SHOT Show’s® educational seminar programs are conducted by leading industry specialists.

Topics cover a range of current issues that are impacting businesses and organizations today. Anyone participating in SHOT Show will find insightful tips and valuable information in one or more seminars.

Four separate tracks of education focus on specialized industry fields.

SHOT Show UniversitySM

SHOT Show University is THE premier educational event for the firearms retailer and an annual sell-out.  This day-long session is held a day before the official opening of the show (Monday January 19th 2015) .  Keynote speakers, interactive sessions and a lineup of classes offer unparalleled training and education to operate businesses more effectively. Specialty Tracks allow attendees to quickly identify sessions they want to attend: ATF Compliance, Drive your Sales, and Operations for the Veteran Retailer and Retailing 101.  The event is $250 for NSSF Members and $500 for non-members.   NSSF Premium Members receive on free ticket to attend.  To sign up for SHOT Show University, simply click the yellow “Apply” button to sign up to attend the SHOT Show and during the registration process, you can simply add this must attend event to your shopping cart.

Course Information

Keynote Addresses

Success: The Four Most Important Leadership Lessons in Specialty Store Retailing
Dr. Linda Talley
8:30am – 9:45am

Combining her skills as an executive coach with her knowledge of leadership development, Dr. Linda Talley has been highly successful in working with corporate leaders, business owners and sales teams to increase their emotional intelligence in order to achieve the results and business relationships they desire. In this session, Dr. Talley will focus on four leadership lessons that will help you to engage your employees, provide them the leadership necessary to achieve great performance and, ultimately, increase sales and create loyal customers.

Flawless Business Execution
Afterburner Inc.
4:15pm – 5:15pm

Plan. Brief. Execute. Debrief — that is the recipe for success for fighter pilots around the world. It works in the business of combat, and it works in the business of selling. Afterburner motivational keynote speakers will teach you how to harness the power of Flawless Execution℠, starting with planning. You’ll learn the Six Steps to Mission Planning and apply them to all facets of your business. Also learn the power of Debriefing. How many times have you heard a person admit that he or she made a mistake? Let’s face facts — it takes a strong ego to succeed in business, and strong egos don’t like to admit mistakes. The problem is not that people don’t admit mistakes…it’s that your team never has a chance to learn from experience. Performance stays flat, and you never have a chance to address the root causes of lost business. In this keynote, our motivational speaker will teach you how to use the STEALTH Debrief module to glean lessons learned and accelerate the experience of your whole team, while learning how to boost performance. Keeping jets in the air takes a staff of hundreds — coordinating, communicating and executing flawlessly. It takes a mindset to make this happen that many business people don’t have. We help your team get it. Walking away from an Afterburner Motivational Speaker program, your team will be completely aligned behind YOUR goals, ready to take action and improve business performance and management.

TRACK 1: ATF Compliance

Wally Nelson, Harry McCabe

Error Proofing Your 4473 Forms
10am – 10:50am

Over 80% of the violations cited by the ATF are related to errors on the 4473 form. This class will review the errors, offer best practices on how to avoid these issues and, best of all, how to legally correct any existing issues that you may discover.

Acquisition and Disposition (A&D) Book: Ins and Outs
11am – 11:50am

Another source of violations during ATF inspections are with the entries into your A&D book. Learn the common mistakes, how best to organize and enter the information, best practices on importer versus manufacturer and how to legally correct any errors made. This course will also cover the changes to electronic bound books from ATF Ruling 2013-5.

Best Compliance Practices from the Road
1pm – 1:50pm

Join former ATF Deputy Assistant Directors and NSSF FFL Compliance Consultants Harry McCabe and Wally Nelson in a review of the best compliance practices that top retailers have employed to mitigate the impact of an ATF audit. Topics will include how to manage the multiple handgun reports, tips on reviewing your 4473 forms and A&D books, inventory practices and tips on how to train your staff to prepare for an audit.

Top 10 ATF Compliance Issues
2pm – 2:50pm

This seminar will focus on the issues the ATF finds most commonly in their inspections of FFLs. The class will show what the ATF finds, demonstrate the root cause of the finding, and will highlight how to properly and legally correct any mistakes that you might encounter.

