Record-Setting Trade Show Gets
SHOT Show 2014 received a “Wow!” rating from many exhibitors and attendees, with the 36th annual NSSF event setting an attendance record at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas Jan. 14-17.
“Wow! There was just so much great, upbeat news and new exciting stuff at SHOT. It was a super show for all of us!” said Frank Brownell, Brownells chairman.
“It’s been extremely busy. Sometimes there’s barely room to walk around the booth,” said Joyce Rubino, Colt’s Manufacturing VP of marketing.
“There is definitely a buzz, an excitement. The increase of new shooters to our industry, in some cases new demographics, I think is very exciting. I see a lot of excitement about the industry in general,” said Scott Feck, Galco VP of operations.
The NSSF reports the show’s attendance exceeded last year’s total on the second day of this year’s event, and finished at more than 67,000 attendees, an increase of 5,000.
“I think that really speaks to the quality of the event and the enthusiasm and passion of our industry to provide quality products for hunting, target shooting and personal and home defense,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior VP and chief marketing officer.
More than 1,600 exhibiting companies filled the convention center and meeting rooms in the adjoining Venetian hotel. The show’s total exhibition space covered 635,000 net square feet, or 13 acres of product displays, along a reported 12.5 miles of aisles. The show attracted industry professionals from throughout the United States and more than 100 countries.
Last year at the State of the Industry Dinner, Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO, said the industry was “misunderstood,” referring to outlandish accusations and all-out attacks on the industry following the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting.
This year, at the dinner, Sanetti presented an in-depth report on the progress of the industry during 2013, saying, “As we gather tonight, the State of Our Industry is renewed.”
“More persons are entering the recreational shooting sports than ever before. More hunters, more target shooters, more women, more diverse groups, more licensed gun owners and, as you all know, more firearms sales,” Sanetti said.
Sanetti pointed out even with the significant growth of gun ownership, there are fewer firearm deaths.
“Perhaps the best news of all is that, despite tremendous increases in these numbers, violent crime with firearms has decreased dramatically during the last five years to early 1960s levels; accidents with firearms have dropped 22 percent, now accounting for less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents in this country, according to the National Safety Council,” Sanetti said.
“Voluntary industry safety programs such as Project ChildSafe’s 36 million free lock and safety package giveaways to over 15,000 communities have undoubtedly helped. And we are pledged to continue these efforts.”
Range Time At SHOT
The SHOT Show attracted 2,500 credentialed media, with more than 1,100 of them attending Media Day at the Range as part of Industry Days at the Range. With 142 manufacturers exhibiting, Media Day is the largest hands-on media event in the hunting and shooting industry.
“Having so many of our current and new media contacts at the same place and time makes our job easy. Not only showing them our new products, but being able to get their hands on it and use it right then and there is invaluable,” said Drew Herbst, Springfield Armory merchandise coordinator.
This year’s Industry Days at the Range offered a new program — SHOT Show Buyer Day at the Range. Held on the first day of the show, more than 450 distributors, dealers and retailers attended the event to test and learn about new products.
The SHOT Show Birdies for the Brave golf outing raised more than $100,000 for military homefront groups. The NSSF hosted the event the weekend before the show. This is the second year in a row the event raised more than $100,000 for the eight charities supported by Birdies for the Brave.
“Thank you to the PGA Tour, to Birdies for the Brave and for your leadership and unwavering support of the United States Military,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Joe Maguire, Special Operations Warrior Foundation president and CEO.
FMG Publications presented the NSSF a check for $211,000 during the State of the Industry Dinner. The money, raised through FMG’s recent Shooting Industry Masters events, helps fund NSSF’s First Shots Program.
“First Shots is vital to ensuring new firearm owners get started correctly and safely, allowing them to fully understand the responsibility of owning a gun. We at FMG Publications will continue to support this key NSSF program,” said Randy Molde, FMG Publications VP of business development.
The 2014 SHOT Show Auction raised $90,376 in support of America’s hunting and shooting sports heritage. The auction generated 150,000 views and hundreds of bids on GunBroker.com.
The auction featured a one-of-a-kind tribute to Henry Rifle designer B. Tyler Henry, the first-ever Doug Turnbull Restoration 1911 pistol and a “1-of-1” Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter in commemoration of the knife’s 50th anniversary.
The high bid on the Henry Tribute Rifle was $50,825, the Turnbull 1911 high bid was $36,025 and the Buck 110 Folding Hunter attracted a high bid of $3,526.
The Hunting Heritage Trust administers the auction, with proceeds benefiting programs in support of America’s hunting and shooting sports heritage.
Mark Your Calendars
The SHOT Show will return to the Sands Expo & Convention Center Jan. 20-23, 2015. Following this year’s show, NSSF announced an agreement with Sands Expo to hold the SHOT Show at the facility through 2018.
By Russ Thurman
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