With Its Miles Of Aisles, Planning Is A
Must For Attendees.
The 2014 SHOT Show is set to open on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas, and NSSF is focused on making it the best event in the history of the show, with “customer satisfaction” the goal.
“If you have a great experience when you go somewhere, you’ll come back. We’ve made a lot of improvements to the show. It’s more comfortable and people can visit and network. The SHOT Show isn’t just about commerce. It’s also about networking and sharing information,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
The SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world, attracting more than 60,000 attendees and 1,600 exhibitors. The mega-event offers different opportunities for exhibitors and attendees, Dolnack said.
“Some manufacturers and wholesalers offer Show-only specials,” he said. “From the manufacturer’s standpoint, it’s the single largest gathering of the outdoor media; there are 2,600 writers, broadcasters and bloggers on site.”
Based on feedback, NSSF continues to work with the Sands Expo Convention Center to improve the overall SHOT Show experience, including its communication infrastructure.
“The Sands put in escalators between Level 1 to Level 2 and improved Wi-Fi and signage,” Dolnack said. “They also opened up space so attendees will have more places to sit down, eat lunch and network. Attendees also will have places to charge their phones and other electronic devices.”
“The Sands completed Phase II of the upgrade of their Wi-Fi capability,” Dolnack said. “Also, there will be more and better use of digital signage throughout the show. We’ve listened to our customers and we’re going to have additional signs on Levels 1 and 2 that point to the main exits, because in some areas, you can’t really tell where the exits are.”
Deidra Cauley, NSSF’s director of exhibitions and conferences, said that, while the Sands has invested considerable effort and money into improving available Wi-Fi bandwidth, there are limits.
“You can’t expect to have a computer running on Wi-Fi, and a phone and a tablet, and think all of them are going to work 100 percent of the time with 62,000 people online at the same time,” she said.
NSSF is also increasing the number of Twitterfall displays at the 2014 show. Introduced last year, the large, flat-screen monitors positioned throughout the show proved very popular, with their display of Tweets from other attendees who post information on new products and show specials.
Getting The Most From The Show
For many retailers, the SHOT Show kicks off their sales year. Marna Tracy, owner of Tampa Tactical Supply in Tampa, Fla., said the show helps her make good business decisions.
“Every year I make new contacts. I find new products and get better package deals,” she said. “I think about what directions I want to change, particularly with new products. I think about the kind of marketing I want to do, and that tells me what kind of marketing materials I look for.”
Tracy said she also plans out the manufacturers she wants to meet.
“I absolutely have to go with a game plan, because I could spend every day there and not meet with everyone I need to talk to,” she said.
Ken Baye, one of the owners of Stoddard’s Range and Guns in Douglasville, Ga., agrees that planning is crucial.
“The most important planning we do is scheduling appointments with the people we want to see,” he said. “Determining what our needs are also is very important. The show can be overwhelming, so we like to determine what our needs are going to be for the year and plan what our priorities are.”
Baye said the time spent meeting with other people in the industry is invaluable.
“The SHOT Show is somewhat of a buying opportunity, but it’s more of a relationship opportunity,” Baye said. “Everyone is in one place and that makes it very convenient to meet with a lot of the people we do business with.”
Pre-Planning A Must
The size of the SHOT show — with its miles of aisles — makes it a requirement for attendees to plan ahead on how to maximize their time during the four-day event. This issue of Shooting Industry includes an inserted floor map of the exhibition halls, along with an exhibitor’s list. Attendees can use these tools to plan their schedule for each day.
For new and long-time attendees, Dolnack has a number of recommendations to make the most of their time at the show:
“Plan how to get to the show from your hotel. Driving is not recommended,” he said. “The Sands Expo and Convention Center is a 10-minute walk from most hotels on the strip. Don’t forget the monorail, though the closest stop is a hike from the Sands. Most convenient are the free buses that run to and from official SHOT Show hotels.”
The free bus services runs each morning and afternoon of the show. For schedules and the hotels on the bus routes, visit www.shotshow.org/travel.
To make the most of their time at the show, attendees should make appointments using the “Map Your Show” online tool available on the SHOT Show website. In addition, Dolnack recommends downloading the SHOT Mobile App.
“By making consecutive appointments close together, you will save time and shoe leather,” Dolnack said. “If you have a smartphone, the SHOT Mobile App will allow you to quickly navigate the show floor via an interactive map, find new products, see the show schedule, set appointments and find services.
In addition to an overall plan for the show, Dolnack recommends attendees develop a plan when visiting exhibitors.
“Know who you want to speak with and have a list of questions ready when you enter the booth,” he said. “Let the vendors you visit scan your show badge. This will allow them to send you their marketing material, without adding to the load you’ll be carrying around the show.”
Dolnack also said NSSF members should take advantage of the Member’s Lounge, where lunch is available each day of the show from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“The lounge is an attractive place for NSSF members and their guests to meet and relax during the show,” Dolnack said.
Significant Economic Force
The gathering at the State of the Industry Dinner on Jan. 14 is an opportunity for the NSSF to reinforce the industry’s position as a significant economic force in America, said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO.
“We have prospered during years of recession, we contribute billions of dollars to the economy and we support conservation though excise taxes and license sales,” Sanetti said. “We try to get all those points across at the State of the Industry Dinner, and at the same time showcase what the National Shooting Sports Foundation has done during the year to help promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.”