How to Pass Your Next ATF Inspection with Flying Colors
3pm – 3:50pm

When the ATF next comes in for your next inspection, will you be ready? You will with this great course! This session will cover the inspection process, what to expect when the IOIs show up and tips to tune up your compliance program.

TRACK 2: Drive Your Sales

Content Marketing in Cyberspace
Larry Mersereau
10am – 10:50am

In this informative session, learn how to connect with your target audience on their “turf.” Look at the complete planning, execution and measurement process for your content marketing program. At the end of this session, you’ll have a plan sketched out on paper so you can go back and make it happen in a reasonable amount of time on a sensible budget.

Stand Out, Differentiate or Disappear
Larry Mersereau
11am – 11:50am

In this session, learn how to position your business in a world where buyers want to treat you as a commodity. Whether you’re a retailer or a range, you’ll differentiate yourself to stand out from the crowd as the only supplier your target customers even think about when it’s time to buy or learn. You’ll use Larry’s Brand Ladder to move new people into the sport plus move current shooters step-by-step from total strangers to loyal customers, all the way to evangelist (they post, Tweet and tell their friends about you).

How to Leverage the Power of Digital Marketing for Your Small Business
Gene Marks
1pm – 1:50pm

The business world is looking at many technological changes ahead. The next few years will bring big changes in the way we do business and how we drive revenues. What decisions should you be making now that will increase revenues and value in the future? It’s not just Google, Microsoft and Apple who are leading the wave. It’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. It’s about the right kind of e-mail marketing. Using video to connect to your prospects. Taking advantage of new voice, chat and text tools to generate leads. Using mobile tools for search, payment and relationship building. How are you touching your customers? Your prospects? How are you making sure nothing falls through the cracks? What workflows have you created to make sure customers never leave? How are smart business owners leveraging the latest services, applications, devices and processes to maximize their revenues? Join Gene Marks, a national expert on sales, marketing and customer relationship management, as he explains what will impact your business in the next few years.

Cash Flow: The Latest Ideas to Better Manage Your Cash Flow
Gene Marks
2pm – 2:50pm

This presentation is for the owner and manager working in an established business that is looking at the future. You aren’t thinking about next week or next month, you are planning over the next few years because that’s how smart business people make money. If you’re not thinking all the time about ways to manage your cash and grow your business, then there probably won’t be a business in the future. If you think that your employees are as happy and productive as they’ll ever be, then this is where you’ll always be. If you’re not always wondering about ways to reduce overhead and lower your costs, then someday someone is going to come along and outthink you. If you’re not managing your cash the right way today, then you’ll be missing a bunch of it when you’ll one day really need it. During this fast-paced session, Gene Marks will make you laugh and keep you on your toes with dozens of the latest methods, ideas and thoughts for reducing expenses and building profits….in essence: generating more cash for your business. Learn cost-effective ways for squeezing more profits, boosting your bottom line and keeping more customers happy.

Power Promotions
Doug VanderWoude, Miles Hall
3pm – 3:50pm

Let industry retailing experts Doug VanderWoude and Miles Hall show you how to drive your sales, margins and turns with a number of great promotional ideas that they have developed over their combined 60 plus years of experience in the firearms industry. Kick your promotions into high gear with this interactive session with these two veteran retailers.

TRACK 3: Retailing 101

An Overview of Store Security and Loss Prevention
Bill Napier
10am – 10:50am

Internal and external theft can lead to a catastrophic loss of income, respect and even your livelihood or license if not caught and addressed. In this seminar, Bill Napier will provide proven techniques to help identify potential risks to your business. Topics covered will include identifying and understanding the root cause of shrinkage, combating internal theft, operational processes that combat theft, current practices for external theft and building a partnership with local law enforcement.

The Four Pillars of Digital Marketing
Karl Stearns
11am – 11:50am

Digital marketing has forever changed the landscape for small business promotion. Now more than ever, small businesses need to embrace electronic media and use it to build strong relationships with customers, prospects and their communities. During this presentation, learn about “how to get found;” ways to nurture relationships, grow your lists of contacts and increase loyalty; use campaigns to drive action; and how to use analytics to understand how well you’re doing and make better decisions.

