By Carolee Anita Boyles
Just like every year, the shooting sports industry is set to gather in Las Vegas this month. The 2019 SHOT Show opens Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center.
Once again, the NSSF is promising a show to help attendees “Gear Up” as they head into 2019. With almost 1,800 companies represented on the SHOT Show exhibit floor (including a number of new exhibitors) the industry’s mega show promises to be another unforgettable event.
“The SHOT Show just keeps improving every year,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF CEO. “It’s our biggest challenge — finding ways to keep an extraordinary industry-wide experience and showcase vibrant and exciting. Everyone who has ever attended the SHOT Show is amazed at the depth and breadth of the firearms industry and its related companies and individuals who support it — and yet, there are literally thousands of other organizations clamoring for an opportunity just to get into the show. We’re aggressively doing all we reasonably can to accommodate as many new exhibitors and genuine trade attendees as possible.”
There’s something for everyone in the industry at the show, Sanetti continued.
“The Supplier Showcase, which features vendors of products and services important to our core businesses, has again been greatly expanded to accommodate many more suppliers,” Sanetti shared. “We’re also offering more space on Level 5 of the Sands Convention Center so many companies on the wait list can avail themselves of prefabricated exhibit table space to make the all-important entrée into their first SHOT Show.”
To accomplish this, NSSF will again hold the State of the Industry reception the opening evening of the show in the Palazzo Theater.
“Mike Rowe will add some real star power to the annual industry gathering by offering his own take on where our industry stands right now, with some humorous insights as to how we can succeed in the many new challenges we face together,” Sanetti said.
Educational opportunities during SHOT week have expanded each year. Besides SHOT University, held the day before the SHOT Show opens, NSSF provides Retailer Seminars, the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), the Executive Management Seminar, and Export Control Reform Training Sessions.
Retailer Seminars will be held Tuesday, Jan. 22 through Thursday, Jan. 24. Topics for Retailer Seminars are developed from inquiries and feedback received all year long 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. For more information, go to www.shotshow.org/retailer-seminars.
The LEEP program focuses on protection measures and tactical execution. Participants will learn from leading industry training organizations such as the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) and industry product authorities. Upon completion, LEEP participants receive a Certificate of Attendance confirming course participation, which can be used to document training. More information is available at www.shotshow.org/leep.
The Executive Management Seminar is specialized training that addresses the needs of industry professionals from up-and-coming managers to presidents and CEOs. Taking place Monday, Jan. 21, this powerful seminar will cover the trending management techniques and business practices taking place today. Participants will hear from leading authorities on topics such as how to thrive in a changing market, cultivating leadership skills, workforce development, avoiding derailment and improving mental toughness — allowing participants to make better decisions and hone their business action plans. For more information, visit www.shotshow.org/executive-management-seminar.
The NSSF and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security are offering a special training session during the 2019 SHOT Show to help U.S. manufacturers and retailers better understand current regulations for export operations. Participants will get first-hand guidance from the professionals who guide businesses across the country on properly exporting their goods.
The NSSF-BIS joint export training will include a variety of presentations to help attendees learn about the transition of firearms, ammunition and accessories from control under DDTC/State Dept. to BIS/Commerce Dept. This comprehensive training session will include information about Export Administration Regulation (EAR) and how the new regulations need to be implemented in each company’s export business. BIS and industry expert personnel will be presenting detailed information on subjects such as how EAR works and what an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is; BIS licensing and their electronic licensing system, SNAP-R (Simplified Network Application Process Redesign); EAR exceptions, and how they can be a very useful tool to streamline your exports; EAR controls on technology including deemed exports and public domain definitions; and information from the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) which is the enforcement arm of BIS. This important training is critical for exporters to learn and understand. BIS licensing and policy staff will be presenting and will be on hand to answer questions after the training. More information is available at www.shotshow.org/export-control-reform-training-sessions.
