to those that are new and bring their perspectives. As it always is, it’s a must-attend show.”
By Carolee Anita Boyles
SHOT Show Auction Salutes “Western Heritage”
The 2016 SHOT Show Auction features a “Western Heritage” tribute to recognize the artistry of legendary names in the sporting firearms industry, such as Colt, Turnbull, Winchester and others. These items are being exclusively auctioned on GunBroker.com; the auction began mid-December and will close on the final afternoon of the SHOT Show, Friday, Jan. 22. The Hunting Heritage Trust administers the auction for NSSF, with all proceeds benefitting the foundation and its programs.
The “Western Heritage” tribute Colt features hand engraving
and a companion hand-tooled holster and belt.
Colt Single Action Army
The Colt Single Action Army played an indelible part in the history of the American West. Among those who have owned the Single Action Army, include Wyatt Earp, Pat Garrett, Theodore Roosevelt, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, among others. The 4.75-inch barreled .45 Long Colt is hand engraved at Baron Engraving. Baron’s engraving mirrors the design on the companion holster and incorporates the “Western Heritage Colt 01” badge. The grips are handcrafted elk antler, selected by the artisans at Eagle Grips to complement this special Colt.
The companion hand-tooled holster and belt by Matt Whitaker at John Bianchi’s Frontier Gunleather is as impressive as the Colt itself. Whitaker’s scroll pattern is based on classic L.D. Nimschke designs.
Turnbull Manufacturing Restored Parker Side-By-Side
This handsome Parker side-by-side combines the history of a Parker Brothers shotgun from 1879 with the renowned artisanship and “history recreation” of Turnbull Manufacturing. Turnbull has taken this historic Parker “Lifter Gun” and brought it back to the condition in which it would have left Parker’s Hamden, Conn., factory in 1879. When Doug Turnbull contacted classic arms dealer John Puglisi in search of the perfect shotgun for this project, Puglisi donated this rock solid “Lifter Gun.”
Complementing the Parker is an exquisite hand-tooled shotgun slip by Karla Van Horn. The slip features quality hand tooling and an original design generated by Van Horn from design elements tracing back many decades. Tying shotgun and slip together is the solid silver Concho in the Western Heritage design.
Making its return in 2016, this iconic Model 1866
up for auction is chambered in .44-40.
Winchester Model 1866
One of the biggest headlines to come out of the SHOT Show will be the return of the Winchester Model 1866, and one of the most talked about Model 66s will be this richly engraved “Western Heritage” edition in .44-40. The rifle features intricate hand engraving from forearm to butt plate by Baron Engraving. The serial number “WIN662016” celebrates the return of this classic lever-action in 2016. The “Western Heritage” theme is highlighted with the engraving of the authentic Texas Ranger Badge “RIFLE01” on the receiver.
Phil Evans Hand-Forged Bowie
Phil Evans is a highly respected custom knifemaker and member of the American Bladesmith Society. Phil has created a magnificent 15.5-inch overall length Bowie Knife for the auction. The massive forged 5160 blade is over 10 inches long and 0.375 inches thick at the spine, forged “S” type guard, iron hardware and a premium stag handle. Sheath is custom designed by Andy Humble and incorporates an authentic five-peso badge with the “Western Heritage” logo and “BOWIE 01” serial number.