Industry’s Largest Trade Event Promises More Value For Exhibitors, Attendees.
Officials at NSSF announce that the upcoming four-day SHOT Show — with more than 1,600 exhibitors — is, once again, “Too Good To Miss.”
“The SHOT Show is the largest outdoor trade show in the world,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “From last year’s record numbers, we know it’s still the place to be at the beginning of each year to see not only everything that’s new in the industry, but what exhibitors intend to do during the rest of the year. It also provides an unparalleled opportunity to network with people who you only get in one place, one time during the year.”
The 35th annual show will be held Jan. 15-19, 2013, at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas. This the fourth straight year the SHOT Show has been held at the Sands, and the event has rebounded from the poorly rated 2010 show.
“That year, we had the lowest satisfaction rating ever from attendees and exhibitors alike,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We listened to what our customers told us in surveys; we held focus groups during the show with both exhibitors and attendees; we monitored Twitter and Facebook — and we responded to what we heard. As a result, last year we had the highest satisfaction rating we’ve ever had.”
Whether this is an attendee’s first show or 20th, there are benefits in attending, Dolnack said.
“There will be new products and information they’ll be able to glean from the exhibitors that they’ll only be able to get at the SHOT Show,” he said. “There’s always a shift in market trends; even retailers who have been to the last 20 shows can’t afford not to come. They can find new vendors and new profit opportunities who may be there for the first or second time.”
There are plenty of other shows during the year, Sanetti points out, but none compare to SHOT Show.
“There are distributor shows, there are NRA shows, there are Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation shows, and all kinds of other shows. But none of them compares to the SHOT Show in the scope and comprehensiveness of the information you can get. Between the face-to-face meetings with people and the hands-on ability to handle products, a venue like the SHOT Show can never be replaced. It’s a unique venue, and one that really can’t be missed,” Sanetti said.
High-Tech Tools Boost Planning
NSSF continues to upgrade the show’s technology so attendees can plan their four days at the show in advance. A multitude of resources for both retailers and exhibitors are located at www.shotshow.org.
On the website, attendees can register for the show, purchase State of the Industry tickets, register for educational programs, update their badges or other information, and talk to a Live Chat operator for assistance. On the home page, click “Attendees,” then “Apply for Credentials.”
In the Attendees section, retailers can learn useful tips by clicking “Attendee Info,” then “How To Get More From Your Attendance At The SHOT Show.” This takes attendees to a YouTube video that provides tips for planning meetings, as well as information on how to map and navigate the show floor. The 8-minute presentation is useful even to retailers who have been to the show many times.
Attendees can use “My Show Planner” to locate exhibitors, products and sections of the show. To access My Show Planner, start at the home page, click “SHOT Info,” and then select “Search 2013 Exhibitors.” My Show Planner appears as an option on the page.
“We’ve made improvements to My Show Planner,” said Dierdra Cauley, NSSF director of exhibitions and conferences. “Now it integrates with the mobile app.”
To use the full functionality of My Show Planner, attendees need to create an account, which takes less than 30 seconds. Then, each attendee can create a list of exhibitors he or she wants to visit, search by product categories, set appointments and print out a personalized map. Attendees can update their account during the event, and print a new map and list from one of the print kiosks available at the show.
NSSF plans to continue using last year’s popular Twitterfalls, as well, and is adding some information stations in new locations. The Twitterfalls — large, flat-panel screens — allow attendees to see what other people are Tweeting about during the show, and discover new products and show specials.
Exhibitors also have online resources available. Starting from the SHOT Show home page, click “Exhibitors” to access online tools, including the Exhibitor Resource Center and other exhibitor information. Working within My Show Planner, exhibitors can upload information for attendees, including news releases.
“The integration of My Show Planner with the mobile application allows exhibitors to include their company logo, company information, product images and show specials in their listing,” Cauley said. “In addition, exhibitors will have the ability to utilize mobile push messages. However, the attendee must provide their mobile phone information during their registration, and agree to receive these mobile push messages since there may be text messaging charges.”
As it did for the 2012 show, NSSF has placed most exhibitors’ booths in the same location for 2013. An exception is the law enforcement booths on Level 1 (lower level) that are being integrated into the existing floor plan, because of renovations to the facility. Locating most exhibitors in the same place from year to year makes it easier to navigate the show, Cauley said.
“We’ve found in our post-show surveys, now that attendees are familiar with the facility, they like having exhibitors in the same space every year,” Cauley said. “And exhibitors like staying in the same space, because their customers know where to find them.”
At the State of the Industry dinner, Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO,
will review NSSF’s 2012 accomplishments and its plans for 2013.
NSSF Presents A Look At The Industry
NSSF will host its annual State of the Industry Dinner the evening of January 15.
“After the first day of the show, with all the frenzied activity and meeting with people, the State of the Industry dinner is a good way to unwind and a great way to get — in one enjoyable evening — a comprehensive look at what NSSF has been doing during the year and where we’re going in the new year,” Sanetti said. “Certainly this coming year is going to be very eventful. There are going to be significant changes and impacts to this industry. We’ll be talking about ways we intend to meet the challenges of 2013.”
