LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show®) concluded four successful days at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, setting new attendance records and marking the 35th anniversary of the event.
The largest trade show of its kind in the world and the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas, the SHOT Show attracted a record overall attendance of 62,371, including a new high for buyers and more than 2,000 media representatives. More than 1,600 exhibitors filled booth space covering 630,000 net square feet. The show, which is a trade-only event, attracted industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 countries.
Exhibitors and attendees alike said the SHOT Show is critical to the success of their businesses.
"The SHOT Show is the springboard for every new product that we introduce each year," said Frank Devlin of Otis Technology. "It gives industry the opportunity to see our new products and allows us to get feedback from them to know that we are heading in the right direction."
John Anthon, president of GATCO Sharpeners/Timberline Knives, said, "For the 24 years we've been going, the SHOT Show is the most important show we do each year. It is the largest venue globally and the most important. Every important customer comes to the show for that reason."
Industry veteran Ron Coburn of Savage Arms said, "It's the industry's trade show. Everybody who's in the trade needs to be here to see what's going on. It's the place to see friends and showcase our own products."
Dwight Van Brunt of Kimber said, "It's a powerhouse show--the place where you can talk to writers, dealers and industry VIPs."
"We get to talk to our biggest customers and show them what we have," said Ernie Callandrelli of Quaker Boy Inc. "We've been here all 35 years of the show, so two important benefits are seeing old friends and building key relationships."
The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. Revenues from the show support NSSF's many programs that carry out its mission of promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports, along with promoting responsible firearms ownership and safe storage practices.
Showgoers recognize that the SHOT Show's importance to industry extends beyond selling and buying on the show floor. "What this show generates for our cause is absolutely critical," said Tom Taylor of Mossberg. Added Steve Lamboy of Micheli-Lamboy Marketing, "We need to communicate more to our members that the funds from this show are going to build the entire future of our industry."
The $4.1 billion firearms and ammunition industry supports many small businesses and helps preserve the more than 200,000 jobs associated with the shooting sports.
NSSF added significantly to its membership ranks at the show, pushing its overall total of supporters to more than 8,300.
With the show taking place amid heightened national attention about firearms ownership and potential legislation, NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti addressed more than 1,800 industry leaders at the State of the Industry Dinner. "I don't think many of those who disagree with what we do appreciate the many things we've done to advocate personal responsibility with firearms," Sanetti said.
"Ours is a responsible industry," said Sanetti, "that makes and sells lawful products to law-abiding citizens. They in turn exercise their constitutional right to own, use and enjoy firearms safely and responsibly for all lawful purposes."
NSSF supporters filled the sold-out hall for the State of the Industry event, which was sponsored by Outdoor Channel and included a review of NSSF's accomplishment from the past year and entertainment from popular ventriloquist and impersonator Terry Fator.
Many awards are presented at the show. NSSF presented FMG Publications with its Ken Sedlecky Achievement Award for its longstanding support of NSSF's First Shots program through funds raised at its Shooting Industry Master events.
Retired NSSF President Doug Painter was honored with the Professional Outdoor Media Association-NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award for extraordinary achievements in communications in support of hunting's heritage and firearms freedoms.
Approximately half of the media on hand to cover the show attended SHOT Show Media Day at the Range, where they had the opportunity to review and test products offered by 100 exhibitors.
In conjunction with the SHOT Show, NSSF sponsored the PGA Charities' Birdies for the Brave golf tournament that raised $100,000 for groups that provide support for injured armed service veterans.
The SHOT Show will return to the Sands Expo & Convention Center January 14-17, 2014.
"Hats off and thank you to the NSSF for putting on a great SHOT Show," summed up Dave Baron of Baron Technologies.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org