The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM (SHOT Show®), owned and operated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), concluded its four-day run with attendees optimistic of building on last year’s increase in sales of industry products.
The show, spanning Jan. 21-24 at the Sands Expo Center, displayed products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement purposes. More than 55,000 industry professionals attended SHOT Show, with the number of exhibiting companies exceeding 2,500. Product display booths covered more than 692,000 net square feet, or nearly 16 acres, of exhibit space. SHOT Show pumps nearly $90 million in non-gaming revenue into the Las Vegas economy.
The SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world, attracting attendees from 115 countries in addition to all 50 states. The show credentials 2,400 members of the outdoor and trade media.
In addition to the main show floors, the displays for the Supplier Showcase, NEXT section and one-day Pop-Up Preview helped accommodate many new exhibitors. Next year, SHOT Show is expanding into the new Caesars Forum exhibition facility, providing an opportunity for companies on the show’s extensive wait list to finally showcase their products to industry buyers.
An Industry Making a Difference
At the NSSF State of the Industry presentation, NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi pushed back against those who attempt to shame and disrespect the firearms industry and gun owners because they exercise their right to make and own firearms. “Despite this disgraceful slander from certain politicians and some in the media, our industry is deeply and personally affected by the misuse of firearms,” said Bartozzi. “The difference between us and some politicians is that we are actually doing something about it.”
Bartozzi pointed to the successes of NSSF programs such as Project ChildSafe®, FixNICS®, Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM, Operation Secure Store® and NSSF’s suicide prevention initiative—collectively called “Real Solutions. Safer Communities.SM,” to help deter accidents, illegal purchases, thefts and suicide.
Honoring the Industry’s Past Leaders
Also at the State of the Industry, Robert Scott, Chairman of the NSSF Board of Governors, unveiled the NSSF Hall of Fame, honoring six individuals who played a key role in creating NSSF nearly 60 years ago and the SHOT Show in 1979. The inductees were three early leaders of NSSF—Warren Page, Charlie Dickey and Arnold “Rocky” Rohlfing—and three early and influential members of the NSSF Board of Governors—Harmon Williams, Bill Talley and Ted Rowe. “Honoring past leaders and their accomplishments, while at the same time keeping our focus on the future, is something we should do. Our industry, our products, our shooting and hunting activities and our champions are part of America’s story and heritage. They deserve respect and praise,” said Scott.
High Praise and Quality Booth Traffic
The 2020 SHOT Show drew much praise.
“The SHOT Show is a great gathering place for manufacturers to showcase products and for retailers to see those products and plan for the future,” said Travis Hall, President and CEO of Browning. “There is no other opportunity like this show for retailers, manufacturers and the media to meet and then work together to grow the industry and shooting sports.”
Among retailers at the SHOT Show was Justin Wilde from Wilde Armory based in Amarillo, Texas. “I’m looking at all the new products and trying to decide what to offer customers. I’m a small fish in a very big pond,” said Wilde. “I also attended and enjoyed the Supplier Showcase because I can find tools and parts to stock.”
One manufacturer, Noreen Firearms of Belgrade, Montana, spoke about SHOT Show’s ability to reach a global audience. “We talked to buyers from Argentina who arrived with a photo of one of our rifles on their phones,” said Phil Noreen, owner of Noreen Firearms. “This show draws in a lot of international customers, and we meet and work with more of them each year.”
“This SHOT Show has been really good for us,” said Jason Harris, Primos Hunting Vice President of Sales. “We’ve had good traffic through the booth.”
Continuing the upbeat review was Delano Amaguin, Senior Sales Manager with FMG Publications. “The show this year is definitely more upbeat and positive,” said Amaguin. “There is more positive energy, and more people and companies getting business done.”
The industry has seen a consistent rise in firearms sales throughout much of 2019, a rebound from a downturn in 2018, based on analysis of the federal background checks that are required for all firearm sales at retail.
“The SHOT Show is going great for us. We are doing a lot of networking and we are here to make deals,” reported first-time attendee Cory Martin, Operations manager for Tyrant Designs. “It is fantastic to see solidarity in the industry.”
“The precision market and extreme long-range market—the 2,000-yards targets—are growing,” said Bryan James with Barrett Firearms. “The increased quality of rifles, ammunition and optics is driving this market segment.”
“I work for the Nye County Sheriff’s Department and have come here to discover gear that will help me and other officers on the job,” said Deputy Jezrael Martinez.”
SHOT Week Highlights
Show events actually kick off a few days before the official opening and includes the 6th Annual NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic in support of Honored American Veterans Afield, which works to support the healing process of military veterans through hunting and other shooting sports activities.
Other popular pre-show events were SHOT UniversityTM, an education forum for retailers, and Industry Day at the Range, an opportunity for media and buyers to experience hands-on testing of products. The Women of the Gun event, sponsored by NSSF and Women’s Outdoor News, brought together influential women who promote the gun safety messages of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program. An NSSF press conference discussed many initiatives, such as its +ONE MovementSM mentoring program and “field to fork” campaigns, that are working to build support for hunting and conservation.
Among the special guests attending SHOT Show were Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who participated in a fireside chat covering such topics as increasing access to public lands for hunters and the billions of dollars industry and hunters have contributed to conservation.
Expanding in 2021
“We’re pleased with the 2020 SHOT Show on all fronts,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, “and will continue to work to improve the show experience for not only our current attendees but also for all the new exhibitors that will be attending SHOT Show for the first time when it expands next year.”
Next year, the SHOT Show is adding more exhibits, education, meetings, and experiences in the all-new Caesars Forum.
Just steps away from the Sands Expo via a custom-built skybridge for SHOT Show attendees, Caesars Forum will provide more space for manufacturers and distributors to display their product lines, as well as new exhibitors from even more product categories. There will also be hands-on product demonstrations like never before.
Recognizing the Show’s Sponsors
Major sponsors of this year’s show included, Daniel Defense, USCCA, Lucas Oil, RUAG, Sig Sauer, Streamlight, Mossy Oak, True Velocity, Winchester Ammunition, Eukanuba and Ram Trucks.