By Carolee Anita Boyles
The 40th SHOT Show will feature more than 1,700 exhibitors — providing ample opportunity for storefront dealers
to handle products personally and speak directly with manufacturers.
The 40th SHOT Show opens Tuesday, Jan. 23, in Las Vegas — poised to be another unforgettable event and launching business.
The Sands Expo and Convention Center will host the show, as it has for the past several years. Once again, the NSSF has promised a show that will help attendees “Gear Up” as they launch into 2018.
“‘Gear Up!’ has multiple meanings this year,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “The industry will be offering a wide variety of new accessories for all those many firearms purchased during the last eight years, and all that ‘gear’ will be on display. Also, the greatly expanded Suppliers Showcase will feature all sorts of new vendor articles the manufacturing exhibitors will find of great interest in facilitating more efficient production. Finally, the show continues to ‘take off’ in so many ways, and we’re looking forward to the best SHOT Show in our 40-year history of this singular industry event.”
The big question on everyone’s mind this year is security. In the wake of the tragic incident last fall, NSSF announced revamped initiatives to ensure the safety of everyone who attends the SHOT Show.
“We’re working with our hotel partners, Century Security and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department to ensure a safe and uneventful experience for SHOT Show attendees,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF SVP and CMO. “We’ve made a number of enhancements to our security plan for 2018. Most of what we’re doing will not be visible, and centers around increased plainclothes sworn law enforcement officers on the show floor and new procedures and services for exhibitors displaying firearms.”
Supplier Showcase Expanded
New last year, the Supplier Showcase was held the day before the SHOT Show opened. This showcase of material suppliers is a dedicated event for suppliers to present their products to shooting, hunting and outdoor manufacturers. If a company uses or produce 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 SHOT Week’s Supplier Showcase is an opportunity for those companies to connect with one another.
Last year’s Supplier Showcase was so popular SHOT Show officials elected to expand it for 2018.
“The Supplier Showcase was a smash hit and we’ve expanded it in two ways,” Dolnack said. “The 2018 Supplier Showcase will be held over two days this year (on Monday and Tuesday) and we’ve expanded the footprint to nearly double the space available for exhibitors. Based on the feedback we received following the launch of this showcase last year, there will be a new Supplier Showcase New Product Center in the corridor leading to the L.E. halls.”
In addition to attracting manufacturers from every segment of the industry, retailers and more, media professionals maintain a significant presence at SHOT Show.
“With more than 2,500 members of the shooting, hunting and outdoor press in attendance at the SHOT Show, there isn’t a better place to get information on your products in the hands of our industry’s media,” said Bill Dunn, NSSF managing director, marketing communications. “Exhibitors should take advantage of the Press Room at the show, where they can reserve a bin to display their press kits and meet with members of the media throughout the show.”
Time is running out for exhibitors wishing to apply for a press kit bin in the Press Room. Each exhibitor may apply for two bins, and the application must be completed before January 6. You can find the press kit bin application at www.shotshowerc.com/knowledgebase/press-kit-bin-application.
Industry Day At the Range
The 13th Annual SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range will take place on Monday, Jan. 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club, the day before the opening of the show. Featuring more than 200 exhibiting manufacturers, the day will be split into two sessions: The first will be open to 1,200 invited media members (who are welcome to stay the entire day), while the afternoon session will open at 12:00 p.m. for up to 700 invited buyers, dealers, distributors and retailers.
Manufacturers of less lethal products may exhibit in the new Less Lethal area, sponsored by US C-SOG.
“The use of non-lethal technology is a great benefit for law enforcement, corrections and military professionals,” shared Kelsey Puryear, manager of Industry Day at the Range. “We’re excited we can provide these manufacturers with an opportunity to showcase their products at Industry Day.”
Another new exhibit area is the Conservation Corner, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF).
“Many organizations are working to sustain and improve the quality of our natural resources, and it’s important these groups are given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with elite members of the media and buyers who attend Industry Day,” said Cathy Williams, co-owner of Industry Day. “We feel the Conservation Corner will be a great addition to Industry Day and will draw a huge interest from our attendees.”