The State of the Industry Dinner is likely sold out; however, visit www.shotshow.org to determine any last-minute ticket availability.
Special Membership Offer
In conjunction with SHOT Show, NSSF is offering retail and range memberships that start as low as $50.
“NSSF membership provides you with information and resources, networking and training, continued education opportunities and discounted products and services. This one single investment can give you an invaluable competitive edge,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF director of member services.
This membership offer is available at www.nssf.org/join. For more information, contact Samantha Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org or Swann at email@example.com. Also, at SHOT Show, visit the NSSF Member Services booth, #L221.
Birdies For the Brave
NSSF is again sponsoring a Birdies for the Brave Charity Golf event in conjunction with SHOT Show. To be held Jan. 11-12 at the TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, the event raises money for a number of organizations associated with Military Homefront Groups.
To take part in the event, donate items for the silent auction or to become a sponsor, visit www.shotshow.org/birdies-brave.
NSSF is offering numerous educational opportunities during SHOT Show. Throughout the show, 1-hour seminars will be held to help dealers manage and grow their business.
One of the seminars, NSSF FFL Compliance Consultant Panel, will be held on Jan. 14 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. NSSF and its FFL compliance consultants will host the open-mic panel discussion.
For information on all the Retail Seminars and education opportunities at the show, visit www.shotshow.org/education.
Supporting The Show
For the fourth year, the Outdoor Channel is the Pinnacle Sponsor of the 2014 SHOT Show and will provide attendees with a number of services, including charging stations for mobile devices and Internet hotspots.
Smith & Wesson returns as the Platinum Level Education Sponsor of SHOT Show University. ArmaLite has again signed on as the title sponsor of SHOT Mobile.
NBC Sports Network is the official sponsor of the 2014 SHOT Show New Product Center. Budweiser is returning as the sponsor of the SHOT Show Press Room, and GunBroker.com is sponsoring the NSSF Member Lounge and Business Center.
Mark Your Calendars
The 2015 SHOT Show will be held in Las Vegas, Jan 20-23 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
SHOT Show Auction Supports Firearm Heritage
The 2014 SHOT Show Auction features a Tribute Henry Rifle, engraved Turnbull 1911 and 50th Anniversary Buck knife. They are being auctioned exclusively on www.GunBroker.com. The auction, which began on Dec. 20, 2013, will end at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Jan. 17, 2014, the final day of the 2014 SHOT Show.
The auction is administered by the Hunting Heritage Trust for NSSF. All proceeds from the auction benefit programs to further America’s hunting and shooting sports heritage.
The 2014 SHOT Show Auction Rifle features a special version of the Original Henry Rifle.
The rifle will feature detailed engraving in tribute to B. Tyler Henry.
Tribute To B. Tyler Henry
The Henry Repeating Arms Co. recently announced they’ve begun production of the Original Henry Rifle for the first time in 150 years. The first rifle produced has been set aside to receive very special treatment in honor of the rifle’s designer, Benjamin Tyler Henry. It’s the 2014 SHOT Show Auction Rifle.
This revolutionary lever-action repeating rifle was the most important firearm of its time and went on to become one of the most legendary of all American firearms. Now, the Original Henry Rifle is back in all its American-made glory. The modern rifle is chambered in .44-40. The SHOT Show Henry Tribute rifle will feature serial number “BTHENRY0001.”
The rifle was hand-engraved by Baron Engraving of Trumbull, Conn., and features a likeness of B. Tyler Henry on the right side of the receiver and an engraving of the original Henry factory on the left side. In addition, the rifle features the historic inscription “Load on Sunday and Shoot All Week Long.”
The rifle will be on display at GunBroker.com’s SHOT Show booth, #15147.
Special Edition Turnbull 1911
Special Turnbull 1911
Turnbull Manufacturing Co. (TMC) has aimed their manufacturing and design skills at the production of high-quality handguns. The first Deluxe Model of these new classics has been selected as the 2014 SHOT Show Auction Handgun.
The Turnbull 1911 is a new modern-manufactured handgun, chambered in .45 ACP. This special SHOT Show edition features tasteful scroll engraving, gold inlay and the serial number 1911001.
Other features of the Turnbull Model 1911 include a forged frame with appropriate shape and style; later-style 1911 sight with semi-circle notch; short, wide spur hammer with standard checkering; and two-tone magazine. This special SHOT Show Auction 1911 features period-correct Carbonia Charcoal Bluing on all parts, and inspector’s mark from Doug Turnbull, TMC owner and founder.
Buck Knives 50th Anniversary Model 110
Celebrating 50th Anniversary Of Buck Model 110
The Buck Knives 50th Anniversary Model 110 folding hunter was created by legendary knife maker David Yellowhorse. H.H. Buck & Son revolutionized the knife industry in 1964 with the Model 110 folding hunter. In 2014, Buck Knives observes the 50th anniversary of the 110’s prominence in the hearts and hands of America’s outdoorsmen.
The special Yellowhorse creation features a 3 3/4-inch Damascus steel blade, with a hand-inscribed 50th anniversary tribute. The handle features Nickel Silver cutout in snake wood, with inlays of Black Jet, Bloody Red Jasper and Web Turquoise.
The knife will be displayed at the SHOT Show in the Buck Knife Booth, #14504.
By Carolee Anita Boyles
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