Gain Competitive Edge During
Launch Of New Business Year
By Carolee Anita Boyles
NSSF is promising an event that will help attendees “Gear Up” for the year ahead. With almost 1,800 companies represented on the exhibit floor, including a number of new exhibitors, the industry’s mega show promises to be another unforgettable event.
“The 2017 SHOT Show will be a memorable experience for all attendees,” said Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of NSSF. “There will be more to see and do during the week beginning on Sunday and continuing through the week than ever before. And SHOT Show is the one place where you can see everyone and everything you need to have a competitive edge.”
For example, at the New Product Center, retail buyers can see the hottest new products at the SHOT Show. The New Product Center is the best resource for retailers to explore potential inventory and assess what’s best for their customers. As an added benefit, the show provides scanners, which enables retailers to mark noteworthy products and collect a printout of detailed product information — including the company’s contact information and booth location — as they exit the New Product Center.
Familiar Layout, Better Experience
Navigating the miles of aisles will prove easy for repeat attendees, as most exhibitors will be in the same booths they’ve been in the past three years. This is in part because the show is space constrained; but attendees know where to go for the companies they want to see.
“There will be new directional signage to help you navigate, and more use of digital messaging that allows us to bring you up-to-the-moment information — which will change throughout the course of the day,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior VP and CMO.
The SHOT Show app helps navigating the show floor even easier, according to NSSF officials; it also has a variety of features to enhance attendees’ experiences at the show.
“Retailers can make the most of their time on the show floor by downloading the SHOT Show app and pre-planning which sections of the show they will work each day,” Dolnack noted. “Making appointments in advance will ensure you have the opportunity to speak with your key partners. All will save you time and precious footsteps.”
Radio Row on Level 3 is much the same as it was last year. Here, you’ll find conservative talk radio hosts, including Lars Larson, Dana Loesch, Mike Gallagher and NRA news. These shows provide great exposure for the SHOT Show and for new products and trends.
“Radio Row remains very popular with exhibitors who have an interesting story to tell,” Dolnack noted.
The SHOT Show New Product Center will again be on Level 1, while SHOT Show NEXT — in its second year — will be on Level 3.
“Retailers, be sure to visit the New Product Center and the NEXT Pavilion so you can see the newest product innovations in two concentrated areas,” Dolnack advised.
Events Of SHOT Show Week
Some major events take place before the official launch of the SHOT Show, during what’s commonly known as “SHOT Show Week.” The HAVA Invitational Golf Classic, Industry Day at the Range and, new for this year, the Supplier Showcase will all be held prior to the first day of the show.
The Third Annual NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic will be held Sunday, January 15, at Bear’s Best Las Vegas — with NSSF and Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) once again joining forces to host this charity tournament. The NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic raises money to support disabled veterans as they begin the healing process through guided hunts, target shooting events and other outdoor activities. HAVA is a 501(c)(3) organization and a worthy veteran-support cause, one from which the veterans actually see and experience the results of the charitable contributions made to the organization. It’s also one the industry stands behind; companies in the shooting and outdoor industry formed HAVA nearly 10 years ago. For more information and to register for this event, visit www.shotshow.org/hava-golf-classic.
Editor’s Note: To see HAVA events in action and for an update on the organization, click here.
Celebrating its 12th year, SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range will take place Monday, January 16. With more than 200 exhibitors registered, Industry Day 2017 will be the largest such event to date. Industry Day at the Range joins over 1,600 invited media and industry buyers together for one day on the range where new products are unveiled, tested and analyzed. The day will be split into two sessions. The first, beginning at 8:30 a.m., will be open to invited media only. The afternoon session, running from 12:00 to 4:30 p.m., is open to invited buyers, dealers, distributors and retailers only. Visit www.shotshowrangeday.com for more information.
New for 2017, SHOT Show introduces the Supplier Showcase, which will also be held on Monday, January 16. This is a dedicated event for suppliers to present their products to shooting, hunting and outdoor manufacturers. If a company uses or produces tools, machinery, plastics, metal extrusions, fabrics, OE materials, fabrication, logistics, software or other products and services for the shooting sports or outdoor sporting industries, then this Showcase is an opportunity for companies to connect with one another in advance of the SHOT Show.
“The new Supplier Showcase being held on Level 5 is a new utilization of space,” Dolnack said.
Location Of Future Shows
One question many attendees ask NSSF is: “Why Las Vegas?” According to Dolnack, there are some good reasons the SHOT Show returns to Las Vegas year after year.
“First and foremost is the fact our post-show surveys tell us more than 80 percent of our exhibitors and attendees say they want to be in Las Vegas, and specifically in January,” he said. “Keep in mind Las Vegas is one of the few places that can competently accommodate a show of our size. Also, because our partners there have proven and continue to demonstrate their commitment to putting on a high-quality show, we’ve taken steps to secure long-term contracts to lock in cost certainty for our customers and to ensure quality keeps pace with SHOT Show’s continued success.”
Another thing to be aware of, according to Dolnack, is few of the venues able to accommodate a trade show the size of the SHOT Show are in firearm-friendly cities. But what about Orlando?
“We love Orlando,” Dolnack said. “It’s a great venue that has enough space for us, and we certainly understand the desire to head to sunny Florida for a few days in January. But when past SHOT Shows have been held there attendance drops off 15 percent. It’s not good for us, and it’s certainly not good for our exhibitors and retailers. The bottom line is Las Vegas and the Sands check off nearly all the boxes on a very long and complex list of requirements that are proven to provide a quality experience and high return on investment for the vast majority of those attending SHOT Show each year.”
“Gear Up” For Business
Although there are plenty of other shows during the year, not one of them matches the breadth of products and companies of the SHOT Show. It brings together the entire industry, gets the year off to a good start and showcases everything new in the industry. It’s a networking show, an educational show, and a media show that spreads the word across the shooting sports trade.
The SHOT Show provides attendees one place to see everything and everyone in the industry — from companies that have been around for more than a century, to those that are new and just getting their start. The show delivers a platform for those in the industry to “gear up” for the year ahead.
Save The Date
The 40th SHOT Show returns to the Sands Expo and Convention Center in 2018, and will be held Jan. 23–26.