Grand View Outdoors (GVO) is a venerable B2B and B2C publishing company with a long tradition in print and an ever-growing focus toward digital, social and event media. It has eight brands and approximately 20 employees spread across the U.S., with a core team based in Birmingham, Alabama. Its parent company is COLE Publishing out of northern Wisconsin.
The many markets Grand View brands cover include archery, bowhunting, shooting, firearms, tactical, shotgunning, whitetail deer and predator hunting, and it produces the Clay Target Nation magazine for the National Skeet Shooting Association/National Sporting Clays Association. Such a broad and evolving cross-section of markets makes it important for Grand View employees to keep up with industry changes, and SHOT Show plays a key part in staying on top of things throughout the year.
“We are in a relationship-based industry, and SHOT Show allows our teams to see a huge mix of their contacts, clients, companies, agencies and others during a moment in time, in terms of the calendar year,” says Derrick Nawrocki, President and Publisher of Grand View Outdoors, explaining how SHOT Show is not only important to GVO for that given moment, but how the contacts and leads from SHOT feed their revenue and editorial pipelines throughout the entire year.
Grand View’s advertising and content teams both benefit directly from attending SHOT. There is no ad selling on the floor, so private meetings, group social gatherings and evening meals with clients provide the kind of atmosphere that lets Nawrocki’s sales team identify the various pain points for advertisers and develop individualized solutions for them. “[M]ost of the revenue we get from the SHOT Show happens after the show closes and we collectively follow up with our support base,” he explains.
Much of the SHOT Show-captured content captured by the team stimulates content in GVO’s various brands throughout the year. “We might ultimately build that content with manufacturer- or writer-supplied photos that might not have been taken at the SHOT Show, but were conceived because of the SHOT Show. Our teams post content during the show, immediately after the show, and then as we dig into post-SHOT Show follow-up in our B2B titles. We deliver hundreds of pages of print coverage, which ultimately become digital content, and along the way much of that is covered socially,” he explains, saying that it’s the connections made at the show that become the communication “gateways” for post-show follow-up.
“What happens after the show, and to some degree prior to (but because of the show), is what drives business,” he says, adding that post-show follow-up takes the form of e-mail, phone calls, texts and personal visits, as well as time in the field and on the range — whatever it takes to connect with clients, identify industry trends and produce the information readers want to know about.
After SHOT, Nawrocki and his teams also rely on missives from NSSF to stay on top of current trends and products. “The steady stream of information NSSF pushes out via their various e-newsletters and e-blasts help me and my teams keep track of trends and chase down stories and follow-up on news where we need to,” he says, explaining that the help GVO gets from NSSF “never stops,” and that GVO is “fortunate” to partner with the NSSF on its shooting B2Bs, Tactical Retailer and Shooting Sports Retailer. NSSF contributes a column to each publication for each issue. “That partnership helps our teams and our audience stay in tune with the NSSF and the SHOT Show as the year moves forward. To me, this all orbits around the big event each year. The NSSF helps keep us up to-date-on issues, trends and news stories each and every week with their e-newsletter program,” says Nawrocki.
Other residual benefits from SHOT Show include the knowledge Nawrocki’s team members gain from various seminars and events. For example, his teams have attended the NSSF Industry Summit and have come back very pleased with what they learned. “Again, we are in a relationship market, and you will see more and more events leading the way, as they provide that face-to-face,” he says.
SHOT Show has also been the impetus for GVO to launch new brands that have endured and proven profitable. Its Tactical Retailer magazine, for example, used to be a section of Shooting Sports Retailer magazine, until it became obvious at SHOT that interest in modern sporting rifles could stand on its own. Today they are two separate titles. “There is a significant amount of ‘loss of opportunity’ in my mind for media outlets like GVO that would choose not to attend the SHOT Show,” Nawrocki concluded.
About the Author
Warren Berg is a 25-year veteran of the shooting, hunting and outdoors industry. He has penned hundreds of articles under many names for such storied publications as American Rifleman and Field & Stream. He has produced award-winning television programs on personal-defense and has hunted extensively in North America, Europe and Africa.