State Of The Industry
As noted earlier, the State of the Industry Reception will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Palazzo Theater. There will be a cocktail reception from 5:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. From 6:10 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. the State of the Industry presentation will take place. This presentation recognizes the important accomplishments of the industry during the last year, as well as addresses the important challenges in the upcoming year. NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti, presents industry updates important for every professional to hear.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. there will be a keynote speech by Mike Rowe — best-known for his stint as the “dirtiest man on TV” as host of the popular “Dirty Jobs” TV series.
All tickets are for general admission seating. Visit www.shotshow.org/state-of-the-industry-reception.
The SHOT Show NEXT Pavilion will again host the next wave of up-and-coming companies making an impact in the industry. It’s open all four days of the show, on Level 3.
After the tragic Las Vegas incident in the fall of 2017, many hotels in the city became stricter about enforcing their long-standing policies about firearms in public areas, said Chris Dolnack, NSSF SVP and CMO.
“Again this year, we will be providing exhibitors with concierge security for those who fly and drive in with firearms,” he said. “We’ll have a security office in conjunction with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, Homeland Security and ATF, as we did last year. That will be in the luggage area, and we’ll be able to take possession of those firearms on site and transport them to secure storage. We want to make it easy for our customers, so we provide this concierge service for our exhibitors.”
Utilizing Press Coverage
With more than 2,500 members of the shooting, hunting and outdoor press in attendance at the SHOT Show, this is the best place to get information into the hands of the industry’s media. In the past, this has been done through bins in the press room where exhibitors could leave catalogs, press kits and other pertinent material for the media.
“This year we’re going to have digital press kits,” said Bill Dunn, NSSF managing director, marketing communications. “All exhibitors, through their exhibitor dashboards, will be able to upload press materials. The press will have access to a web app both in the press room and online, allowing them to download whatever they need.”
Exhibitors can hold a press conference in the Press Conference Room, Media Center or at their booth. (The deadline for SHOT 2019 has passed, but an option exists for exhibitors to complete an online form and have their press conference listed in the press schedule distributed to the working press who attend the show.)
Industry Day at the Range
The 14th annual SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range will take place on Monday, Jan. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club (Boulder City, Nev.) The day will be split into two sessions. The first will be open to up to 1,600 invited media members, who are welcome to stay the entire day. The afternoon session will open at 12:00 p.m. for up to 800 invited buyers, dealers and distributors.
The number of exhibitors at Industry Day makes this a “mini-SHOT Show” the day before the main event opens. This function provides invited members of the press and retail, wholesale and law enforcement purchasing agents the opportunity for hands-on testing, review and evaluation of almost every category of product in the shooting, hunting and outdoor markets. 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.
Industry Day allows for a wide spectrum of exhibitors including firearms, ammunition, optics, trucks, ATVs, knives, archery and more. Visit www.shotshowrangeday.com
A “Homerun” For The Industry
Although there are a number of outdoor industry trade shows during the year, none one of them match the breadth and depth of industry-specific products and services on display at the SHOT Show. It brings together the entire industry, showcases everything new in the shooting sports and jumpstarts 2019 opportunities for the industry.
“We’ll be adding real value to our exhibitors by utilizing state-of-the-art methods to give them data regarding which buyers have actually spent time in their booths,” Sanetti said. “This will help them effectively follow up with leads, and the many new products that are always on display at the SHOT Show can rapidly be brought to market in the most efficient way possible, to better serve the many eager consumers who eagerly await the industry’s new product offerings every year. These are just a few of the many enhancements to the show attendees and exhibitors alike will benefit from at the 2019 SHOT Show, which promises to be yet another homerun for our industry.”
New for 2019 is the Pop-Up Preview Pavilion, open only Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the Palazzo Ballroom on the fifth floor. Featuring hundreds of first-time exhibitors who have been trying to exhibit at the show for years — from leading and up-and-coming manufacturers — the SHOT Show will be welcoming a whole new line of products to expand attendees’ inventory.
A complement to shooting sports and hunting products, today’s most in-demand accessories and equipment will be on display here. The new pavilion will feature the latest in clothing, footwear, cameras, tents and other gear. The well-rounded success of the Supplier Showcase format contributed to this concept for spotlighting these first-time exhibitors.