Merchandising and Maximizing Turns for the Firearms Retailer
Tom Shay
1pm – 1:50pm

As sales continue to soften and competition for customer dollars increases, every buying decision you make for your business becomes more critical. Small business expert Tom Shay will share strategies on how best to maximize your inventory for cash flow and turns. What is the right mix of products for your store, how can you best ensure you have what you need, when you need it and, more importantly, how not to overbuy?

Advertising Effectively: Your Ad Plan and Budget
Tom Shay
2pm – 2:50pm

As sales slow and foot traffic dwindle, the first thing that usually gets cut is the ad budget. In this class, veteran retailer Tom Shay will discuss why that is suicide for your business. He’ll cover how to develop an annual advertising plan, an ad budget, determine ROI on your ads and how to reach out to new customers while retaining your current customer base.

Understanding Your Financials: There’s Dollars in the Details
Tom Shay
3pm – 3:50pm

Learn the ins and outs to your financials, what numbers you should concentrate on, what they are telling you about your business, what the different ratios mean and what information your accountant should be providing you. There’s dollars to be made in the details and Tom Shay will show you how to get them!

TRACK 4: Veteran Retailer

Back Office Best Practices
Janey Hall, Meghan Hall
10am – 10:50am

Reduce costs, mistakes and effort by applying these lessons from a nationally recognized firearms retailer. Jayne and Meghan Hall of H&H Shooting Sports Complex will share a number of the lessons they have learned over the years in leaning up receiving processes, reducing errors and tactics to get the best from the back offices operations.

Maximizing Your Store Layout
Tom Shay
11am – 11:50am

Is your retail location providing the best flow to enhance your customers’ experience? Are you utilizing all of the tricks of the retailer trade and your store layout to maximize your return on investment? Industry veteran and small business expert Tom Shay will discuss strategies to maximize dollars per square foot of your store while meeting the needs of your customers.

Improve Your Store Security and Reduce Shrinkage
Bill Napier
1pm – 1:50pm

This session will focus on strategies that you can employ to further enhance your existing security plan. Veteran loss prevention expert Bill Napier will discuss the programs, technologies and processes that have stood the test of time and proven effective to mitigate the impact of internal and external theft.

Tactics to Improve Your eCommerce Plan
Karl Stearns
2pm – 2:50pm

Give your ecommerce site and digital marketing plan a tune up with this exciting and insightful presentation. Small business expert Karl Stearns will share his expertise gained from 30 plus years as a small business owner, expert and lecturer.

Winning Teams Start with Great Players: Hiring Habits of Highly Successful Businesses
Deb Kenney
3pm – 3:50pm

What keeps customers coming back to your store?  Learn how to create a culture of excellence in your business, and how to attract and retain exceptional employees.

Retailer Seminars

M&P by Smith & WessonLearn more about successfully managing and growing your business as well as understanding current industry issues in these one-hour seminars running throughout SHOT Show.

Course Information

Tuesday, January 20

NICS E-Check 2.0 and NEW NICS
Kim Brown
9am – 10am

New and improved NICS E-Check 2.0 removes the digital certificate and allows you to access the system from any computer or any browser. This seminar will be a live demonstration of the NICS E-Check and the upcoming changes to the NICS and its processes. This seminar is free to all attendees of the SHOT Show.

Cutting-Edge Technologies in Store Security
Bill Napier
10:30am – 11:30am

Do you wonder where retail security is heading in the future? Are you up to date on the latest technology in asset protection? Veteran loss prevention expert Bill Napier will review the latest technologies and devices that are available in the loss prevention industry. Join this session to see if it is time to upgrade the technology in your store to better safeguard your inventory, customers, employees and your livelihood.

The Hows and Whys to Buy — Panel Discussion
Joe Keffer, Richard Sprague, Miles Hall, Jim Rauscher
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Four top tier firearms retailers will be on hand to share their philosophy and strategy on buying products. Subjects covered will include increasing inventory turns, mitigating the impact of downturns in sales and how to use vendor terms to your advantage. The course will wrap up with a question and answer session.

