Industry’s Premier Event Promises Education, Business Connections & More
BY CAROLEE ANITA BOYLES
We 2020 SHOT Show is set to open Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. NSSF is promising a show that will ensure attendees are “Fully Loaded” as they go into 2020. With almost 2,400 companies represented on the SHOT Show exhibit floor — including a number of new exhibitors — the industry’s mega show is primed to be another unforgettable event.
At its heart, the SHOT Show is a gathering of friends and family.
“As our theme this year suggests, the 2020 SHOT Show really will be ‘fully loaded’ with everything anyone in our industry needs, all under one roof,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF SVP and CMO. “From the products to the people behind them and to the education to the networking opportunities, there really isn’t anything quite like it on the planet. It’s our industry’s annual main event, and you really can’t afford to miss it. We’re looking forward to seeing 60,000 of our closest friends soon in Las Vegas!”
The Pop-Up Preview Pavilion returns to SHOT Show for 2020. Introduced in 2019, the Pavilion will feature hundreds of first-time exhibitors who have been trying to exhibit at the SHOT Show for years — featuring leading and up-and-coming manufacturers. These companies offer attendees the opportunity to see a whole new line of products to expand their inventory.
Open one day only (Wednesday, Jan. 22), the Pop-Up Pavilion is located in the Palazzo Ballroom on the fifth floor of the convention center. The Pavilion will feature the latest in clothing, footwear, cameras, tents and other gear demanded by today’s active hunters and outdoors enthusiasts.
The SHOT Show Distributor Marketplace returns for 2020. Many exhibiting distributors offer exclusive show-only specials and promotions on products for retailers, ranges, law enforcement and armed forces buyers attending the show. Instead of wandering the aisles seeking out deals, the SHOT Show Distributor Marketplace features distributors who are on-site with show specials.
Educational opportunities continue to be an important component of the SHOT Show. Besides SHOT University, held the day before the SHOT Show opens, NSSF provides Retailer Seminars and the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP).
Retailer Seminars will be held Tuesday, Jan. 21 through Thursday, Jan. 23. Topics for Retailer Seminars are developed from inquiries and feedback received all year from retailers and a special retail advisory council. Participants will learn more about important industry challenges, better management practices and ways to make their businesses stand out. Retailer Seminars run throughout SHOT Show, giving attendees flexibility to mix each day with exhibits and education. Visit www.shotshow.org/retailer-seminars for more.
The LEEP program focuses on protection measures and tactical execution. Participants will learn from leading industry training organizations and industry product authorities. Upon completion of the training program, LEEP participants receive a Certificate of Attendance confirming course participation, which can be used to document training. A one-time registration fee of $25 gives participants access to all 2020 LEEP courses. More information is available at www.shotshow.org/leep.
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
The State of the Industry evening event recognizes the important accomplishments of our industry during the last year as well as addresses the important challenges we’ll face in the upcoming year. Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president, will present industry updates important for every professional to hear.
Bartozzi shared a preview of some talking points for his State of the Industry address.
“I think it’s important for our members to remember their trade association, the NSSF, is always working to support them, their businesses and their employees,” he said. “Some of the points I will make include our strong presence on Capitol Hill, as well as in state houses across the country to protect the rights of our industry to engage in the lawful commerce of firearms and ammunition. Also, our +ONE initiative has received pledges from nearly 600,000 individuals promising to recruit new hunters and shooters, which will help grow our sport and secure these great activities for future generations.”
Further, Bartozzi will highlight the work the industry does to provide real solutions for gun safety.
“Our team is constantly communicating the important work the industry does to promote the safe and responsible use of firearms, and there are several programs we have that help to prevent accidents, thefts and suicide by firearm, among other things,” he continued. “Despite what others may say, our industry has an awful lot to be proud of — and I’m going to try and remind folks about that.”
The State of the Industry Reception will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Palazzo Theater. There will be a cocktail reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. From 6:10 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. the State of the Industry presentation will take place. Starting at 6:45 p.m. comedian Henry Cho will speak to the industry. All tickets are for general admission seating.
Cho’s TV credits include appearances on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” CBS’ “The Late, Late, Show,” and NBC’s “Young Comedians Special”. Cho was the keynote entertainer for the 59th Annual Radio & Television Correspondents’ Dinner. Cho filmed the faith-based Indy film “Saving Faith,” in which he co-starred and co-produced, which was released by Lionsgate. He has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film by the International Christian Film Festival.
More information is available at www.shotshow.org/state-of-the-industry-reception.
INDUSTRY DAY AT THE RANGE
The 15th Annual SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range will take place on Monday, Jan. 20, the day before the SHOT Show opens, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club. This event is the largest, most influential one-day event in the hunting and shooting sports, and it continues to grow. More than 1,800 media members and buyers gather annually to test and evaluate the latest introductions from more than 200 manufacturers representing every major category in the industry.
