We’re back in Connecticut, after returning from Nuremburg’s annual IWA OutdoorClassics Show—and, oh, what a show it was!
The IWA OutdoorClassics is the association’s first event after January’s SHOT Show. This year we were especially looking forward to our annual trip to Germany, having seen a significant increase in international attendance at the 2017 SHOT Show. We were pleased to see our total international visitors traveled to Vegas from 111 countries, including 12 of 13 Canada provinces, with a total of 6,513 international registrants—up nearly 300 from the 2016 SHOT Show. We also had more than 1,000 delegates attending our International Buyer Program, up nearly 350 from 2016 and with two more countries added to the roster, bringing the total number of participating countries in this program to 37.
The increase underscores the value the U.S. firearms market represents for the global firearms industry. Still, we know that many those who wish to do business with us haven’t made the trip to SHOT Show. We understand. It’s a commitment of time and finances—but we also know the rewards can result in a tremendous return on those investments. That’s why we take the time to attend IWA.
This year we had 342 individuals from 38 countries visit our Las Vegas Hospitality Suite. As our primary goal in attending IWA is to encourage international attendance at SHOT Show, having that lounge available is key to helping buyers who haven’t made the trip or who only occasionally make the show better understand just how much both SHOT Show and the city of Las Vegas have to offer them. The suite has proven itself year after year in improving our networking with international buyers, providing them refreshment, a break from the busy IWA show floor, and one-on-one time with NSSF staff. They also have the chance to visit with representatives from the city of Las Vegas, the Venetian/Palazzo hotel complex and our show management partners at ConvExx, which provides them an invaluable behind-the-scenes look at how the SHOT Show works and the dizzying array of opportunities it provides international attendees.
A bonus to those visiting our Hospitality Suite this year was the chance to win a complimentary stay at the Venetian/Palazzo during the 2018 SHOT Show or an iPad Air. We were pleased to award the hotel stay to Pietr Nowicki with Magazyn Uzbrojenia, and the iPad Air to David Feerick with Gowen & Bradshaw Ltd, and we’re looking forward to seeing both gentlemen in Las Vegas next January.
“Each year we strive to improve SHOT Show so that everyone who takes the time to attend reaps the rewards,” explained Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “In fact, we’re now not just the SHOT Show, we’re officially SHOT Week. From the HAVA Golf Classic taking place the Sunday before the show opens and the jam-packed Monday pre-show events such as the Supplier Showcase, Executive Management Seminar and Industry Day at the Range, to our ability to fit in hundreds of new exhibitors each year and our carefully designed, audience-specific educational programs such as the Law Enforcement Education Program and Retailer Seminars, we literally have something for everyone.
“Now, top off the show itself and how it sets the tone for how everyone will do business in the following year with all that Las Vegas has to offer, and we have to ask, how can you resist? Here you have hotels that fit every budget, some of the best restaurants in the world, entertainment that will thrill you to your core—and 65,000 of your colleagues and friends all in one place. It’s a very special show, and we really want everyone we met at IWA and reading Gun Trade World to understand that. Bottom line, we want you in Las Vegas, and we think we have everything you need to make it worth your while.
The 2018 SHOT Show will take place January 23-26 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Sands Expo Center. Registration is slated to open in the fall, but it’s not too early to reserve your hotel room. In fact, early hotel registration in encouraged, as Las Vegas is host to several other large trade shows taking place the same time as SHOT Show, which can make finding a room convenient to the show venue later a challenge. Many hotels in the SHOT Show/NSSF block are routinely sold out by mid-summer.
NSSF’s reserved SHOT Show hotel block has an extensive list of hotels with rooms from as low as $29 a night to sky’s-the-limit. Reserve your room through our booking partner onPeak and you’ll be assured of our Best Price Pledge, the ability to pay for your room once you arrive in Vegas, group booking control, reservation protection, and no added or hidden fees. To learn more, visit SHOTShow.org, click on the Las Vegas heading at the top of the page, and click the Hotel and Travel link in the dropdown menu. (Note, you’ll also find flight discounts from Delta and United at the bottom of this page.)
We want to thank everyone we met in Germany at IWA and had a chance to talk with in our Las Vegas Hospitality Suite. We hope our international colleagues found the time spent with us as valuable as we did, and for those now including the 2018 SHOT Show in their itinerary, I encourage you to regularly visit SHOTShow.org for show updates. I know I speak for all of us at NSSF when I say we’re looking forward to seeing every one of you in Las Vegas next January.