NSSF FFL Compliance Consultant Panel
Harry McCabe, Wally Nelson
2pm – 3pm

Bring your compliance questions and concerns to this open mic panel discussion hosted by the NSSF and their FFL compliance consultants. Wally Nelson and Harry McCabe were both Deputy Assistant Directors of the ATF before they retired and have decades of experience with the compliance portion of the ATF. Both are strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment and the shooting sports industry, have intimate working knowledge of the ATF and can provide guidance on staying in compliance and in business.

Affinity Member Benefits — Saving Money for Our Members!
NSSF Staff
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Being an NSSF Member definitely has its advantages, and some of the benefits available might surprise you. Meet with NSSF’s Membership staff to review existing benefits and get an overview of the new benefits that will be available in 2015. This seminar is free to all attendees of the SHOT Show.

Wednesday, January 21

NFA Compliance and Best Practices
Wally Nelson, Chris Renzulli
9am – 11am

One of the largest areas of growth in our industry has been the selling of NFA products. While a lucrative market, there are certain compliance pitfalls that you need to be aware of to ensure you are able to legally sell these products. This two-hour session will provide an in-depth review of the NFA process, including how to sell NFA products legally, common mistakes NFA dealers make, how to deal with trusts, and tips on how to best manage your NFA compliance programs. The goal for this seminar is for participants to understand and comply with the provisions of the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act. The class is designed for firearms retailers, trust attorneys, law enforcement officers and anyone who participates in the NFA process.

The Changing Demographic of Today’s Hunter and Shooter
Jim Curcuruto
11:30am – 12:30pm

While the firearms industry has seen tremendous growth over the past five years, there a certain key communities our industry has yet to engage. NSSF will lead a panel discussion that will focus on the opportunities that exist to make our industry more inclusive and provide strategies on how best to reach out to these new markets.

Used Guns: How to Buy and Sell
Larry Ahlman
1pm – 2pm

As retail gun sales continue to soften and the margins continue to shrink, a great additional revenue stream is the used gun market. Veteran retailer Larry Ahlman will share the secrets he’s learned over his career about how to successfully buy and sell used guns, what has worked for him and what to avoid.

Federal Prohibitors FBI/NICS
Kim Brown
2:30pm – 3:30pm

What federally prohibits your customer from purchasing/receiving a firearm? What type of research goes into a NICS transaction? This seminar will go over the 10 federal prohibitors and will provide sample transactions that cover the actual research needed to complete a NICS Check and provide a final status to the FFL. It’s an invaluable session for helping your customers understand why they might be delayed or denied, what information is reviewed during a background check, and what your customers can do to speed up the process or overturn a denial they feel is incorrect. This seminar is free to all attendees of the SHOT Show.

Thursday, January 22

Merchandizing to Women
Randi Rogers, Julie Golob
9am – 10am

Industry superstars Julie Golob and Randi Rogers will cover what products women want and need from today’s firearms retailers. From firearms to stocks to grips to clothing, Julie Golob and Randi Roger will review what products a retailer should have on hand to be successful in merchandising for the fastest growing segment of the shooting population.

Key Retail Numbers — Growing Profit by Understanding Retail Basics
Tracy Moffatt
10:30am – 11:30am

This session will explore key retail numbers straight off your financials: retail sales, cost of goods sold and gross margin. What do they mean, how do you calculate them, how do you plan your business going forward using them? When and how to react to market changes will also be discussed. Simple retail math will be explained using numbers such as Dollars per Square Foot. Time will be allotted for conversation and questions.

More Retail Numbers — Inventory Turnover and Its Impact on Profit
Tracy Moffatt
12pm – 1pm

This session will dig deeper into the numbers and focus on inventory turnover and average inventory — their calculation and impact on profit. Practical ideas for developing and maintaining an inventory plan will be explored using simple Excel spreadsheets. Discussion on building profitable business with vendors and distributors will also be part of this session. This session will build on the Key Retail Numbers session but it is not necessary to have attended that session.

Achieving Business and Compliance Goals — Practical Examples for Manufacturing FFLs of Any Size
Jon Rydberg
1:30pm – 3pm

Manufacturing FFLs come in all shapes and sizes, yet they have related responsibilities to comply with federal and state regulations. Regardless of the resources available, complying is not an option. This session will provide case studies and practical examples for making operational decisions that will increase your compliance, reduce legal risk and, in many cases, help you run your business more effectively and profitably.

Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP)

Law OfficerThe National Shooting Sports Foundation partners with Law Officer Magazine to present a free education program for law enforcement at the SHOT Show. Learn from national experts, while you visit the exhibit hall to see the latest products in the law enforcement pavilion. With sessions every day, it’s easy to make the most of your trip.

FREE to all law enforcement registered attendees of the SHOT Show. Requires registration for sessions.

Course Information

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

8:15 AM – 10:15 AM
Active Shooter Update and the Advanced Police Officer
Don Alwes
Sponsored by NTOA

Active Shooter Events continue to concern communities and their law enforcement agencies. This presentation will review recent incidents for lessons to be learned and examine the ongoing evolution of law enforcement response. The NTOA’s Advanced Response Patrol Officer program is designed to prepare first-arriving officers to confront & neutralize the threat and save lives.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

8:15 AM – 10:15 AM
Law Enforcement Response to Suicidal Persons
Thor Eells
Don Kester
Sponsored by NTOA

This seminar will address the challenges law enforcement faces when responding to check the welfare and suicidal person calls. Attention will be placed on historical basis for law enforcement intervention, legal versus ethical duty, and current case law developments. Specific cases will be presented to help facilitate discussion and provide emphasis on the dilemmas that are now presenting themselves to public safety personnel.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Immediately Deployable White Light Is Critical for Law Enforcement
Luis Araujo
Kevin Skehan
Sponsored by Surefire

This in-depth seminar will feature a hands-on tactical presentation as well as a legal overview of why overwhelming white light—that is immediately deployable—is critical to successful modern-day police work. The presenters, experienced LEOs, are experts on both fronts. They will demonstrate how professional-grade white-light illumination tools should be immediately deployed and intuitively activated in high-stress situations, where motor skills and vision is degraded. Whether attached to one’s pistol, carbine, shotgun, wrist, or specifically designed for pairing with a firearm, these illumination tools must be optimized for police work and therefore instantly deployable for proper threat assessment. Ensuring the safety and well being of officers and the public are, of course, primary to this presentation, but presenters will also discuss the tremendous financial liability for agencies and individual officers not employing such gear—with formal and proper training. All attendees will come to understand what type of illumination is crucial and why!

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
The Future of Range Design: The Impact of Technology and Training Requirements
Timothy J. Holley
Edward M. Santos
Sponsored by Meggitt

Technology may be simplifying our lives, but how is it changing the way law enforcement officers operate and train for real-world scenarios? This session will explore currently available range solutions as well as exciting, upcoming products and services. Tim Holley, Meggitt Training Systems, and Ed Santos, Center Target Sports, will discuss the future of range design and the possibilities within these “new” training environments. From curriculum to funding, the session will highlight best practices, cost savings and benefits, and the real-world application of tomorrow’s training technologies.

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Networking Lunch

Network exclusively with other law enforcement agencies and the editors of Law Officer Magazine! You’ll enjoy the award-winning flavors of a Venetian Hotel buffet lunch while discussing challenges and solutions with fellow law enforcement professionals. Get feedback from others on the thousands of products in the exhibit hall, and make sure you leave with all of the best industry information. (Registration required, tickets $35.)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

8:15 AM – 10:15 AM
SWAT: Lessons Learned from Critical Incidents
Thor Eells
Don Kester
Sponsored by NTOA

This course will facilitate discussion regarding lessons learned from critical incidents involving Special Weapons and Tactics Teams throughout the United States. Topics covered will include command and control strategies, leadership methodologies, training and critical incident preparation, legal concerns, tactical decision-making, and priority of life issues. Current industry responses and trends as a result of critical incidents will be included.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Officer Survival in 2015 and Counter Ambush Tactics
Ron McCarthy
Sponsored by Safariland

Law enforcement officers are being murdered in pre-planned and sophisticated ambushes in alarmingly high numbers, now and during the past ten years. The political unrest and dissatisfaction with government has put uniformed police officers in the crosshairs. Ron McCarthy will discuss ambush recognition and counter-ambush tactics that can increase officer survival and reduce unnecessary paranoia. You won’t want to miss this session, this is critical information you can take back to your personnel.




SHOT Show University Sponsors
M&P by Smith & Wesson