Visit www.shotshowrangeday.com for more on Industry Day registration, transportation, 2019 exhibitor information and other details.
Image Courtesy of NSSF
HAVA Invitational Golf Classic
The NSSF and Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) once again are joining forces to host the industry’s fourth annual golf tournament. The NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic raises money to support disabled veterans with their healing process through guided hunts, target shooting events and other outdoor activities. HAVA is a 501(c)(3) organization and one of the most worthy veteran-support causes, 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 (HAVA was formed by companies in the shooting and outdoor industry), which underscores how important this cause is to the people behind many companies in the industry.
The NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic will be held Sunday, Jan. 21, two days before the opening of the 2018 SHOT Show. Bear’s Best Las Vegas will again be the host course for the event, which kicks off with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Registration is open for individuals and four-member firearms industry teams. Individual entries are $200, while four-person team entries are $600. All entries include transportation to and from the outing, golf cart rental, course fees, course balls, breakfast, lunch and participant gifts. Prizes will be awarded for high team and individuals at the event’s conclusion. For more information and to register for this important event, visit www.shotshow.org/hava-golf-classic.
(Editor’s Note: For an update on HAVA’s ambitions for 2018 and how your company or store can get involved, see this month’s special feature “A Decade Of Honoring Our Heroes” on p. 42.)
Making The Most Of The Show
Although there are plenty of other shows during the business year, not one of them matches the value or importance of the SHOT Show. It brings together the entire industry, gets the year off to an exciting start and showcases everything new in the shooting sports. SHOT Show also serves a valuable purpose to the industry, Dolnack shared.
“About two-thirds of the exhibitors at SHOT Show are NSSF members, which we appreciate,” he relayed. “The SHOT Show provides the bulk of NSSF’s revenue for our legislative and regulatory initiatives, consumer activation campaigns, voter education programs, retailer and shooting range education, compliance services and our communication and safety campaigns — so the SHOT Show is much more than our industry’s premier sales, marketing and branding event, it’s the engine that funds all our initiatives to promote, protect and preserve the industry and to act as the voice of the industry.”
This support of NSSF generates a far-reaching impact, which advances the industry’s efforts in legislatures and local communities.
“If you want to see the finest the industry has to offer and support the NSSF in its efforts to promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports, the SHOT Show is the place to be!” Sanetti added.
We’ve Been There Every Year
By Russ Thurman
NSSF held its first SHOT Show January 1979, in St. Louis, Mo., with 290 exhibitors occupying 52,153 square feet of floor space. We, FMG Publications, were one of those inaugural exhibitors.
This month in Las Vegas, we will be exhibiting at SHOT Show, joining 56 other companies that have exhibited at every show since 1979. The 2018 show will feature more than 1,700 exhibitors, occupying over 630,000 square feet of the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
“We’re proud to have been a part of the SHOT Show since the beginning,” said Tom von Rosen, FMG Publications president and CEO. “Contributing to the show’s growth, witnessing the industry’s expansion over the past 40 years and being able to share it with so many outstanding people has been an honor.”
This month also marks FMG’s 63rd anniversary. As the publisher of American Handgunner magazine, GUNS Magazine, Shooting Industry and four Special Edition publications, we look forward to joining the industry at SHOT Show.
“The faces have changed but our mission is still the same, to help grow the shooting sports for this generation and the next. The SHOT Show has always been both a launchpad and sounding board for what’s new, what works and how brands can bring business ideas and consumer engagement closer together,” said Randy Molde, FMG VP of business development, who has coordinated our company’s SHOT Show operation for 33 years.
If you’re attending SHOT Show, stop by FMG Publications’ booth (#16327). We will be giving away thousands of extra copies of the December and January issues of Shooting Industry, our SHOT Show floor map and copies of our sister publications, American Handgunner and GUNS Magazine.