The number of exhibitors at the event make this a mini-SHOT Show the day before the main show opens. Exhibiting opportunities are open to all members of the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry; manufacturers, brands, conservation groups, and shooting organizations are welcome as space permits.
“With nearly 2,000 attendees, Industry Day at the Range remains the premier event every manufacturer in the industry needs to take part in. Attendees get trigger time with the newest guns and ammunition before the formality of SHOT Show begins,” said Cathy Williams, president of CMG Marketing & Events and owner/operator of Industry Day at the Range. “From innovations in defensive ammunition to new shotguns, concealed carry pistols to long-range rifles — everything new will be on the firing line. Industry Day also will be showcasing the latest on accessories, less-lethal products and pickup trucks.”
The press coverage, content created and social media reach generated immediately and throughout the year from this single pre-SHOT event make it a “can’t miss” event for all brands and products. Same as previous years, Industry Day will once again welcome industry buyers to this one-of-a-kind event, as well.
For additional particulars, visit www.shotshowrangeday.com.
Over the past couple years, many Las Vegas hotels in the city have become stricter about enforcing their long-standing policies about firearms in public areas. NSSF responded to this change by providing exhibitors with concierge security for those who fly and drive in with firearms.
The SHOT Show has a security office in conjunction with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD), Homeland Security and ATF in the luggage area of McCarran International Airport, where the concierge service takes possession of firearms and transports them to secure storage.
The Show also is providing increased security on-site for exhibitors.
“We’ll have more off-hours security, and additional LVMPD patrols,” Dolnack stated. “We also will have new video surveillance of the exhibits at the show.”
FOR EXHIBITORS: WORKING WITH THE PRESS
More than 2,500 members of the shooting, hunting and outdoor press attend the SHOT Show each year, making this the best place to get information on new products into the hands of the industry’s media. At the 2019 SHOT Show, exhibitors and press used digital press kits for the first time.
“Last year’s digital press kits were very popular, so we’ll be using the digital platform again at this year’s show,” said Bill Dunn, NSSF managing director, marketing. “We had twice as many exhibitors utilize the digital press kits than the rows of bins we used to have in the press room. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on how easy it is for media attendees to access press releases, images and other resources digitally. The best part is media attendees can use it from wherever they are, and on their laptops, phones, or tablets — so it’s super easy to download what they need for stories about products they see at the show. I’d highly encourage all exhibitors to use the digital press kits. It’s a great and easy way to put your materials in the hands of the more 2,000 media attendees at the show.”
Exhibitors also have multiple places to hold a press conference during the show, and can reserve space in the Press Conference Room, the Media Center, or their booth. Interested exhibitors can complete an online form and have press conference information listed in the press schedule distributed to the working press who attend the show. The press conference application is available at www.shotshowerc.com/knowledgebase/press-conference-application.
Connect With The 2020 SHOT Show
Instagram: @shotshow Twitter: @nssfshotshow Website: www.shotshow.org
Changing Of The Guard
For Steve Sanetti, NSSF CEO from May 2008–Dec. 2019, the 2020 SHOT Show will be a bittersweet time.
“I’ve attended the SHOT Show every year since 1982, in dozens of cities across the country, until we finally settled in Las Vegas, the city which the vast majority of exhibitors and attendees consistently state is the Show’s natural home,” he said. “The Sands and its staff could not be more accommodating, and they’ve gone out of their way to continually improve the venue in response to the stated needs of our customers. The fine folks at Freeman Exhibitions, working with our own NSSF SHOT Show team, have consistently come up with creative and innovative ways to get the maximum benefit out of every square inch of the Sands Convention Center — serving the extremely diverse makeup of the over 60,000 attendees and the almost 2,000 exhibitors of merchandise and components.”
The 2020 Show will be the first show in many years without Sanetti at the helm of NSSF.
“In 2020, I’ll be attending the SHOT Show simply as an interested visitor, as I completed my 41-year career in the industry I love at the end of 2019,” Sanetti shared. “This different perspective will, I believe, allow me to better appreciate the overall experience and tribulations of our attendees, and I’ll be sure to convey my feedback and impressions to the SHOT Show staff.”
Sanetti commended the work of NSSF’s SHOT Show team for its efforts to produce a one-of-a-kind business event.
“I’m very proud of the fact they have worked so diligently throughout the history of the show to make it the astounding
success it has become. It truly showcases the best of our industry, and we’re honored to have you as our guests. It’s been my very great honor to be associated with you all. Good luck and much success in the future!” he concluded.
Editor’s Note:The SI team salutes Sanetti for his decades of service to the industry and wishes him the best in retirement.