It won’t all be business at the dinner, with Terry Fator, Las Vegas headliner and past winner of “America’s Got Talent,” providing entertainment.
State of the Industry Dinner tickets can be purchased when registering for SHOT Show. They are $115 each or $1,050 for a table of 10. Seat and table assignments are by date and time of payment.
Birdies For The Brave
For the second year, NSSF will host a pre-SHOT Show charity golf outing benefiting Birdies for the Brave, a national military outreach initiative supported by the PGA Tour. The 2013 outing will be held on Jan. 12 and 13 at TPC Summerlin championship golf course in Las Vegas.
Last year’s inaugural event raised $70,000 for the nine charities supported by Birdies for the Brave; the goal for 2013 is $100,000.
“It’s a great opportunity for the industry to provide even more support for those who have sacrificed so much for our country,” Dolnack said.
To sign up a team or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.shotshow.org.
SHOT Show University will be held the day before the show opens. During
the opening session, James Debney, Smith & Wesson Holding president
and CEO, will look at the state of the industry.
Retailer Education Opportunities Increase
Dealers will have plenty of opportunity to increase their business knowledge at SHOT Show.
“Education is an important component of the SHOT Show experience,” Dolnack said. “Change takes place so fast in the industry that we have to help retailers keep on top of things. This year, we’ve gone from four retailer seminars to six during the show.”
For 2013, information on all education opportunities is presented on one page in the “Education” section of www.shotshow.org.
Attendees also will be able to access this information from My Show Planner and on the mobile app.
“Having everything in one place will give retailers an opportunity to sign up for SHOT Show University, any of the ATF seminars, any of the NSSF educational seminars and anything else we arrange — all at the same time,” said Randy Clark, NSSF managing director of business development. “We’re trying to make everything very convenient for the dealer.”
SHOT Show University
SHOT Show University begins the education opportunities, meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, at the Venetian. This year’s classes, coupled with strategic breakout sessions, are designed to provide firearm storeowners and managers with unparalleled training and education to operate their businesses more effectively.
“A few classes will be held in the main auditorium, because they’re classes we feel everyone can get takeaways from,” Clark said. “In addition, because of the number of classes we’re offering, we’re going to do breakout sessions. We’ll have two rotations for breakouts, and will offer four classes during the breakouts. Retailers can choose which classes they want to go see.”
There will be an open mic session with NSSF consulting staff.
“This is primarily ATF-compliance related. Retailers will be able to ask direct questions to our consulting staff and get one-on-one answers they need to help them more effectively run their businesses,” Clark said.
The cost for SHOT Show University is $150 for NSSF members and $250 for nonmembers.
Retailer seminars held during the SHOT Show provide dealers with opportunities to learn more about how to grow their businesses and stay current with industry trends.
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, retailers can attend sessions on “Co-op Advertising” and “FBI/NICS: Alien & Non-Immigrant Alien Presentation.”
On Thursday, Jan. 17, four seminars will be offered: “Financials for the Firearms Retailer,” “How to Write a Business Plan,” “Store Security and Inventory Procedures” and “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Social Marketing.”
The Retailer Seminars fee is $20 per session or $100 for all six sessions.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the ATF Seminars will provide information on what’s new from both ATF and NICS. Section representatives from NICS will be on hand to discuss new system enhancements that will further improve background check processing.
Working law enforcement professionals can also take advantage of the education program presented by NSSF and Law Officer Magazine. Sessions will be presented daily during the show, with a networking lunch on Wednesday, Jan. 16.
Tips For Working With The Media
Exhibitors have several ways to interact with the media in the NSSF Press Room.
“If exhibitors aren’t putting materials in the Press Room, they’re missing a huge opportunity,” Cauley said. “We have about 2,500 media who go to that room at least once a day. A member of the media may not go by a particular booth, but if the exhibitor has put their material in the press room, he or she may write a story about that exhibitor’s new product.”
Another resource for exhibitors is the Press Conference Room, where they can meet with selected media or schedule a press conference.
In addition, Cauley said, exhibitors need to utilize technology effectively when dealing with the press.
“Use resources such as QR codes, CDs and flash drives,” she said. “Exhibitors spend a lot of money on nice brochures, but press people can’t possibly carry around 50 pounds of brochures. Include pictures and news releases; give the press all the information you can. Make it easy for them to write stories.”
Exhibitors can reserve the press conference room, upload news releases to the SHOT Show website, reserve bins in the Press Room and much more on the SHOT Show website. In the “Exhibitors” section, click “Exhibitor Resource Center.”
The center provides exhibitors a wealth of information for getting the word out about their products, both to the press and to retailers.
SHOT Show Media Day at the Range will be held on Monday, Jan. 14. The event has been reorganized to better accommodate the increasing number of media who attend the show. For more information, visit www.media-day.com.
By Carolee Anita Boyles
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